Connecting state and local government leaders
Attention state and local governments: The 2015 Bright Ideas might spark ways to develop and implement smart programs.
The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government on Wednesday announced its 2015 Bright Ideas honorees, which recognize 124 innovative ideas across all levels of government.
“The Bright Ideas program demonstrates that often seemingly intractable problems can be creatively and capably tackled by small groups of dedicated, civic-minded individuals,” Stephen Goldsmith, director of the Innovations in American Government Program at the Ash Center, said in a statement. “As exemplified by this year’s Bright Ideas, making government work better doesn’t always require massive reforms and huge budgets. Indeed, we are seeing that, in many ways, an emphasis on efficiency and adaptability can have further-reaching effects than large-scale reforms.”
The majority of the honorees are at the state and local government level—Government Executive profiled the federal honorees here.
Included among the non-federal honorees are a procurement reform program in Colorado, an infrastructure prioritization program in North Dakota, a risk-based inspection program for New York City’s fire department and the Silicon Valley Talent Partnership in California (which was profiled by GovExec State & Local last year).
Here’s a full list of the state and local government honorees from the Ash Center:
1/8 Cent Sales Tax
City of Overland Park, KS
After decades of expansion, the city of Overland Park was faced with the problem of bringing country roads up to the standards of city infrastructure. By levying a 1/8-cent sales tax, they created a funding pool to both repair and build new roads. Since 1998, the program has been renewed by the citizens of Overland Park three times, and the program has been expanded to include other projects like street lights, traffic signals, and sidewalks, as well as launching an app that lets citizens see which projects the fund has created through an interactive map.
2009-911-E Plastic Bag Ordinance
City of Brownsville, TX
In 2009, the city of Brownsville passed the Plastic Bag Ordinance, which prohibits the use of plastic bags from general use by retail outlets in the city, eliminating over 350,000 bags from its landfill daily. Plastic bags are available at stores for a small environmental fee, which is remitted to the city and used for environmental initiatives and providing reusable bags to lower-income residents.
2013 Neighborhood Board Digital Elections
City and County of Honolulu, HI
This program converted what has been a historically paper- and postal-based election process to an all-digital one. Eligible voters are now mailed a passcode with which they access a digital ballot (either online or via touch-tone phone), make their selections, and submit the ballot to a secure website. The cost of conducting the election has decreased significantly because of this initiative, due to a reduction in paper, return postage, and processing and tabulating ballots.
2014 Multi-City Innovation Campaign
City of Nashville, TN
The 2014 Multi-City Innovation Campaign is a partnership of the cities of Boston, Nashville, Palo Alto, and Raleigh. Their vision is to create a process and environment where developers can build scalable and sustainable civic apps that address shared challenges across communities through a unique low-dollar procurement approach.
City of Miami, FLACCESS (Assets, Capital, Community, Education, Savings and Success)
Miami is a comprehensive empowerment and poverty reduction strategy aimed at increasing residents’ access to financial tools and education that are fundamental to economic prosperity and success. ACCESS leverages resources from the public and private sectors and focuses on asset accumulation, job creation and retention, and income mobility.
City and County of San Francisco
In 2012, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency began a program to allow fare-paying customers to enter through any door fleet-wide instead of queuing at the front of the vehicle. All-Door Boarding has reduced time at busy stops and optimized scarce transit resources while increasing fare compliance.
Shawnee County, KS
AwesomeQ is an internally developed queuing system that allows members of the public to register for a place in line at our county Motor Vehicle office via an onsite kiosk, personal smartphone, or Internet-connected computer. As part of the registration, customers can also opt to be notified by text message with information about when their turn for service is about to arrive. Users of the system no longer have to stand in long lines but instead can go about their business until just shortly before they are called to the service counter.
The BEACH Project
City of Saint Louis, MO
The BEACH Project (Beginning of the End: Abolishing Chronic Homelessness) is an 18-month, rapid rehousing initiative. It will result in stable housing and wraparound services being available to every chronically homeless person identified in the city of St. Louis during the January 2013 homeless census.
Pierce County, WA
Block Play is a research-based learning program that fosters curiosity, critical thinking, and learning readiness for early learners. By reaching out to at-risk children, librarians help prepare children for success in school and in life, with a focus on literacy and STEM skills. Training for parents to guide independent block play is offered, as well as community sessions, to maximize the benefits of this play for participant children.
Block Walk St. Joe
Mo-Kan Regional Council
Block Walk St. Joe is a grassroots effort designed to create a livable, sustainable, and walkable community in St. Joseph, Missouri. The low-cost project brings together a guided tour app of the downtown area with revitalization and volunteer efforts to create impactful and valuable community initiatives and engage citizens with their community.
Broadcast Real-time Inspection Transparency Emails
City of Aurora, IL
With this program, the city of Aurora can send e-mails to the entire private-sector team of any contractor automatically for any inspection activity. These e-mails allow the city to convey a message to all parties with web links to online tools and point-of-service surveys. They also provide contractors with access to information on how to make the inspection process as smooth as possible, including a list of “top ten” failed items that enables them to proactively address these issues, saving money and time for both the contractors and the city.
City and County of San Francisco
The Business Portal is a comprehensive, online resource for starting and growing a business in San Francisco. By clarifying the steps to compliance; allowing easier access to licenses, permits, and requirements; and providing a wealth of resources, the portal makes the process of starting and managing a business more efficient for the entire business community and encourages economic growth.
California Local Energy Assurance Planning
State of California
The state of California motivates local governments to build energy resiliency by integrating local, state, and federal guidelines into a simple comprehensive planning methodology supported by a web tool. The intent is not only to better prepare the most vulnerable cities, but to help meet smart and clean energy goals.
Riverside County, CA
Care Pathways is a program designed for family caregivers who face challenges managing their caregiving responsibility for a senior friend or loved one. Participants are offered education in a support group setting where they receive training and the opportunity to engage with other caregivers. The program promotes higher quality care in the community and improves quality of life for caregivers and their loved ones, decreasing the risk of social isolation and depression among caregivers. This program was developed and is implemented by the Riverside County Office on Aging, a federally recognized Aging and Disability Resource Connection, and the program is funded through a partnership with the Riverside County Department of Mental Health, through the Mental Health Services Act.
Child Wellbeing Project
Catawba County, NC
The Child Wellbeing Project provides voluntary Success Coach and Educational Advocate services to families of children who leave foster care for reunified, guardianship, or adoptive families and who are under 16 years old at the time of exit. The goal of this research-based partnership with The Duke Endowment is to improve the well-being of children who previously experienced foster care.
Citizen Survey Data for Performance
City of Kansas City, MO
Kansas City, Missouri, has redesigned its citizen survey to ensure community feedback is relevant to city departments and their operations. Survey data, collected quarterly, is now fully integrated into the city’s performance management program and shared at monthly, public KCStat meetings, where departments share their progress with the mayor, city manager, and City Council. Citizens are able to interact with these meetings through livestreaming and social media to raise their concerns directly with decision-makers.
City of Hialeah Special Population Initiatives
City of Hialeah, FL
The city of Hialeah is a pioneer in the inclusion of special populations in municipal programs. Through its programs, participants have found a community of support and a channel to prosper and contribute to the workforce. The city provides alternative education for individuals with disabilities, including schools for traditionally underserved populations (such as children with severe autism) that use community spaces and relieve parents of some of the heavy cost of caring for these individuals.
Civic User Testing Group
City of Chicago, IL
The Civic User Testing Group is a set of Chicago residents who get paid to test civic apps. Smart Chicago works with residents and civic tech developers to make and test software that helps improve quality of life for residents. Members receive training on basic technology skills, provide feedback, and perform beta-testing on apps and government websites.
State of Tennessee
The Tennessee Department of Education started Classroom Chronicles to connect powerful stories from the classroom with the public conversation on education. The goal is to highlight innovative strategies and programs leading students to academic achievement and to connect educators in the state.
Collaborative Excellence in Assisted Living
State of Wisconsin
The Department of Health Services has developed and implemented a new model for assisted living by incorporating internal quality improvement that leverages collaboration with the assisted living industry, a research institute, regulatory and funding agencies, and advocates. By using the same satisfaction survey, members of the coalition can evaluate their performance and compare it with peer groups and the overall collaborative. The benefits of membership include regulatory relief, insurance discounts, access to networks such as managed care, and consumer preference. The program has led to improved compliance, resident satisfaction, and quality indicators.
Community Engagement Liaison Initiative
City of Portland, OR
Portland’s Community Engagement Liaison Initiative delivers two vital public services to the city’s immigrant communities by providing access to participatory governance and to creative city/community partnerships that help deliver city services to some of the most vulnerable neighborhoods. By training CEL’s from these underserved populations in collaboration and advocacy skills, they can contribute their community connections, their civic leadership, and their cultural and language expertise to local democracy.
Community and Regional Development
State of North Carolina
This program assists distressed, low-wealth, and limited-capacity communities throughout eastern North Carolina. East Carolina University, an economic engine for the region, and statewide partners, provide economic development products and services, technical assistance, and financial resources that increase competitiveness and build stronger, more vibrant communities.
Comprehensive Cardiac Patient Management
Cabarrus County, NC
Cabarrus emergency medical services provides comprehensive management of cardiac patients through an integrated focus on cardiac arrest, STEMI (a type of heart attack), and education. This approach has resulted in an increased return of circulation in cardiac arrest, decreased intervention times in the setting of STEMI, and provided the community with the training and skills necessary to recognize emergencies and perform life-saving interventions.
Conover Station Kickstarts Redevelopment
City of Conover, NC
With creatively leveraged grant funding from multiple sources, the Conover Station project has built a new global research and development laboratory, multimodal transit facility, and an environmentally educational park. The project combined citizen and political support with community vision and determination to transform liabilities into assets and help underutilized properties and communities prosper even in challenging times.
Crash Data Repository
State of Connecticut
The Connecticut Crash Data Repository (CTCDR) is a web tool that provides access to motor vehicle crash data collected by state and local police. The CTCDR provides members of the public and transportation safety community the ability to query, analyze, and export timely, accurate, complete, and uniform crash data.
City of Philadelphia, PA
Setting out to visualize the relationship between cultural activity in Philadelphia and its economic and social fabric, this government partnership first created an online mapping tool loaded with 50 datasets to identify the unique solutions the city’s creative economy can provide and then conducted analytic research to catalyze urban recovery and lead to additional neighborhood investment. CultureBlocks, managed by the city of Philadelphia Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, aggregates cultural assets and demographic information in a single, digital forum. Individuals can use CultureBlocks to make strategic investment decisions and identify cultural disparities across the city of Philadelphia in a highly visual, relationship-driven manner.
City of Denver, CO
Tired of seeing only the most negative stories about policing in their community picked up by traditional media, the Denver Police Department now tells its own story by housing a multimedia news agency within its own walls. With funding from a nonprofit organization, the department has built a media studio, hired a social media coordinator and staff, created a press strategy, and is now sending out real-time corrections to inaccurate stories in traditional media as well as creating video packages at or better than the quality of local market outlets. It also plans to launch a website and mobile app. The frequency of positive media coverage has increased from 5–6 stories per year to 3–5 per week.
County of Santa Clara, CA & City of San Jose, CA
Destination: Home works collaboratively with the city of San Jose and the county of Santa Clara to disrupt the local homeless system by focusing on interventions that systematically reduce the number of men and women on the streets. The public-private partnership has concentrated its efforts on the Housing 1000 Campaign, with the goal of housing 1,000 chronically homeless clients, developing programs that prioritize housing for high-system users, and streamlining services accessed by homeless and newly housed clients. Most critically, the program has worked with Santa Clara County to create a new Office of Supportive Housing, which will institutionalize the Housing 1000 model as its primary response to chronic homelessness.
DMH Telepsychiatry Consultation Program
State of South Carolina
With initial funding from The Duke Endowment, the South Carolina Department of Mental Health Telepsychiatry Consultation Program works with participating hospital emergency departments (ED) and patients to address overcrowding and scarce resources through videoconference-based behavioral assessments. Many patients are able to be safely discharged from the hospital and returned to their families the same day they are assessed, cutting lengths of stay substantially. The program psychiatrist supplies the patient and ED staff with their written clinical recommendations and also with information about the local mental health center and other local resources. In turn, the mental health center is able to immediately access the electronic record of the psychiatrist’s assessment and recommendations. Patients seen through the program who are discharged from an ED have a far higher rate of following through with aftercare at a mental health center. For those patients who are retained in the emergency department, the psychiatrist’s treatment recommendations have generally improved the quality of care they are receiving.
DNA Hit Integration Program
County of San Diego, CA
The DNA Hit Integration Program is boosting prosecutions and jail time for defendants who commit multiple crimes and at the same time works to protect the innocent. By integrating a real-time DNA database with the district attorney’s case management system, prosecutors are better able to match defendants they are already prosecuting to additional crimes the defendants may have committed in separate incidents. This new data also gives prosecutors the ability to generate reports to track, manage, and match the DNA data with defendants, as well as exclude suspects in a timely manner if DNA results do not implicate them.
EcoComplex and Resource Recovery Facility
Catawba County, NC
The EcoComplex strives to create a system of symbiotic relationships where all workable products and byproducts from a close-knit group of public and private organizations are utilized economically, ecologically, and efficiently. This system also provides a conduit for moving "green" science from the laboratory to real-world application by partnering a publicly-owned methane capture generator with nearby businesses, creating energy and heat for the local community while growing the local business economy to increase the community tax base.
City of Milwaukee, WI
Milwaukee’s Housing Authority developed the Education Initiative in response to reports of poor school attendance and academic achievement rates in the city. Using housing as a platform, the program works with low-income families to ensure that children improve their attendance and graduate. In its mission to develop family and personal self-sufficiency, the Housing Authority uses lease addendums in select public housing developments so that all residents agree to a number of provisions, including agreeing to participate in the Education Initiative program as part of their lease.
Employee Innovation Challenge
City of Hamilton, OH
After a recent study showed that disengaged employees cost the United States approximately $500 billion in lost productivity per year, a team of individuals (The Innovation Team) developed the Hamilton Employee Innovation Challenge, a contest encouraging employees to submit ideas and work in cross-departmental teams to improve processes, address challenges, and take advantage of opportunities.
Employee Wellness Program
City of Batavia, NY
In 2009, the city of Batavia made a complete shift in the way it looked at health insurance. A new wellness program focuses on influencing employee behavior and preventative care, minimizing the development of serious health conditions that ultimately lead to higher health care costs. Employees and spouses who participate in the program and achieve and exceed identified results have the opportunity to earn credits to either reduce their health-care contribution or lower their out-of-pocket deductible. The overall goals of the program is to drive preventative utilization, reduce the number and severity of claims, and reduce health-care costs.
Energy Efficiency and Solar Project
City of Brea, CA
The city of Brea partnered with Chevron Energy Solutions to complete a design/build energy project that significantly improved energy efficiency and generates over 1.8 megawatts of solar power. The lighting technology conversion project retrofitted and replaced heating and cooling equipment in buildings and installed photovoltaic solar generation systems at three city facilities; the city expects to reduce energy consumption by 40 percent and save $13 million over 25 years.
Establishing Joint Information Centers
Peoria County, IL
The Central Illinois Public Information Officer Committee identified and established over 100 Joint Information Centers in order to prepare the five-county region for a large-scale disaster. This initiative expedites the release of accurate and timely public information during the immediate aftermath of disaster. These centers are established in collaboration with volunteer private and public organizations, who meet certain criteria including guaranteeing 24/7 access to the facility to all committee members, as well as use of their office equipment.
National Capital Planning Commission
Visualization is a key component of designing, planning, and building large-scale construction projects, yet many of the current visualization tools and processes for stakeholders are expensive, time-consuming, and produce subjective experiences. To move from the manual staking process to a 3D augmented reality process, Project EyeSite was initiated to bring together the expertise of National Capital Planning Commission staff and GIS Professional Services staff from the Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri). Using the power of Esri's ArcGIS and Metaio's 3D Augmented Reality Browser (Juniao), a fully 3D, GIS-enabled augmented reality prototype was configured.
Faith in Motion: Unleashing Local Faith Communities to Fill Resource Gaps
Riverside County, CA
Faith in Motion fills in resource gaps by connecting the local faith community to the needs of neglected and abused children and their families. By creating relationships between social workers and designated community churches, social workers receive timely, critical resources and stable foster families are recruited—all at no cost to the county.
Falls Church-McLean Children's Center
Fairfax County, VA
Housed in a Fairfax County elementary school, the Falls Church-McLean Children's Center provides preschoolers who are primarily from low-income, working families with the opportunity to participate in a seamless program of intervention services to address developmental delays. Participants attend half-day, special education classes at the public school, then return to the Children's Center for the remainder of the day where they build social, language, academic, and physical skills through play. The children also receive weekly speech therapy or occupational therapy, or behavioral counseling, as needed to maximize their chances of overcoming delays before they start kindergarten.
FastTrack Cloud Computing Program
District of Columbia
In order to meet their agencies and constituents’ demands for modern, web-based applications, the District’s government moved to introduce cloud computing technology that was simple to implement so that that it would reduce workers’ dependency on IT staff. Savvy workers can use the QuickBase platform—a rapid application development environment—to implement their own small applications. This initiative has resulted in 1,500 web-based applications over the past three years, most of them built by non-IT workers in approximately 30 percent of time it takes to build traditional software.
First 5 San Diego Healthy Development Services
County of San Diego, CA
First 5 San Diego's Healthy Development Services (HDS) program supports children's success by identifying mild to moderate developmental and behavioral delays during the critical first five years of life and provides families with the appropriate services, treatment, and resources. HDS families receive coordinated services, at no cost to them, through an integrated system of community providers before delays become more difficult and expensive to address.
Food and Fitness Policy Council
City of Cambridge, MA
The Cambridge Food and Fitness Policy Council represents a major step forward in addressing obesity at the municipal level. The council catalyzes action around policies, systems, and practices that make healthful, affordable, and culturally appropriate foods and fitness options available to more residents, especially low-income and immigrant residents.
Food Pantry Shuttle Service
Rutherford County, NC
Rutherford County Transit initiated free transportation shuttles to a local food pantry, recognizing that even when resources are available, transportation is often a barrier. By listening to their passengers, they went outside the scope of traditional public transportation and created a service that meets their customers’ needs.
Food Truckin' Thursdays
City of Anderson, IN
Food Truckin' Thursdays is a networking program showcasing local culinary and musical artists with nonprofit organizations while raising the quality of life for people downtown. The program’s goal is to build a following that allows food trucks to transition into permanent restaurants and give musicians and nonprofits more exposure.
State of Georgia
Georgia Shape is a statewide, multiagency, multidimensional initiative that brings together governmental, philanthropic, academic ,and business communities to address childhood obesity. By forming deep and meaningful relationships with partners across the state, Georgia Shape is able to create health-related change throughout Georgia.
Go Code Colorado
State of Colorado
The Go Code Colorado model redefines procurement by putting competitive processes in the hands of competition-savvy entrepreneurs, not risk-averse government employees. The model yields multiple, beneficial outcomes including returning value to taxpayers, actively opening data sources, creating new businesses, and building a stronger business climate.
Golden Corridor Advanced Manufacturing Partnership
Village of Hoffman Estates, IL
The Golden Corridor Advanced Manufacturing Partnership coordinates local schools, municipalities, manufacturers, and economic development agencies focused upon changing public perception of manufacturing and improving skilled workforce training opportunities. A unified approach to the local economy benefits economic development, improves the employment outlook, and increases the available skilled workforce.
Help the Students
Naches Valley School District, Naches, WA
When trying to address the learning gap in low-income students, the Naches Valley School District recognized that students who were not having basic food, clothes, and shelter needs met would not be able to focus on learning. As a small school district unable to met these needs on its own, the district instead partnered with the community to create food and clothing drives for students in need and with the Washington State Department of Social Services at their local office to help at-risk students with needs above and beyond the scope of the community’s giving.
I-Jury: Online Juror Impaneling
Travis County, TX
I-Jury is an online system designed to facilitate jury service. Summonsed jurors go online to qualify for service, screen for exemptions, complete the juror questionnaire and orientation, specify personal and business conflict dates, and receive, both online and via e-mail, a specific judge, courtroom, and trial date reporting instructions.
iMesa: Imagine, Invest, Improve
City of Mesa, AZ
The city of Mesa wanted to engage residents in improving the community. iMesa was the city’s grassroots citizen investment and improvement effort to develop transformational community projects that invigorate the community. A free crowdsourcing software was used as a platform to communicate the status of ideas.
Inclusive Arts Initiative
City of Pembroke Pines, FL
The Inclusive Arts Initiative engages the residents of the suburban community of Pembroke Pines through the arts while also attracting regional cultural patrons to the city. This creative placemaking project brings professional artists together with people of all ages and abilities to create and show art—fostering connections among neighbors and across cultures.
Increase Asian Residents' Civic Participation
Town of Lexington, MA
Town leaders wanted to understand the issues raised by demographic changes, particularly the dramatic increase in the percentage of residents of Asian origin and their low participation in local government. A task force examined issues and identified barriers to participation in reports widely publicized throughout the community. As a result, a greater number of Asian-Americans have enrolled in the annual Citizens’ Academy, run for elected office, and been appointed to committees. These numbers are expected to increase as continued discussion results in a clearer understanding of the ways volunteers can participate in local government.
City of Dickinson, ND
The city of Dickinson is the second-fastest growing micropolitan in the US according to the US Census Bureau. To accommodate the tremendous influx of people, over $440 million dollars of needed infrastructure improvements were identified. The city then needed a way to prioritize projects to take full advantage of limited resources, and ultimately adopted a policy that articulated the manner in which city resources would be utilized to yield the greatest good. As new projects are identified, they are scored against this policy and ranked accordingly.
State of Washington
This policy exempts select technology and services purchases up to $100,000 from existing procurement rules for purposes of experimentation to expand the pool of vendors and introduce new technologies and ideas to the state.
Le Fetuao Samoan Language Center
State of Hawaii
Le Fetuao Samoan Language Center was founded to address the keen societal pressures faced by Samoan youth in Hawaii and that the Samoan language and culture is rapidly diminishing among Samoans in Hawaii. Le Fetuao offers an alternative for youth to respect their culture, as well as their families and the communities in which they live, and to build a positive future for themselves.
City of Roanoke, VA
Through a partnership approach with Virginia Tech, the City of Roanoke has implemented the LEAN Management Program to find efficiencies for local government operations. LEAN is not a substitute for proper planning or leadership. Instead, it is the city’s new way of integrating performance improvement as part of its government culture, allowing it to deliver value-added services to citizens at lower costs. The city has worked with Virginia Tech to implement a training program to teach a group of select employees advanced LEAN principles. Additionally, Virginia Tech students in the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department conduct Lean projects with city departments as part of their curriculum.
State of Colorado
The state of Colorado’s Lean program successfully demonstrates that a customer-focused culture is possible in the public sector. To date, over 3,000 state employees in most executive departments have learned Lean principles and conducted almost 200 improvement events that have eliminated backlogs, reduced wait times, and saved millions of dollars.
City of New York, NY
The Reinvent Payphones Design Challenge invited the public to create prototypes that imagine the future of city payphones in planning what will replace them. The competition resulted in over 125 innovative submissions and wide engagement. The ideas also helped to inform the city’s RFP to transform payphones into Wi-Fi hotspots and communication hubs, eventually leading to the creation and passage of the LinkNYC program, a first-of-its-kind network that will bring the fastest available municipal Wi-Fi to millions of New Yorkers, small businesses, and visitors.
Live Well San Diego
County of San Diego, CA
Live Well San Diego is a partnership between the county of San Diego and local cities, businesses, schools, and faith- and community-based organizations. It encourages “wellness” by improving service delivery systems; creating policies, systems, and environments that facilitate positive choices; and revitalizing workplace culture.
Make a Call, Make a Difference
City of Coral Springs, FL
The Coral Springs Police Department developed and implemented a community policing program entitled “Make a Call, Make a Difference.” Through public information campaigns, community outreach, and its social media presence, the police have worked to educate citizens on how to spot suspicious activity and built community confidence that those calls are wanted and taken seriously. The program has had a significant effect on crime prevention and an increase in calls for suspicious activity in the city.
Massachusetts Municipal Performance Management Program
Collins Center for Public Management, McCormack School, UMass Boston, MA
The mission of MPMP is to make the systematic use of data, measures, and goals a permanent feature of municipal government, and to accelerate idea-sharing among municipalities. Through a team of centrally-supervised analysts, each working directly with a portfolio of municipalities, MPMP provides on-the-ground support on data and analysis.
MassCEC Internship Program
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
In order to compete in the global clean energy economy, Massachusetts must sustain a well-educated, well-trained workforce. The Massachusetts Clean Energy Internship prepares the next generation of clean-energy workers by connecting college students and recent higher education graduates with Massachusetts clean energy companies in need of interns.
Mentoring Program/Youth Directors Council
City of Miami Beach, FL/Miami Beach Police Athletic League, Inc.
Designed to address the need for at-risk youth to have a safe space to spend after-school and weekend hours, this program brings together mentors and engaged youth to provide a variety of services to foster education and career opportunities, including SAT prep, career fairs, resume writing and time management workshops. In addition, activities are offered that build self-esteem, work ethic, and responsibility.
Miracle Believers' School Tour
State of Louisiana
This program, led by a judge, leads tours that bring offenders serving life or lengthy sentences to schools and other engagements to have an interactive discussion about prison life, decision-making, and the criminal justice system. The goal is to educate students and the public about decisions that have had life-altering consequences for the offenders.
City of Santa Fe, NM
Facing a challenge of retaining the talent and constituency of young professionals in their 20s and 30s who were finding it difficult to find careers in and engage with the Santa Fe community, the city created a committee to organize monthly mixers where these individuals can be connected to local businesses. The program has now grown to include a yearly start-up competition that brings resources and connections to local young entrepreneurs and helps foster a vibrant and thriving economic community.
Mobile Mental Health Service Delivery
Riverside County, CA
The county’s Department of Mental Health identified an urgent need for prevention and early intervention services to address the needs of underserved populations, especially young children. To improve access to effective mental health care, mobile clinics now provide services to families with children through the age of seven in geographically isolated regions using evidence-based approaches that support social and emotional development.
My Resource Connection
Johnson County, KS
My Resource Connection is a data-sharing web app developed by Johnson County staff. It allows a case manager to obtain information about other county services a particular client is receiving, contact information of other professionals serving that client, information about other individuals residing in the client’s home, and potential services from community-based organizations that might be of benefit to the client.
my.hi.gov - my.hawaii.gov
State of Hawaii
my.hawaii.gov delivers 'Your Government — Your Way’ in an innovative approach to the gamification of government, leveraging existing portal architecture and a single sign-on system. The site integrates with seven departments and includes a rich history of business conducted online with the state, allowing users to create a single, personalized place to interact with government and local businesses, get notifications and updates, and view transaction histories without having to search dozens of websites, saving time, money, and paper.
Navajo County Leadership Academy
Navajo County, AZ
In public service, the majority of training is paid for through scholarships and grants, as funds are strained and training monies are limited. In response, the Navajo County Leadership Academy was launched in January 2013 with 40 students. The Leadership Academy is a learning partnership that provides engaging and informative sessions to promote learning and skill-building. The participant’s manager provides ongoing coaching and support to help the participant capitalize on the Leadership Academy opportunity, while the participant commits to participating in all group-learning events, utilizing time management and prioritization skills to stay abreast of their regular work responsibilities, and demonstrating their new knowledge and skills on the job.
Nebraska Cooperative Government
In 1989, using specific authority granted by the state constitution and statute, five communities entered into an inter-local agreement creating a new governmental entity, now known as the Nebraska Cooperative Government. It was designed to promote a sense of cooperation and raise revenue using the mechanism of a charitable lottery. Over 100 communities have joined the cooperative since its inception and shared in the $30,000,000 in net proceeds. The cooperative government now serves as a model of rural redesign, redevelopment, and revitalization
Neighborhood Services Department
Adams County, CO
Created in January 2013, the Neighborhood Services Department was designed to embody an innovative, citizen-focused culture that delivers compassionate customer service, strengthens citizen engagement, and creates a partnership with our neighborhoods. Each of its services is oriented to the citizen’s safety, engagement, quality of life, and well-being. And since 2013, the department has become a critical source of funding and support for neighborhoods, funding paratransit services for the elderly and disabled, minor home repair for the aging housing stock, capital projects for growing infrastructure needs, human services through the existing nonprofit network, and down-payment assistance for future homeowners.
State of Nebraska
Network Nebraska-Education is one of the youngest and largest multipurpose, high-capacity, scalable telecommunications networks in the country. Begun in 2006 with no state funding, it now has over 270 education entities collaborating and completely self-funding the network infrastructure and administration, with one of the lowest Internet rates in the US. Distance learning classes utilizing high-quality video have increased to over 500 semester classes per year.
NOLA FOR LIFE
City of New Orleans, LA
Launched in May 2012, NOLA FOR LIFE is New Orleans’ comprehensive murder reduction strategy to tackle the city's historically high murder rate. Recognizing that law enforcement alone cannot solve the murder problem, NOLA FOR LIFE takes a holistic approach to get to the root of the problem and implements initiatives in five main categories: Stop the Shooting, Invest in Prevention, Promote Jobs and Opportunity, Strengthen the NOPD, and Get Involved and Rebuild Neighborhoods. Because of this program and other crime-reduction efforts, 2014 recorded the lowest number of murders in the city in 43 years.
North Carolina Innovation Center
State of North Carolina
The North Carolina Innovation Center (iCenter) is a working lab where state employees, agency chief information officers, students, and industry collaborate in a “try before you buy” approach to investing in technology systems. The iCenter is dedicated to identifying solutions that drive efficiency and transform the way government delivers services to its citizens.
Office of Problem Gambling
California Department of Public Health
The Office of Problem Gambling uses a stepped-care approach in administering treatment to diverse populations. California Gambling Education and Treatment Services uses technologies like motivational text messaging from the 1-800-GAMBLER helpline to engage clients in treatment services for both gamblers and affected individuals negatively impacted by problem and pathological gambling behavior. To date, more than 7,300 clients have been served in the treatment program, including those formerly excluded by language barriers through partnerships with community groups to staff the helpline with multilingual volunteers.
One City, One Library
City of Worcester, MA
One City, One Library (OCOL) is a dynamic public-private partnership focused on improving literacy skills citywide. OCOL broke down cross-department barriers by focusing on a common goal: providing equitable access to resources for both students and neighborhoods in a city where 59 percent of children fail to read at grade-level. This initiative has strengthened the crucial working relationships between the city, the Worcester Public Schools, and the Worcester Public Library. The singular focus on improving early literacy has galvanized the community, and organizations have provided programming, volunteers, and over $1.5 million for sites designed to address unique needs of the neighborhoods and to involve the public in achieving literacy goals.
Online Property Assessment Appeal System
Monmouth County, NJ
The Monmouth County Online Assessment Appeal System is a multi-jurisdictional system developed to facilitate efficient electronic filing of assessment appeals with county tax boards, associated municipal assessors, and municipal clerks. As a web-enabled system, it provides enhanced “always-open” service to the taxpayer while leveraging existing public records to ensure accurate record indexing.
Oregon Solutions Network
State of Oregon
The Oregon Solutions Network is a unique system that aligns state agency actions and resources with local, federal, not-for-profit, and business-sector partners to address regional and community priorities. The initiative fosters communication between stakeholders and partners, and utilizes local universities to serve as neutral forums for collaboration between government and private citizen groups.
Parks Through Partnerships Program
Platte County, MO
This initiative led to the creation of a new county parks system through fiscally responsible partnerships that avoid duplication of effort and employees. These amenities improve quality of life through natural resource preservation, increased health and wellness opportunities, and by offering places where diverse community members can gather to create bonds through common interests.
Pathways to College and Careers
Rochester Public Schools/Rochester Community and Technical College, MN
This program brought together the Rochester Community and Technical College, the Hawthorne Education Center, and the Rochester Public Schools' Adult Basic Education Program to provide supportive and successful pathways to college and careers for immigrant, refugee, and under-educated adults. The organizations explored each other's environments, removed any unnecessary barriers to collaboration, utilized the strengths of each institution to build college and career opportunities, and advocated for their students and future workers, and for each other. The partnership has since expanded to include the Mayo Clinic, Workforce Development, Inc., and United Way of Olmsted County.
Performance Excellence Program
City of Tyler, TX
The Performance Excellence Program has unified the city’s efforts to provide outstanding service to citizens, while being efficient and fiscally conservative. The city has no general obligation debt and a AAA bond rating, the lowest property tax rate among cities with a population over 16,000 in Texas.
Birmingham Metropolitan Planning Area
The Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham enlivens neighborhood streets by addressing local vacancies and roadway configurations. The aim of the Pop-Up Project is to promote active modes of transportation and spur economic development in a way that is easily replicable through temporary corridor improvements that reintroduce pedestrians and cyclists to the environment.
Port of Houston Partners in Maritime Education
Port of Houston Authority
This effort addresses the growing need for skilled maritime workers by organizing maritime academies at area high schools to introduce youth to careers in maritime transportation systems, shipbuilding and repair, and port operations. The program also helped create two- and four-year maritime degree programs and training at higher education institutions.
Process Improvement Initiative
State of Colorado
To make government more effective and efficient, the Colorado Department of Transportation launched a Lean process improvement program in 2011. The effort builds the creative and inventive skills of frontline employees to improve larger, cross-functional processes through Lean Rapid Improvement Events and smaller ones through Lean Everyday Ideas.
Public Sector Staff Leadership Training
City of South Bend, IN
By engaging an entire city department in the Drucker Institute's Playbook for the Public Sector leadership-training program, the South Bend Department of Community Investment has created a new dimension of performance in spurring investment in a stronger South Bend. From July 2013 through May 2014, projected investment in the local economy has more than quadrupled over the previous year while unemployment has dropped by 25 percent.
Reforming the Energy Vision
State of New York
Reforming the Energy Vision was launched to accelerate the state’s transition to a 21st-century energy system while lowering customer bills. By redesigning its regulatory landscape and public programs to focus on animating markets, Reforming the Energy Vision leverages private-sector investment and innovation to rapidly develop and scale a clean and resilient energy economy that remains affordable for all New Yorkers.
Regional Veterans Service Center
City of Newton, MA
The city of Newton established a one-stop, regional Veterans Service Center to address the pressing need for a more integrated support system for veterans. The center offers assistance in securing benefits, health care, child care, housing, education, and employment in an environment where veterans can socialize, network, eat, and listen to a speaker.
City of Birmingham, AL
RISE is a comprehensive neighborhood stabilization plan, which endeavors to remove blight, increase value, strengthen neighborhoods, and empower residents. This plan combines a strategic approach to stabilization and revitalization, while spurring residents in conjunction with its local municipality, to reinvest in their neighborhoods and overall communities by offering education and tangible answers to the issue of blight, population decline, and profuse vacancy. RISE is ultimately a replicable framework that encompasses a set of tools that address the underlying causes and effects of blight as well as prevents it from proliferating. When implemented in conjunction with other local revitalization efforts, RISE can catalyze sustainable growth in at-risk communities across the city.
Risk Based Inspection System
City of New York, NY
The Risk Based Inspection System gives New York City’s Fire Department the capability to prioritize building inspections based on risk in order to reduce and prevent fires and fire-related hazards in the city. After a successful pilot program, the system was launched citywide in May 2013. In a dense urban environment like New York City, dangerous building conditions put communities and neighborhoods at risk. The sytem has played an important role in identifying at-risk buildings, which has helped to reduce the number of injuries and deaths to the public and first responders caused by fire.
Riverside Resident Connect
City of Riverside, CA
The city designed and launched an integrated set of easy-to-use native mobile applications for citizens and employees to use that have helped transform Riverside into a cost-efficient “intelligent city.” Once-siloed government, business, education, and community organizations are now collaborating daily and implementing a continuous stream of mobile and web solutions.
Service Learning Seattle
Seattle Public Schools, WA
This program is designed to promote and support teacher and student participation in high quality service-learning projects while connecting classroom standards and learning to meeting community needs. By promoting service-learning, students are introduced to concepts of social justice and civic action, investigation of need, and developing skills to meet that need.
Mecklenburg County, NC
Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, celebrated its sestercentennial in 2013. To commemorate 250 years as a county, an interactive awareness campaign was created that spanned the entire year. The celebration included a dedicated website where residents could share their stories and memories about living in Mecklenburg County, a series of videos called the "Mecklenburg Minute" that showcased important events over the past 250 years narrated by prominent citizens in the county, a commemorative coin, a coloring book for local school children, and celebratory events hosted by community partners.
Shared Services Electronics Records Repository
Tompkins County, NY
With its initiative to create a digital records center rather than a traditional physical building, the Shared Services Electronic Records Repository was able to save Tompkins County $5.5 million. The county has implemented a digital archiving records program and is now able to support a hosted solution within the system for use by other local government agencies via a secure Internet connection. Some cost savings and services shared with smaller municipalities include the sharing of the county’s records management and IT knowledge, infrastructure, hardware, software, user support, disaster recovery solution, backup, improved process efficiencies, and a user consortiumfor design and support issues.
Shop, Give, Serve Local
City of Avondale, AZ
Through the unified marketing campaign of “Shop, Give, Serve Local,” residents were encouraged to reinforce local connections with their West Valley communities through shopping local businesses and giving or serving with a local charitable organization, school, church, or team of their choosing. Several West Valley cities declared the month of March “Shop, Give, Serve Local” month through proclamations, and the concept was promoted through news releases, social media, a project website, community events, and a digital billboard along Interstate 10. The initiative gives exposure to locally owned businesses and nonprofit organizations; gives citizens centralized destinations to buy, give, or serve; increases local revenue; and shapes the West Valley as a place to bring business to a supportive local community.
Silicon Valley Talent Partnership
City of San Jose, CA
The Silicon Valley Talent Partnership creates, sources, and manages innovative and meaningful pro-bono partnerships between private-sector volunteers and civic agencies, capitalizing on the unique opportunity to restore local government's capacity to innovate, enhance serve delivery, and ultimately improve the quality of life of residents and communities across Silicon Valley.
Social Services Eligibility Determination Improvement
Baltimore County, MD
The project for streamlining the application and eligibility process for the Department of Social Services significantly improved the way requests are handled by increasing reliability and efficiency. As a result, social services offices are better equipped to meet growing demand and provide better customer service.
Statewide Clinical Outreach Program for the Elderly (S-COPE)
State of New Jersey
The Statewide Clinical Outreach Program for the Elderly (S-COPE) provides crisis intervention and stabilization, consultation, and training for the management of mental health and behavioral issues in older adults (55+) residing in nursing homes and other residential care facilities. It functions as a multidisciplinary team consisting of a geriatric pyschiatrist, geriatric advanced nurse practitioners, a geropsychologist, and master’s level clinicians whose members are also available 24/7 in crisis settings to prevent unnecessary inpatient psychiatric hospitalization.
Steve Hoyle Intensive Substance Abuse Program
State of Louisiana
The Family Recovery Program of the state of Louisiana was developed to meet the need for evidenced-based treatment and support for the families of incarcerated offenders. Family therapy and community-based services support the goals of creating healthy families, developing recovery-based life skills, developing risk prevention for offenders’ children, and reducing recidivism of offenders.
Take the Money; You've Earned It!
City of Lewiston, ME
The Lewiston-Auburn CA$H Coalition has facilitated the return of over $22 million in federal and state tax refunds to individuals since 2004. Lewiston, Maine, leads the multipartner coalition, encouraging self-sustainability for low-to-moderate income residents, advocating the Earned Income Tax Credit, providing free tax preparation by IRS certified volunteers, and providing asset-building coaches.
TANF Child Welfare Screening
Garrett County, MD
In Garrett County, Maryland, 48 percent of the active TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) caseload had a history of child abuse or neglect. To address this issue, the county developed an easy-to-use screening tool for all TANF applicants, offering high-risk cases Family Preservation and other services, lowering the percentage of abuse and neglect to 23 percent.
Town Private Well Testing Program
Rock County, WI
The Rock County Health Department developed a strategy to take a well-water testing program directly to the rural community. Creating a more convenient and less expensive well-testing program has increased well-testing participation significantly and focused the county’s efforts to assist well owners with potential public health issues.
Transit Village Initiative
City of Palmdale, CA
The Transit Village Initiative, implemented in January 2013, seeks to revitalize an aging neighborhood challenged by crime and safety concerns, low socioeconomic demographics, and the absence of consistent resident investment. The collaborative connects traditional resources with engagement opportunities to promote a sustainable neighborhood model.
Treasury University (TreasuryU)
State of Michigan
Employees of all state of Michigan agencies are pursuing degrees as a result of what began as a public-private partnership of the Michigan Department of Treasury and Davenport University. TreasuryU (now known as the “State of Michigan Partnership”) offers steep tuition discounts, a customized curriculum, and brings classrooms directly to employees to develop an engaged and highly educated cadre of civil servants in Michigan.
Tribal Best Practices
State of Oregon
The Addictions and Mental Health Division Tribal Liaison within the Oregon Health Authority, the Oregon federal recognized tribes, and tribal programs created Tribal Best Practices. TBP is an effort that documents cultural and traditional Native American teachings that are effective in prevention and treatment in the behavioral health field, substituting these practices for state-mandated evidence-based practices that were not tested on Native populations, particularly those living on tribal reservations, and thus were not the most effective tools in meeting the unique needs of this population.
Veterans' Photo Identification Discount Program
Montgomery County, PA
This program encourages veterans to record their DD 214 discharge papers, improving the public record and helping them to get discounts and incentives from county businesses that want to show the veterans their appreciation.
West Coast Infrastructure Exchange
The West Coast Infrastructure Exchange (WCX) is the first multistate collaboration (between California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia) to accelerate infrastructure development. WCX is cultivating innovative new methods to engage private investment and facilitate development of the public infrastructure needed to improve the region’s economic competitiveness and climate resilience. WCX has emerged as a national model for innovative regional solutions to infrastructure challenges.
Wrong Way Driver Alert System
Wisconsin Department of Transportation and Milwaukee County Sheriff, WI
The purpose of the Wrong Way Driver Alert System is to gather data on the wrong-way driving issue in Wisconsin. This data is being used to assist law enforcement with providing a more timely response and assisting engineers with targeting location hotspots and measuring the effectiveness of mitigation treatments.
Year-Round Chicago City Vehicle Sticker Sales
City of Chicago, IL
Year-Round Chicago City Vehicle Sticker Sales shifted more than one million motorists from an inefficient six-week seasonal sales system to a program where residents renew their vehicle stickers throughout the year. The result is a modernized and streamlined system that generates $120 million annually for the city.
Youth Ecology Corps
Sonoma County, CA
Launched with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act support in 2009, the Sonoma County Youth Ecology Corps has created over 1,300 jobs for disadvantaged youth while addressing critical environmental issues. The initiative has been sustained by an unusual alliance of government and local nonprofit organizations and has been replicated in five west coast communities.
Youth Technology Program
City of Santa Monica, CA
Youth Tech is a partnership of the city, school district, and local technology companies that is conducted at local startup incubators in Santa Monica and that provides a six-week technology training program to recent high school graduates and select juniors. Students form teams, develop a project that has a community focus, and are trained by Information Systems Department staff and representatives from local technology firms.