Blog

Mayors offer leadership and clarity when it comes to COVID-19 and social distancing

By James Anderson, Bloomberg Philanthropies Government Innovation program lead

When President Trump hit “send” on a trio of tweets that encouraged Americans to “LIBERATE” themselves from strict social-distancing measures, he did more than spark what could become a firestorm. He also put the country’s mayors—hundreds of whom have taken decisive action to institute those orders in order to protect their residents—in a wholly unfamiliar situation: Caught between the best advice of public-health experts and the biggest bully pulpit in the world.

Follow the Data Podcast: The Intersection of COVID-19 and Transportation

In this episode of our series highlighting Bloomberg Philanthropies’ COVID-19 response, Janette Sadik-Khan, a Principal at Bloomberg Associates and Chair of NACTO, sat down with Corinne Kisner, Executive Director of NACTO, and Mark de la Vergne, the Chief of Mobility Innovation for the City of Detroit.

They discuss how cities are continuing to run transit systems while keeping their own staffs safe, creative actions city transportation officials are taking in response to the pandemic, and how cities can provide safer, healthier transportation options for people going forward.

Earth Day 2020: COVID-19, Climate and Collective Action

On the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the continued climate ambition of cities, states, businesses and other non-federal organizations gives us reason to be hopeful. Non-federal climate action has led to tangible progress against the climate crisis — including groundbreaking expansion of renewable energy, millions of square miles of protected ocean and the retirement of more than half of the coal-fired power plants in America.

Tonight: Tune in to “One World: Together at Home”

As we all shelter-in-place and take precautions to combat the spread of COVID-19, many of us have wanted to do even more to help including by supporting health workers who are bravely on the frontlines in our hospitals, homes, and living facilities. Whether clapping at a shift change or donating vital gear like ventilators, masks and gowns, Americans and American businesses have come together – from home and online – to support our health workers.

Follow the Data Podcast: Behind the Scenes of the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Tracking Map

This episode of our series on coronavirus response efforts borrows an episode from “Public Health on Call” – a new podcast brought to you by Dr. Josh Sharfstein, Vice Dean for Public Health Practice and Community Engagement at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and a frequent guest of Follow the Data.

Tribeca Film Festival: Together, Apart

By Katherine Oliver, Principal at Bloomberg Associates

With New York City at the epicenter of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Tribeca Film Festival, like so many other cultural organizations, has decided to cancel all live events. As we may recall, the Tribeca Film Festival grew out of the hardship of 9/11 and brought new life to a city that was reeling from an unimaginable terror. In the nearly two decades since its founding, the festival has become a symbol of resilience and rebirth, an economic driver helping small businesses and reaffirming the creative spirit that makes New York, well, New York.

Follow the Data Podcast: Responding to a Pandemic Crisis

This episode discusses how COVID-19 is different from other recent outbreaks, the four phases of crisis response for public health disasters, and how the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is tackling the coronavirus from every angle.

The Show Must Go On – Light Up Your Living Room with These Virtual Performances

Experience the drama and artistry of theater and dance right from your living room with these digital performances and workshops.

Explore the Outdoors While Indoors This Weekend

While facing unprecedented closures, museums and public gardens across the country are meeting challenges head-on by bringing the natural world straight to you. Digital visitors can get up close with spring foliage, watch animals and natural landscapes in real time, and traverse lands where dinosaurs roamed billions of years ago.

Follow the Data Podcast: How to Help Nonprofits Hit Hard By COVID-19

As part of our ongoing series looking at how cities, nonprofits, and low- and middle-incomes countries are fighting the coronavirus, this episode dives deeper into the NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund, an initiative which brings together individuals, businesses, and philanthropic organizations, including Bloomberg Philanthropies, to support New York City-based social services and cultural organizations that have been affected by the coronavirus crisis.

Testing is just the start when it comes to ending Covid-19, doc says

As mayors manage the scarcity of Covid-19 tests in their cities, they also need to “play one chess move ahead” to make sure their communities are using testing to produce maximum impact.

Covid-19 and transportation: 5 things cities can do right now

A new resource to track all this fast-paced action launched earlier this week. A partnership between Bloomberg Philanthropies and the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), the Transportation Resource Center is designed to help city leaders stay on top of all the transportation innovations bubbling out of cities and, most importantly, help them spread quickly.

Five Ways to Travel the World Virtually This Weekend

Take a virtual trip around the world with these digital resources and opportunities from five cultural institutions supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Follow the Data Podcast: “World War C” – Us Against the Microbe

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we live, the way we work, and the way we view the world. The virus has rapidly spread through communities worldwide, with devastating impact on people’s health, our economy, and our society. However, there are things we can do today to help slow or prevent the virus from spreading. And it starts with listening to our public health experts.

5 ways cities are tackling one of their toughest Covid challenges: Homelessness

How do you comply with a “stay at home” order if you don’t have a home?

That’s a question a growing number of city leaders are grappling with as they ramp up responses to the Covid-19 crisis. And many mayors are taking action with breakneck speed, turning hotels and city-owned buildings into temporary homeless shelters.

Five Ways to Explore Culture This Weekend with Podcasts, Online Courses, Livestream, and Music

Social distancing is impacting the way that we live and work. While most arts and cultural institutions have closed their physical doors for the time being, many are finding creative ways to bring people together virtually through digital cultural experiences. From museums embracing the hashtag #MuseumFromHome on social media to share digital gallery tours, to theater and dance companies offering performances and classes via online streaming platforms, cultural institutions are finding new ways to adapt and bring audiences entertainment and inspiration from the comfort of their homes.

Follow the Data Podcast: Buying A Car – A Road Safety Mission

Over 90% of the 1.35 million people killed in road traffic injuries every year are in low- and middle- income countries. Road traffic crashes are the eighth leading cause of death and are the leading killer of people ages 5 and 29.

Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety concentrates investments to make the greatest impact in countries where manufacturers send cars without basic safety features, including seat belts, airbags or ABS breaking.

Becky Bavinger of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Health team and Jessica Truong, Vice President of Programs and Asia Pacific Coordinator for the Global New Car Assessment Program (Global NCAP) spoke about the need for improved road safety and vehicle safety.

Flipping the Script From Obligation to Opportunity: The American Talent Initiative’s Inaugural Veterans Community of Practice Convening

United States military veterans are underrepresented at high-graduation rate colleges and universities, with only one in ten veterans attending institutions that graduate at least 70 percent of their students. Our American Talent Initiative program’s Veterans Community of Practice is focused on increasing access and success for student veterans. 

National First-Generation College Student Day: Reaching Students Through CollegePoint

When Josiah Gouker was in high school, the college admissions process seemed like a murky obstacle course. Our CollegePoint program, which provides virtual advising for high-achieving, low- and moderate-income students, gave him resources and access to a vault of college knowledge that his more affluent classmates had. 

Healing After Tragedy

An Interview with Art Therapist Raquel Farrell-Kirk about Parkland and Coral Spring’s Public Art Challenge Project, “Inspiring Community Healing After Gun Violence: The Power of Art”

Follow the Data Podcast: Facilitating Learning: A Bloomberg-Harvard Education

The skills needed to be a mayor are many, and few have the time to pause and learn something new.

The Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative was developed in response to the need for leadership and management training specifically tailored to city leaders. Bloomberg Philanthropies and Harvard University are uniquely qualified to develop such a program, combining resources to facilitate learning for city leaders currently holding office.

Josh Skolnick of the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Government Innovation team spoke to the program’s director and faculty co-chair for executive education, Jorrit de Jong. Jorrit is also a Senior Lecturer at Harvard’s Kennedy School; he and Josh discuss the program’s nearly 99% recommendation rate, the use of data, experimentation and innovation and cross-sector collaboration.

Congratulations to CDC on 20 years of global tobacco surveillance

By Dr. Jennifer Ellis, Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Health team

This week we celebrate an important milestone in global tobacco control: the 20th anniversary of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s Global Tobacco Surveillance System. Bloomberg Philanthropies has been proud to partner with CDC on the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use through CDC Foundation since 2007, when we first launched the initiative. Tobacco kills eight million people a year worldwide, with most of those deaths in low- and middle-income countries. CDC supports countries in monitoring this deadly epidemic by increasing countries’ technical and data collection capacities.  As a result, countries can monitor not only their tobacco use, but also other key health outcomes (like exposure to tobacco smoke and tobacco advertising) that demonstrate where more progress is needed.

How Data Transparency Can Help Protect Our Oceans

By Patti Harris, CEO of Bloomberg Philanthropies 

Six years ago, I attended a meeting in New York City, hosted by then-United States Secretary of State John Kerry. Its goal was to organize a global summit dedicated to saving our ocean from the devastating effects of over-fishing, pollution, and climate change.  That meeting led to the first Our Ocean conference, which took place a few months later in Washington, D.C.

This week, I traveled to Oslo to attend the 6th annual convening of Our Ocean, and after spending time with so many like-minded partners and leaders from across sectors and around the world, I’m more optimistic than ever about what’s possible for the global movement to protect the ocean.

Strengthening U.S. Cities with Management Training for Small and Midsized Cultural Organizations

Q&A with Ethan Joseph, Bloomberg Philanthropies Arts Team Member

Small and midsized cultural organizations are essential to the vibrancy of U.S. cities, but there are very few training programs specifically for the leaders of these institutions, which range from museums and community arts centers, to ensembles and interdisciplinary festivals. These institutions provide access to diverse and enriching cultural experiences, arts-related social services, and support for creatives to develop skills and innovate.  They also face unique management challenges – and opportunities.

Follow the Data Podcast: Protect Kids: Fight Flavored E-Cigarettes

On September 10th, 2019, Bloomberg Philanthropies announced the creation of a new $160 million initiative to end the youth e-cigarette epidemic. The three-year program, called Protect Kids, is led by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, which will partner with other leading organizations including parent and community groups concerned about the nation’s kids and health.

Dr. Kelly Henning, Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Public Health program lead, spoke to Matt Myers, President of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, about the initiative, including the need to hold the federal government accountable for it’s stated intentions to ban flavored e-cigarettes.

Global Health Checkup: A New Era for Tobacco Control in Mexico

By Dr. Kelly Henning, Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Health program lead

In 2008, Mexico City became the largest city in the world to adopt a 100% smoke-free law, setting a tremendous global precedent for tobacco control policies. In 2011, with support from our partners, the federal government increased tobacco taxes to further protect the city’s most vulnerable communities.

However, progress since then has slowed down, in part, because of political barriers.  Over 51,000 people die each year in Mexico from tobacco related illnesses. Approximately 15 million adults still smoke tobacco, including 27% of men. Nearly 700,000 adolescents (age 12-17) smoke as well, comprising 5% of the smoking population.

Follow the Data Podcast: Census Series — The Bureau

Follow the Data’s Census Series has covered the “Who, What, When, Where, Why” and featured a case study on how one city, Detroit, Michigan, is preparing for the 2020 census.

In the final episode of the series we learn more about the federal agency that manages the decennial census, among other things. Terri Ann Lowenthal, former staff director for the House of Representatives Census Oversight Subcommittee, speaks to Bloomberg Associates’ Municipal Integrity Principal, Rose Gill Hearn, about how the Census Bureau has evolved to prepare for the first “digital count,” about the agency’s commitment to confidentiality and the efforts made to achieve full census participation.

Follow the Data Podcast: The 9/11 Memorial Glade: A Tribute to Strength

In the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, support flooded in from across the country to drive the recovery effort in New York, and beyond. Since then, hundreds of thousands of first responders, recovery workers, and community members have gotten sick and many have passed away from exposure to toxins at the recovery site.

18 years after the attacks, communities are still feeling the effects. To recognize the sacrifice, loss and continuing effort of those who responded to rebuild the community, the 9/11 Memorial and Museum created a physical space on the memorial site, called the Memorial Glade.

On the heels of the 18th anniversary of 9/11, we feature a conversation between Anita Contini of the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Arts program and Alice Greenwald, National September 11th Memorial and Museum President and CEO. They discuss how the Glade came to be, it’s thoughtful design, and how the space will tell its story for years to come.

Follow the Data Podcast: My Brother’s Keeper: Impact in Houston, Texas

In today’s episode, we revisit a conversation about tackling persistent problems facing boys and young men of color.

Bloomberg Associates – the international, philanthropic consulting arm of Bloomberg Philanthropies tailored for city government—works with the city of Houston, Texas on My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) initiatives. MBK aims to address opportunity gaps for boys and young men of color, offering new support from cradle to career through young adulthood.

Last fall, Niiobli Armah IV of Bloomberg Associates’ Social Services team spoke to both the Mayor of Houston, Sylvester Turner and Asa Singleton, an MBK program participant. The Mayor discussed inter-departmental collaboration, his personal experience with the MBK program, and long-term impact. Asa describes how he got involved with MBK, advice for others, and the opportunities he hopes to explore in the future.

Explainer: What is prototyping?

Whether it’s the car you drive or the smartphone in your pocket, most of the products and services you use today went through many rounds of prototyping, testing, and iterative development before they made it to market.

And while that’s not always been true for the things local governments produce, that’s beginning to change.