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Bloomberg Philanthropies and the National League of Cities Launch New Coronavirus Local Action Tracker

Newest Offering in Local Response Initiative to Help Mayors and City Leaders Improve their Coronavirus Response will Record Actions Local Leaders are Taking

NEW YORK — As part of its ongoing work to help in the global fight against coronavirus, Bloomberg Philanthropies, in partnership with the National League of Cities, today launched a new initiative that collects and shares actions taken by local U.S. leaders in response to the pandemic. The COVID-19: Local Action Tracker will feature a sortable grid detailing the policy decisions and bold actions that city leaders are making to contain the spread of coronavirus and respond to community impact. The tracker aims to document the rapidly expanding ways in which cities are responding to the crisis, enable cities to understand what their peers are doing, and feature timely analyses. The tracker will be hosted on the National League of Cities’ website and make all verified data accessible to the public.

“Mayors across the country are on the frontlines leading the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and every day they discover yet another aspect of city life is affected by this crisis. As city leaders’ responses to the crisis evolve, we want to provide them with tools, data, and resources needed to make informed decisions,” said James Anderson, the head of Government Innovation at Bloomberg Philanthropies. “This tool will allow local leaders to learn promising practices from their peers, share ideas, and work together during one of the most challenging times in this nation’s history.”

To support Bloomberg Philanthropies and the National League of Cities efforts to develop a comprehensive accounting and analysis of local action in response to the pandemic, city leaders can submit their actions to be included on the tracker, which will be updated daily to reflect the rapid developments of the crisis. Actions such as testing protocols, curfews, donation drives and food programs will be highlighted to give city leaders across the country an opportunity to gain insight into emerging practices and what is working in cities.

“This collaboration between Bloomberg Philanthropies and the National League of Cities will help local leaders monitor and track the actions taken to confront this unprecedented challenge,” said Clarence Anthony, CEO and Executive Director of National League of Cities. “With this essential data on hand, local officials will have greater resources to rely upon when making the difficult decisions that will shape the response of their cities, towns and villages to this crisis.”

The tracker currently contains 365 actions from 151 cities in 43 states and the District of Columbia. The majority of the actions, 188 actions or 52 percent, were designed to flatten the curve by preventing the spread of the coronavirus through actions such as cancelling events and restricting public gatherings.

The COVID-19: Local Action Tracker is the latest in a series of coronavirus response programs launched by Bloomberg Philanthropies. Earlier this month at the National League of Cities’ Congressional City Conference, Michael R. Bloomberg announced the Coronavirus Local Response Initiative that will provide cities with virtual technical assistance, coaching, and accurate information urgently needed by the local leaders on the frontlines of the public health crisis. Last week, Bloomberg addressed more than 400 city leaders during the first virtual convening of the program, which also featured experts from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative.

In addition, last week Bloomberg Philanthropies announced a new $40 million global initiative to support immediate action to prevent or slow the spread of coronavirus in vulnerable low- and middle-income countries, particularly Africa. Bloomberg Philanthropies is partnering with the global health organization Vital Strategies on global response efforts, along with the World Health Organization (WHO), to support lower income countries and cities respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bloomberg Philanthropies also joined with 17 other philanthropic funders to launch the NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund to support New York City-based small and mid-size social services and arts and cultural nonprofit organizations that have been affected by the current coronavirus crisis. The new $75 million fund will provide grants and interest-free loans to help these organizations respond to emerging needs, cover losses associated with the disruption of their operations, and help them continue their critical work.

Michael Bloomberg is building on his experience as a crisis manager who has prioritized public health throughout his tenure as mayor of New York City and in his global philanthropic efforts. As mayor, he implemented ambitious public health programs, increasing New Yorkers’ life expectancy by three years – 2.2 years longer than the national average over that time span. In 2006, he unveiled a Pandemic Influenza Plan, which included disease monitoring, building laboratory capacity, delivering vaccines and medicines, and preparing hospitals, mental health providers and city communications for a disease outbreak. He led the city through the constant threat of bioterrorism attacks, the swine flu outbreak in 2009, and the West Nile virus in 2012. While Mike was mayor, the city’s syndromic surveillance system monitored 60,000 health events every day, from ER visits to foodborne illnesses to potential terrorist attacks.

As a philanthropist, Mike’s investments in public health total $2.5 billion. In 2016, Mike and Johns Hopkins University launched the Bloomberg American Health Initiative to tackle declining life expectancy in the U.S., in 2017, he started the Partnership for Healthy Cities, a global network of cities committed to confronting noncommunicable diseases and injuries, and in 2018 became the WHO Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases.

Now, by providing cities the tools to understand, respond and manage a dynamic public health crisis, they will be better prepared to slow the spread of coronavirus in the United States and protect their residents.

About Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in more than 570 cities and over 160 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: the Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s giving, including his foundation and personal philanthropy as well as Bloomberg Associates, a pro bono consultancy that works in cities around the world. In 2019, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $3.3 billion. For more information, please visit or follow us on FacebookInstagramYouTube and Twitter.

About National League of Cities
The National League of Cities (NLC) is the voice of America’s cities, towns and villages, representing more than 200 million people. NLC works to strengthen local leadership, influence federal policy and drive innovative solutions. Stay connected with NLC on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Instagram.

Courtney Greenwald / 917-613-3708