Santa Monica Lookout
Santa Monica Wins $1 Million Bloomberg Prize
By Lookout Staff
March 13, 2013 -- Santa Monica is one of five cities named as winners in New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Mayors Contest, according to the New York Times.
Santa Monica, along with Houston, Chicago and Philadelphia will receive $1 million prizes from Bloomberg Philanthropies to kickstart projects within each city. Providence, Rhode Island came out ahead of the pack, receiving a $5 million prize for an early literacy program.
“Bloomberg Philanthropies is inspired by the opportunity to find and spread innovative local solutions to national problems,” the Mayors Challenge website reads.
Santa Monica was one of more than 300 cities with more than 30,000 people which submitted ideas last summer to compete for money from Bloomberg's organization to help fund the City's Wellbeing Project.
Santa Monica hopes to compile an index that will measure residents' well-being through socio-economic status, education, relationships and other factors.
“Specifically, how can cities use limited resources more effectively to create conditions needed for people to thrive?” Santa Monica asked, as part of its proposal.
“It's a big idea. We will use the science behind wellbeing to measure and intentionally improve it in our city,” wrote Mayor Pam O'Connor in a February 20 article in the Huffington Post.
“By looking through the lens of wellbeing, the City will know whether or not we're making the most effective use of resources to meet people's needs. This will fundamentally change the relationship between citizen and government,” she wrote.
Houston's prize will go to a new recycling program, according to the New York Times. Chicago will build a data system to help track crime trends around the city.
Philidelphia will work on lowering costs to the city for goods and services.
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