Founded in New York City on September 10, 2009 by 17 mayors from cities around the nation, Cities of Service is a bipartisan coalition of mayors who have committed to work together to engage citizens in a multi-year effort to address pressing city needs through impact volunteerism. The coalition has rapidly grown since its inception and now includes more than 100 mayors, representing more than 49 million Americans across the nation.
American cities face serious challenges, and many mayors want to take advantage of every resource available to them – including the time and energy of public spirited residents — to address those challenges. But in cities across America today, citizen service is often an underutilized or inefficiently utilized strategy by municipal governments. Cities of Service supports mayors to leverage citizen service strategies, addressing local needs and making government more effective.
All Cities of Service efforts are characterized by a concept called “impact volunteering” – volunteer strategies that target community needs, use best practices, and set clear outcomes and measures to gauge progress.
In June 2010, the City of Baton Rouge was one of ten cities to receive a Cities of Service Leadership Grant. Funded jointly by Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Rockefeller Foundation, the two year grants enable cities to hire Chief Service Officers responsible for developing and implementing high-impact service plans.
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