Bloomberg Philanthropies’ James Anderson Pens Op-Ed in The Guardian Touting Impact and Spread of Cities of Service
March 3, 2014
Citizens are a great asset and can be an incredible source of creativity and enthusiasm when it comes to solving community problems. However, city governments haven’t traditionally had a good way to harness the power of volunteers. Until now.
Over the past few years, Bloomberg Philanthropies has worked with cities across the United States to launch, refine, and spread Cities of Service — a model that helps local governments match up citizens who want to volunteer with their cities’ most urgent needs.
February 13, 2014
Urban blight is a problem as old as cities themselves – but in the wake of the foreclosure crisis, it has become a national epidemic. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that there are more than 10 million vacant housing units across the country, which negatively affects communities nationwide. Empty structures create a sense of insecurity. Abandoned properties can become havens for drugs, violent crime and prostitution. All of which depress property values and make neighborhood stabilization difficult. Nevertheless, Flint is fighting blight through volunteerism, and the results to-date demonstrate that citizen service can be a uniquely effective tool in making positive and lasting change.
January 30, 2014
After an extensive national search, Myung J. Lee has been selected to serve as the new Executive Director of Cities of Service – an independent, 501(c)(3) nonprofit. The organization will spin out of Bloomberg Philanthropies, which incubated the organization since 2010. This spin out is driven by cities’ success with the organization’s model over the last four years and the subsequent increase in demand for its services from mayors and cities across the United States and the globe. To support this spin out and program expansion, Bloomberg Philanthropies is providing Cities of Service with a $4.6 million grant to help cover operational expenses for the next three years.