About Cities of Service

Founded in New York City on September 10, 2009 by 17 mayors from across the nation, the bipartisan Cities of Service coalition and its member cities are responding to the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act’s historic call to action by finding new and innovative ways to harness the power of volunteers. The coalition builds on the work of New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who created the nation’s first high-impact service plan in April 2009 and appointed the nation’s first municipal Chief Service Officer.

As part of Cities of Service, mayors from across the nation have committed to work together to engage citizens in addressing critical city needs through impact volunteering. The coalition aims to create a vibrant and growing network of municipal governments effectively leveraging citizen service as a reliable, viable tool to achieve measurable impact on pressing local challenges. By accelerating the service movement at the most local level—connecting local needs to the supply of willing volunteers in innovative and impactful new ways—Cities of Service aspires to create a new chapter in America’s longstanding history of service while making local government more effective.

Today, the Cities of Service coalition includes over 100 mayors, representing nearly 50 million Americans. Like the founding mayors, each coalition member has made a commitment to work with other mayors around the country and advance service strategies in their own city by crafting a high-impact service plan.

Cities of Service Approach

Cities of Service efforts focus on “impact volunteering”—volunteer strategies that target community needs, use best practices, and set clear outcomes and measures to gauge progress.

Cities of Service is leading a multi-year effort to engage mayors across the country by:

  • Developing a comprehensive service plan and a coordinated strategy focused on matching volunteers and established community partners to the areas of greatest local need.
  • Working with other mayors and elected officials to advance strategies and best practices that accelerate the service movement and produce measurable results.
  • Encouraging other mayors to join this national effort to engage our citizens.
  • Ensuring that the voice of cities is heard in federal legislative, policy, and program discussions related to service, which will help the country achieve the ambitious goals of the Serve America Act.

Founding Mayors

Mayor Shirley Franklin – Atlanta, GA
Mayor Sheila Dixon – Baltimore, MD
Mayor Richard Daley – Chicago, IL
Mayor Marilee Chinnici-Zuercher – Dublin, OH
Mayor John Peyton – Jacksonville, FL
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa – Los Angeles, CA
Mayor Karl Dean – Nashville and Davidson County, TN
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg – New York, NY
Mayor Cory Booker – Newark, NJ
Mayor Phil Gordon – Phoenix, AZ
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl – Pittsburgh, PA
Mayor David N. Cicilline – Providence, RI
Mayor Kevin Johnson – Sacramento, CA
Mayor Douglas H. Palmer – Trenton, NJ
Mayor Paul E. Winfield – Vicksburg, MS
Mayor Adrian Fenty – Washington, DC
Mayor Lois J. Frankel – West Palm Beach, FL