Lafayette, LA has been named one of the 20 finalists for this year’s Bloomberg Philanthropies Mayors Challenge. “The challenge is all about identifying a need, solving a problem, and sharing local knowledge so that other cities and citizens can benefit from the insight and actions of their peers.” Lafayette could win up to $5M to fund their innovative solution to fixing problems in the city.
The Mayors Challenge was looking for cities with ideas that address serious social or economic problems, improve customer service for residents or businesses, enhance accountability to engagement with the public, or create efficiencies that make government work better, faster, and cheaper. Luckily, Lafayette’s, “Level Up, Lafayette!” fits the criteria.
Level Up, Lafayette! bridges the “engagement gap” by encouraging residents to play community enrichment games in which winning outcomes translate into tangible improvements for residents of Lafayette.
In an official statement, the Mayors Challenge said, “The application demonstrated a clear understanding of the power of local government to move our country forward. The level playing field the challenge offers, combined with the opportunity to learn and benefit from the great ideas of other cities, made this an opportunity we wanted to embrace.”
Lafayette joins the 19 other cities across the country. The cities are: Boston, MA, Chicago, IL, Cincinnati, OH, Durham, NC, High Point, NC, Hillsboro, OR, Houston, TX, Indianapolis, IN, Knoxville, TN, Lexington, KY, Milwaukee, WI, Philadelphia, PA, Phoenix, AZ, Providence, RI, Saint Paul, MN, San Francisco, CA, Santa Monica, CA, Springfield, OR, and Syracuse, NY.
Lafayette, along with Mayor Lester Joseph “Joey” Durel, Jr., also known as “L.J.,” has a chance for a large prize. There is a total of $9M up for grabs. Five winners will be selected from the 20 finalists cities that beat out over 275 other cities nationwide. The grand prize winner will get $5M, and the four runner up cities will each receive $1M.