In recent years, as Washington has sunk further into a swamp of dysfunction, local leaders are rising to meet many of the toughest challenges facing the country -- from economic growth and environmental protection to public safety and poverty. Cities have become the new laboratories of democracy, and there are promising policy experiments happening all across the country. Solutions to many of our most pressing challenges will need to be pioneered in cities -- and, based on what is already happening, we have great faith and optimism that they will. Today, on behalf of The Huffington Post and Bloomberg Philanthropies, we are excited to launch a new platform that celebrates the boldness and creativity of mayors and cities across the country. Here you can weigh in and help choose the Mayors Challenge Fan Favorite -- the civic innovation that Americans most want to see succeed.
CitizenLex helps cities turn citizen energy into action through a set of tools that catalyze innovative community projects.
Syracuse will establish an identity as an international city by designing the blueprint by which to harness the talents and energies of New Americans, showcase diversity, and transform distressed neighborhoods.
Santa Monica will become the first city in the nation to measure and actively improve what really matters to every person in our community: wellbeing.
Permit Saint Paul will spur investment in our city by enabling developers, entrepreneurs, and residents to secure their licenses and permits through a user-friendly, web-based consumer portal.
I was moved to see Cynthia Dias, a formerly homeless veteran from Las Vegas, sitting in First Lady Michelle Obama visitors' box during tonight's State of the Union Address.
It's clear that ending veteran homelessness is possible with ideas and outlooks like this and the hope is that mayors all over the country will take heed and join in some good old fashioned mayoral competition lest they would be outrun by their neighbors.
Mayors around the world are coming up with new ways to tackle difficult challenges because mayors understand the needs of their communities -- and they are responsible for delivering results.
Just as city forefathers took purposeful steps to connect Milwaukee's first settlements, protect our lakefront, and build world-leading manufacturing companies, so too must our current generation take ownership of our challenges and future.
It's up to others, outside of Silicon Valley, well beyond the tech sector, to embrace an innovation agenda if we are truly to build a new economy -- and new future -- that will endure for generations. Thankfully, this is already happening in places that have historically been at the forefront of innovation: America's cities.
Skillville matches job seekers with professional development opportunities through microvolunteering on city projects. The result: government capacity increases and job seekers develop skills that equip them for employment.
One Bin for All is a revolutionary idea for residents to discard all materials in one bin, treating "trash" as valuable assets and dramatically increasing recycling using game changing technologies.