Friday, February 7, 2020

Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative

Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative, in 2019, announces Third Class of Mayors to Go Back to School.

This Yearlong Program provides 41 Mayors from around the Globe with World-Class Executive Training to help Deliver Results for their Residents.

The Forty-One Mayors start by joining Harvard Faculty and Renowned Management Experts in New York City for a 3-day, Immersive Classroom Experience to Kick-Off the Program.

The Third Class of Mayors continues the Program’s Reflection of Global Trends toward more Diverse City Leadership:

Nearly half (18) of the 2019 Class are Women with Three serving as their City’s First Female Mayor.

- 39% (16) of the Mayors are in their First year of Office.

- Of the U.S. Mayors, more than One Third (12) are African American or Hispanic.

- Nearly Half (20) of Mayors in the Class have Experience in the Private Sector, with 99% (37) bringing some State, Regional, or County Government Experience to the Role.

The Initiative is a Collaboration between Bloomberg Philanthropies, Harvard Kennedy School, and Harvard Business School, that aims to provide an intensive Learning experience for Mayors and their Senior Leaders to equip them with the Tools and Expertise to effectively Lead Complex Cities.

Harvard Faculty, Staff, and Students, alongside Experts from Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Global Network, work with Mayors and Senior Officials over the Course of One year in the Classroom, Online, and in the Field, to foster Professional Growth and Advance their Capabilities to drive Innovation and Deliver Results for Residents.

“Cities are leading the way on most of the big issues we face, from fighting climate change, to protecting public health, to creating new jobs and giving people new skills,” said Bloomberg, Founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies, and Three-Term Mayor of New York City. “The more we do to support mayors, the faster progress can happen – and that’s what this program is all about. This year’s group brings a wide range of perspectives on shared challenges, and we’re looking forward to seeing the results.”

The Third Class of Mayors to Participate in the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative are: Mohammed Adjei Sowah (Accra, Ghana), Sandy Verschoor (Adelaide, Australia), Kelly Girtz (Athens, GA), Hardie Davis (Augusta, GA), Richard Irvin (Aurora, IL), Steve Adler (Austin, TX), Matúš Vallo (Bratislava, Slovakia), Byron Brown (Buffalo, NY), Lori Lightfoot (Chicago, IL), Mary Salas (Chula Vista, CA), Scott Brook (Coral Springs, FL), Eric Johnson (Dallas, TX), Nan Whaley (Dayton, OH), Jenn Daniels (Gilbert, AZ), Eckart Würzner (Heidelberg, Germany), Steve Williams (Huntington, WV), Danene Sorace (Lancaster, PA), Leirion Gaylor Baird (Lincoln, NE), Satya Rhodes-Conway (Madison, WI), Jacob Frey (Minneapolis, MN), Bonnie Crombie (Mississauga, Ontario), Yxstian Gutierrez (Moreno Valley, CA), LaToya Cantrell (New Orleans, LA), Ras Baraka (Newark, NJ), Nuatali Nelmes (Newcastle, Australia), David Holt (Oklahoma City, OK), Kate Gallego (Phoenix, AZ), Nicholas Gradisar (Pueblo, CO), Claudio Castro (Renca, Chile), Hillary Schieve (Reno, NV), Kim Norton (Rochester, MN), Lovely Warren (Rochester, NY), London Breed (San Francisco, CA), Miguel Trevino (San Pedro, Mexico), Adrian Perkins (Shreveport, LA), Rick Kriseman (St. Petersburg, FL), Anna König Jerlmyr (Stockholm, Sweden), Jane Castor (Tampa, FL), Reed Gusciora (Trenton, NJ), Rafał Trzaskowski (Warsaw, Poland), and Brian Bowman (Winnipeg, Manitoba).

“The Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative provides an opportunity for mayors and their teams to share best practices with one another in a setting that encourages the free exchange of ideas and the thoughtful application of knowledge,” said Harvard President Larry Bacow. “We are delighted to create a nutrient rich environment in which those who shape the future of cities across the country and around the world have an opportunity to leverage the considerable intellectual capital of our faculty.”

As part of the Program, each Mayor receives a Grant, Up to $1 Million, to help Start of Complete a City Project.

Mayor's like Cory Booker and Pete Buttigieg, took the course.

Now in 2020, many of those Mayors are supporting Bloomberg, and in some instances acting as Leaders in the Campaign.

Mayor Michael Tubbs of Stockton, California, seemed like an improbable Political Duo as they heaped Praise on each other. Tubbs, a 29-year-old Liberal who is Stockton’s First Black Mayor, hailed Bloomberg as a Leader “with the resources, with the record and with the relationships” to Defeat President Trump in 2020.

Tubbs had reason to feel Kinship with Bloomberg, he Graduated from a Mayoral Training Program that Bloomberg Sponsors at Harvard University. Tubbs had attended a Conference Co-Sponsored by Bloomberg’s Philanthropic Foundation in Paris in 2017, and was Featured in its 2018 Annual Report. And this past June, Bloomberg’s Foundation donated $500,000 to an Education Reform Group based in Stockton, a Struggling Inland City in Northern California.

The Stockton Mayor said he had urged Bloomberg to Support Voter-Registration and Voting-Rights Groups, including Fair Fight, the National Organization led by Stacey Abrams. Abrams’s Aides were also Appealing to Bloomberg. He has Committed to Donating $5 Million to Fair Fight, according to an Abrams Adviser.

He has been Endorsed by other Mayors, from Larger Cities like San Jose, California, and Louisville, Kentucky, and Smaller ones like Gary, Indiana, representing a Total of more than 2.6 Million Americans.

For All of those Endorsers, Bloomberg has been an Important Benefactor. All have Attended his Prestigious Boot Camp at Harvard that gives the Mayors Access to Ongoing Strategic Advice from Bloomberg-Funded Experts. More than Half have Received Funding in the form of Grants and Other Support Packages from Bloomberg worth a Total of nearly $10 Million, according to a Review of Tax Documents and Interviews with All Eight Mayors.

The Money he has given to Cities underscores the Extraordinary Nature of Bloomberg’s Candidacy. More than any Presidential Candidate in recent History, Bloomberg has established himself, through Philanthropic Giving, Political Endorsements, and Campaign Spending, as a Singular Ally for a Large Cross-Section of American Politicians, many of whom feel a Deep Sense of Loyalty in return. And there is No Group to whom he is more Tightly Bonded with than his Fellow Mayors.

Mayor Steve Benjamin of Columbia, South Carolina, a Co-Chairman of the Bloomberg Campaign, said Bloomberg’s Philanthropy had Earned him Trust and consideration from Mayors. “It’s given him a great, great deal of credibility with people who, but for his philanthropy or altruism, he never would have interfaced with,” Benjamin said.

Mayors have Historically played an Influential Role in Democratic Primary Politics, Lending their Local Political Organizations to National Candidates. And as a Former Republican with relatively Conservative Views on Business Regulation and Law Enforcement, with Progressive Views on Climate Change and Renewables, Bloomberg has been eager to Demonstrate that Mayors and other Hands-On Leaders in the Party, particularly Black Elected Officials, are willing to Embrace his Candidacy.

Mayor Svante Myrick of Ithaca, New York, a City of about 31,000 that Won a $100,000 Bloomberg Grant for a Supervised Injection Facility, said Bloomberg’s Campaign had swiftly Reached Out after he entered the Race to seek Support. Myrick, has Not Endorsed a Candidate yet.

Stu Loeser, a Bloomberg Spokesman, said that the Former Mayor was “damn proud” of the Work supporting Mayors and Cities. “Unlike Donald Trump, Mike Bloomberg has a real foundation that does real work addressing people’s serious needs with no expectations of anything in return,” Loeser said.

As the Mayor of Huntington, West Virginia, Steve Williams was not sure Initially what to make of Bloomberg. “I thought he was going to tell me what kind of sugary drinks I could drink and not drink, would shut down the coal mines and tell us whether or not we could own guns and go hunting,” he said, referring to some of Bloomberg’s Priorities and Past Initiatives.

Like other Mayors in the Bloomberg orbit, Williams has been involved with Numerous Programs Sponsored by Bloomberg Philanthropies, on everything from Tackling an Obesity Epidemic to a Love-Your-Block Neighborhood Program. The Appalachian City won a $1 Million Grant to Create a Wellness Program for Emergency Medical Workers.

Victoria Woodards, the Mayor of Tacoma, Washington, attended the Harvard Program and Two CityLab Conferences, gatherings Focused on Urban Issues Co-Sponsored by Bloomberg Philanthropies. At the most Recent One in Washington, she sat next to Bloomberg at a Dinner at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

At a City Summit in San Antonio last month she had Coffee with James Anderson, formerly the Head of Government Innovation at the Bloomberg Foundation. He told her that Bloomberg had jumped into the Presidential Race and asked her to Join their Team; she did weeks later, after her First Choice, Senator Kamala Harris, Dropped Out.

Mayor Greg Fischer of Louisville began Working with Bloomberg’s Team within a few months of taking Office in 2011, and his City received about $4.7 Million in Grants during his First Three Years in Office. Now, Fischer is helping Lead Bloomberg’s Outreach to Other Mayors struggling with their Budgets. “Most city governments — I can tell you ours is — we are super-strapped for financial resources,” Fischer said. “It’s competitive and so it’s hard to build the relationships and win these things and when we do we celebrate around here.”

Now, some of the same People who Aided these Mayors from Bloomberg’s Foundation are the ones asking for their Political Support. Anderson, who several Mayors described as the Most Vital Point of Contact at Bloomberg Philanthropies, is now Directing the Campaign’s “Mayors for Mike” Coalition.

He and Patricia E. Harris, the Foundation’s longtime Chief Executive, have both moved over to the Campaign, changing Email Addresses and Phone Numbers but not their Relationships with Mayors and other Leaders.

Williams, the Huntington Mayor, recalled a Phone Call from Anderson, “wanting to have a separate conversation from the foundation, asking, ‘Can we switch gears?’” he said. “He has a separate telephone number from where it was before. He emails me to my personal email address. It’s always very clear. Personal number. Campaign number,” Williams said. “They understand the lines of demarcation.”

Mayor Lori Lightfoot of Chicago, a current Participant in the Bloomberg Harvard program, said that Bloomberg’s Foundation was “deeply entrenched in Chicago” and that she and her Staff had discussed how to keep its Work separate from her Political Considerations. “We view them as valued partners but that’s got to be separate and apart from any presidential considerations,” said Lightfoot, who has Not Endorsed any Candidate in the Democratic Race.

Every week in Bloomberg’s Late-Starting Campaign has Showcased, in one way or another, his Donations to Cities and the Mayoral Alliances he has Created.

One of Bloomberg’s First Campaign Events was in Jackson, Mississippi, where he appeared with Chokwe Lumumba, the City’s 36-year-old Mayor. A Progressive Democrat who Hosted Bloomberg but did Not Endorse him yet, Lumumba also Attended the Harvard Program and Received from Bloomberg Philanthropies a $1 Million Grant to his City as a Winner of the Public Art Challenge. “It’s up to the leaders negotiating those things to be disciplined and principled enough that their decision-making isn’t unduly swayed,” Lumumba said.

Bloomberg flew to Augusta, Georgia., to announce the Endorsement of the City’s Mayor, Hardie Davis Jr., who had Graduated from the Harvard Program and had Traveled to a CityLab Conference in London where he Met with Bloomberg. And his City Received Support from a Bloomberg Program, What Works Cities, that Deployed Experts to Augusta for Six months. “You can’t put a price on that,” Davis said. As for the Training Program outside Boston, Davis quipped, “As a proud Georgia Tech graduate, it doesn’t hurt to have this Harvard Bloomberg Institute certificate to go with that.”

Before his Visit to Stockton, Mr. Bloomberg announced he had also Won the Endorsement of Mayor Sam Liccardo of San Jose, California, who had previously Supported Ms. Harris. San Jose Won a Substantial Award through Mr. Bloomberg’s American Cities Climate Challenge, a Package worth about $2.5 Million, a City Spokeswoman said. Mr. Liccardo said there had been “no string attached” to any of the Money.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker

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