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Mayors Challenge Champion City

Mayors Challenge Champion City


The City of Hartford was one of 35 Champion Cities selected as a finalist in the 2018 U.S. Mayors Challenge, a nationwide competition by Bloomberg Philanthropies that encourages city leaders to pursue bold, inventive ideas that confront the toughest problems cities face.


Hartford’s proposal, Alleviating Child Trauma in Our Neighborhoods (ACTION), uses the City’s ShotSpotter technology to ensure that educators, early childhood professionals, and youth support organizations are able to recognize and respond in real time when a child has been exposed to the trauma of gun violence.

“In too many communities around the country, young people who are exposed to the trauma of gun violence in their neighborhoods never get the support, treatment, or even the acknowledgement that they need,” said Mayor Luke Bronin. “Our proposal was designed to help provide timely support and assistance to kids exposed to gun violence in our own community. I’m proud of our team’s innovative proposal, and I’m thankful to Bloomberg Philanthropies for selecting Hartford as a Champion City. Our team is looking forward to developing the proposal further, in partnership with all of our stakeholders, including Hartford Public Schools, the Hartford Police Department, and the Village for Families and Children.” Research shows that more than 76% of youth who are exposed to gun violence nationally are never referred to care, and traumatic stress from that exposure can result in persistent emotional and cognitive damage.


The City’s proposal was selected from a pool of more than 320 applications. Hartford now advances to the six-month “Test, Learn, and Adapt” phase of the competition. Cities will refine their ideas during this process with up to $100,000, as well as personalized support from innovation experts, to test and begin building support for their urban innovations and submit a new application in August 2018. In October, four cities will receive $1 million awards and one will receive a grand prize of $5 million to bring their ideas to life.

"We received hundreds of bold and creative ideas from cities around the country in response to the 2018 Mayors Challenge, and these 35 really stood out for their potential to improve people’s lives. The next six months are a great opportunity for the cities to test their ideas and make them even more innovative and effective,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and three-term Mayor of New York City.

The 35 Champion Cities performed the best against four key criteria: vision, potential for impact, implementation plan, and potential to spread to other cities. A selection committee Co-Chaired by Former Ambassador Caroline Kennedy and Former Xerox Chairman & CEO Ursula Burns and comprising distinguished policy experts, artists, academics, business executives and social innovation leaders assessed the applications.

The 2018 Mayors Challenge returns to the U.S. as the first investment in the American Cities Initiative, a $200 million suite of new and expanded programs that will empower cities to generate innovation and advance policy that moves the nation forward. The Challenge builds on the success of previous Bloomberg-sponsored Challenges in the U.S. (2013), Europe (2014), and Latin America and the Caribbean (2016). For more information, visit mayorschallenge.bloomberg.org and @BloombergCities on Twitter and Instagram.


Bloomberg Philanthropies works in over 120 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2016, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $600 million. For more information, please visit www.bloomberg.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter.

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