Oct. 22, 2012
New initiatives will reduce greenhouse gases and improve access to healthy foods thanks to grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies
On behalf of the City of Phoenix, Mayor Greg Stanton accepted today a $100,000 grant from Cities of Service to implement two major impact volunteering initiatives that address high energy usage in city buildings and lack of access to healthy foods for residents in three public housing communities.
Phoenix is one of 18 U.S. cities to be awarded a grant to support mayors who are harnessing the power of volunteers in a strategic way to address priority problems in their communities.
“As Mayor, I am committed to fostering a city culture in which civic engagement and volunteerism is in our DNA,” Stanton said. “This grant will help us leverage the power of our citizens to strategically and measurably address energy usage and health in our communities, to make our city more sustainable and make more resources available to Phoenix families.”
The Cities of Service model focuses on “impact volunteering” – volunteer strategies that target community needs, use best practices and set clear outcomes and measures to gauge progress. Dozens of cities across the nation have adopted the model since its introduction in 2009. Using this approach, New York City has coated more than four million square feet of rooftops to reduce carbon emissions by 745 metric tons, Nashville, Tenn. has upgraded more than 240 homes to increase energy efficiency and help the city recover from historic floods and Pittsburgh has removed 20,000 pounds of litter to revitalize its neighborhoods.
Phoenix’s $100,000 grant will support a partnership between the City of Phoenix and HandsOn Greater Phoenix to engage volunteers in painting 70,000 square feet of city rooftops to help reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions. The grant also will provide funding to establish community gardens and monthly educational sessions to residents in three public housing communities. Through partnerships with HandsOn Greater Phoenix and Valley Permaculture Alliance, volunteers will be engaged in the design, construction and maintenance of the gardens. Additionally, Phoenix will seek the support of local restaurants to sponsor monthly cooking classes that help residents prepare healthy meals.
More than 60 mayors competed for this initial round of grants. Grants ranging from $25,000 to $100,000 also will support volunteer initiatives in Atlanta, Austin, Texas, Baltimore, Birmingham, Ala., Duluth, Minn., Fall River, Mass., Flint, Mich., Indianapolis, Kalamazoo, Mich., Little Rock, Ark., Nashville, Tenn., Orlando, Fla., Philadelphia, Pierre, S.D., Pittsburgh, Providence, R.I. and Richmond, Calif.
Backed by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Cities of Service Impact Volunteering Fund is a $2 million fund. Nearly $1 million is being granted through this initial round, with an additional $1 million available for deployment in 2013. Grantee cities were selected based on the quality of their initiatives, potential for impact, and implementation plans, among other criteria.
About Cities of Service
American cities face serious challenges and many mayors want to take advantage of every resource available to them – including the time and energy of public-spirited residents – to address those challenges. But in cities across America today, citizen service is often an underutilized or inefficiently utilized strategy by municipal governments. Founded in September 2009, Cities of Service supports mayors to leverage citizen service strategies, addressing local needs and making government more effective.
For more information about Cities of Service and the grant recipients, read the news release (PDF).