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Bloomberg Foundation Includes Kansas City In City Improvement Initiative

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Kansas City has been selected to participate in an initiative aimed to help officials better implement the city's strategic goals through the use of consultants and technical experts.

"What Works Cities" is sponsored by the Bloomberg Foundation -- as in former New York mayor and business scion Michael Bloomberg -- and it’s dedicated to enhancing openness and using data to improve government efficiency.

"We are really interested in how we can translate those strategic priorities to the longer term things we’re trying to achieve -- like blight removal in neighborhoods -- down to an operational level," says Kansas City Deputy Performance Officer Kate Bender.

Bender says the city is well under way with a system of analyzing data in the service of those goals, which include economic development and neighborhood revitalization.

Another focus for Kansas City is open sourcing of data. Benders says the city's Data Portal is improving accessibility and usefulness to citizens in general and the civic hacking community. For example, the last city budget is available online.

The Bloomberg Foundation included seven other cities in the award.

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