Above: Former Mayor Chasity Wells-Armstrong (Kankakee, IL) and Mayor Cassie Franklin (Everett, WA)
After a two year hiatus, we were thrilled to host our 2022 Winter Meeting in person in Washington, DC. Mayors from around the country gathered to share best practices on topics ranging from police reform to federal infrastructure. View some highlights below:
Mayor Cassie Franklin of Everett, WA described her city’s efforts to increase childcare accessibility and affordability, most recently finalizing a plan to establish a brand new, tuition free, preschool in one of the city’s most utilized transportation centers. In addition to acting as a main hub for transportation options like Everett Transit and Amtrak, Everett Station hosts a career development center, a gathering place for community events, and will now offer tuition free preschool for up to 60 students.
When discussing police reform, former Mayor of Ithaca, NY, and current Executive Director of People for the American Way Svante Myrick offered one of the event’s most lasting quotes:
“Culture will beat strategy every time.”
He explained that the work to pursue public safety reform needs to focus just as much on the culture of the police as it does the strategy of reform.
Supporting Small Business
Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway presented on Madison, WI’s efforts to support small businesses that were hit hard during the pandemic. One of the initiatives was a pop-up shop program that provides shared commercial space in vacant downtown storefronts to small businesses at a significantly reduced cost. The City worked directly with organizations such as the Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce, the Latino Chamber of Commerce of Dane County, and the Madison Black Chamber of Commerce to ensure traditionally under-resourced communities would benefit from the program. Currently, 100% of the shops are owned by people of color and 80% are owned by women.
Mayor Emily Larson of Duluth, MN described a process that she and her team use to weigh spending proposals to ensure proposed projects will benefit everyone in the city. To apply this lens, she asks:
- Who did you talk to?
- How did you engage them?
- Who has not been contacted?
- How does this create more fairness in our community?
Check out more good ideas and best practices by viewing presentation slides as well as our Briefing Book on each topic.
We are so thankful to be able to provide this opportunity for leaders from all types of cities to take something back that will equitably and sustainably move their communities forward.
“The Mayors Innovation Project winter meeting was exactly what I needed to reenergize and recommit to service and decision making with empathy, intentionality, and centering humanity.”
– Mayor Vicki Scaman, Oak Park, IL
Photo Credits: Brittany Diliberto