City of Fargo Selected for What Works Cities Initiative

Fargo is now participating in Bloomberg Philanthropies 'What Works Cities' Initiative

FARGO, N.D. — Fargo has been selected to join 63 other cities in the national What Works Cities Initiative.

What does that mean for Fargo?

What Works Cities is backed by Bloomberg Philanthropies, a company which works in more than 120 countries around the world.

The city of Fargo is collaborating with WWC to help make data more accessible to people, government entities and services around the community.

“So for fire, how long does it take to do a response?” asked Mayor Tim Mahney.  “For police, how often are we in that neighborhood? The idea behind the data is to get your data and then you can make decisions on the best way to serve the community.”

Fargo will also establish performance management programs to set, track and share progress to achieve the best results.

The list of things city officials are looking to improve can go on and on.

One of them specifically is neighborhood livability and affordability.

“It’s important because it’s information that we have and its information that we’re using,” explained Dan Mahli, who is the Community Development Administrator.  “In a lot of ways, this is proving that we are delivering great services.”

City officials say this initiative will also only work with the help of community feedback.

Online surveys are in the works to see what the people of Fargo ultimately want to change.

“So, as we know, everybody’s getting into smart phones, computers, online types of communication,” added Mayor Mahoney.  “So, it’s an attempt to get more engagement by the public to help us figure out where we need to go.”

Right now, Fargo is on a 120 day cycle with the What Works Cities Initiative and Mahli described it as being in the infancy stage.

“We expect to in about four months be rolling information out and having data more accessible,” he said.

“We’re working with them every week on this so what we’re trying to do is refine and change our tools,” added Mayor Mahoney.

City leaders are hoping to boost Fargo to where it needs to be.

“This is an opportunity to see how well Fargo competes against other major cities and we’re in competition for people to come here and enjoy our city,” said Mayor Mahoney.

The initiative will ultimately partner with 100 cities on a rolling basis through 2018.

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