Mike Bloomberg Publishes Annual Letter on Philanthropy
In a letter on philanthropy released today as part of Bloomberg Philanthropies' annual report, Mike Bloomberg says Washington's "direct assault on facts and data is making it harder for America to address major challenges here and around the world," including areas in which Bloomberg Philanthropies – whose work is driven by reliable data – is working to improve and save lives. However, a "counter-assault" is underway, Bloomberg writes: "As Washington has grown more dysfunctional, American cities have grown more dynamic. Mayors in both parties are leading where Washington won't," enthusiastically using data, and working with members of other political parties, to improve government performance for their citizens.
In a recent commencement speech at Rice University, Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and three-term mayor of New York City, decried the rise of "alternative facts" and the current unprecedented "tolerance for dishonesty" in U.S. politics. He also encouraged graduates to "follow the data, wherever it leads."
Reinforcing those themes in his annual report letter, Bloomberg praises mayors as having "no incentive to build policies based on misinformation, because they have nowhere to hide from bad results." In order to ensure that these local leaders are equipped to use data to make better policy decisions, improve services, evaluate progress, and fund "what works," Bloomberg also today announced an additional $42 million investment in the What Works Cities program, the nation's most comprehensive effort to enhance cities' use of data and evidence. In its first three years, the program has helped 100 cities of all sizes use facts to better define problems and make progress in crucial areas such as health and safety, homelessness, and blight...