Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

L.A. earns America’s only Gold Certification from ‘What Works Cities’ Initiative

Mayor Garcetti accepts award for City’s landmark use of data to improve services that “make a real difference in people’s lives.”

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles is America’s leader in “using data and evidence to improve results” in government effectiveness and delivery of services, and has received the nation’s only Gold certification from the What Works Cities initiative of Bloomberg Philanthropies.

The honor, which was presented in Washington D.C., is the result of an evaluation of more than 100 American cities. 

“Numbers tell compelling stories, and they help us find answers that make a real difference in people’s lives,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “It is an honor to receive this award for L.A.’s success in using data and evidence to improve how we target and deliver services — and we’re grateful to Bloomberg Philanthropies for recognizing what we’ve accomplished for communities across our city.”

Nine cities were recognized from an applicant pool of 117 cities with populations of 30,000 or more. The cities were judged on 50 criteria in six categories: data governance, open data, performance analytics, results-driven contracting, low-cost evaluations, and repurpose for results. Cities receiving the Silver-level certification include Boston, Kansas City, Louisville, New Orleans, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington D.C. 

“Los Angeles has emerged as a true leader in the way it uses data to understand problems, generate solutions, and manage for better results. We give tremendous credit — and our first Gold Certification — to Mayor Garcetti and his entire team for the disciplined and creative ways they’ve unlocked the power of data to improve residents’ lives,” said James Anderson, head of Government Innovation at Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Mayor Garcetti has focused his administration on data-driven and evidence-based solutions to make Los Angeles the best-run big city in the nation. Accomplishments include:

  • Pledge to Patrol: In response to data analysis showing a need for greater diversity among recruits, Mayor Garcetti and the Los Angeles Police Department created the Associate Community Officer Program (A-COP) program in 2017 — offering training and paid civilian employment to young people who have participated in LAPD youth programs and are interested in joining the force when they become eligible at age 21. The initial class is more than 50% female, representing 22 communities across L.A. County. 
  • CleanStat: In 2016, the Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation began regularly collecting data to measure street cleanliness levels, allowing the City to more proactively and equitably clean L.A.’s streets, and place thousands of new public trash bins in areas with the greatest need. In just one year, these efforts led to an 82% reduction in streets previously rated as “Not Clean."
  • Home for Renters Campaign: In 2016, the City of Los Angeles identified areas where housing displacement was likely to occur, and launched a multi-faceted campaign to raise awareness of tenants’ rights under the City’s rent stabilization ordinance, with a particular focus on assisting our most vulnerable residents.
  • Save the Drop: In 2015, the City of Los Angeles analyzed water consumption data by ZIP code to focus conservation campaigns on regions with excessive water usage, which has helped Los Angeles reach its 20% water conservation goal. 
  • Girls Play L.A.: In response to historically low participation by girls in local sports and recreational programs, the City of Los Angeles analyzed youth participation rates and public health outcomes across L.A. to provide targeted subsidies, marketing, and expanded female mentorship, which increased female recreational participation rates from 26% to 45%.