Fayetteville needs your help with the $5 million Mayors Challenge

In Activism, Home, Politics by arkansasprogressive

Fayetteville is constantly making “best of” lists around the country. Best place to live, best farmers market, best library…yada, yada, yada. And they’re right – Fayetteville is awesome. But there’s always room to improve, right?

That’s why Fayetteville is asking for resident feedback on the city’s biggest challenges. The City will use information from Fayetteville’s Biggest Challenge poll to prioritize budgets, apply for grants, develop partnerships and potentially win $5 million in a nationwide Mayors Challenge. Don’t worry, the poll only has three questions.

  • What do you think is the biggest challenge facing Fayetteville today?
  • In which sector would you categorize this challenge? (Public Health, Public Safety, Natural Systems, Economy & Jobs, Climate & Energy, Equity & Inclusion, Buildings & Streets, Community Life, Education, Other)
  • Do you have any awesome, innovative ideas for addressing this challenge?

The Mayors Challenge is an American Cities Initiative project underwritten by Bloomberg Philanthropies aimed at encouraging cities to generate bold responses to the urgent challenges they face. Fayetteville is among 300 cities participating in the first phase of the challenge. Five Champion Cities selected through the project will win $1 million each to use the community’s innovative ideas to tackle the identified challenges. Mayor Lioneld Jordan thinks Fayetteville could be a contender to be a Champion City.

“Fayetteville’s unique sense of place represents a diverse range of styles, tastes, and philosophies. I am certain that the originality and vitality of our people will not only help identify our biggest challenges but also help champion the solutions to solve them,” said Mayor Jordan.

The results generated through Fayetteville’s Biggest Challenge poll will feed into a one-day Accelerator Workshop hosted by innovations experts and Bloomberg Philanthropies. In addition to the $5 million overall winner, 35 cities will win $100,000 and 4 cities will win $1 million. The challenge is open to any city with more than 30,000 people. If you live outside of Fayetteville, you might encourage your local governments in Springdale, Rogers and Bentonville to jump in as well.

The American Cities Initiative builds on Bloomberg Philanthropies’ extensive existing efforts to strengthen cities through its arts and culture, education, environment, government innovation, and public health programs. The initiative focuses on three core areas:

  • Promoting bold leadership and effective problem-solving in city halls;
  • Advancing critical policies and legislation in areas ranging from education to climate change to opioid abuse; and
  • Empowering citizens – including artists, volunteers, and entrepreneurs – to solve problems and strengthen social cohesion.

Mayor Jordan is issuing a challenge of his own.

“I want every citizen in Fayetteville to think of a solution for our City’s biggest issues. Accept the challenge and fill out the poll. I’m always working with our community to improve Fayetteville. I enjoy a little friendly competition, so I want us to win this challenge. One million dollars will help our community immensely. I thank you in advance for your participation.”

The website address for the poll is: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FayettevilleChallenges

You can learn more about the Mayors Challenge program here.