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Bloomberg Philanthropies Aims to Spur Innovation in City Governments

Bloomberg Philanthropies announced today the 20 finalists for a competition designed to spark innovation among U.S. cities.

The 20 finalists—including High Point, N.C., for a plan to adapt a nonprofit gang-violence program to reduce domestic abuse; Philadelphia’s proposal to “re-imagine” the government grant-making process; and Milwaukee’s ideas for using foreclosed property—will attend an “ideas camp” in New York later this month to share their ideas and help them take shape.

“We want to identify the best thinking and most creative solutions percolating up from across the country, elevate the solutions, and ultimately help them spread,” said Jim Anderson, who leads the foundation’s government-innovation work.

The cities are competing for a $5-million top prize and four runner-up awards of $1-million each. Winners will be announced this spring.

Mr. Anderson said 305 cities of all sizes, from 45 states, applied for the awards.

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