City of Long Beach 
Public Information Office
411 W. Ocean Blvd, 
Long Beach, CA 90802

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # 121521
City of Long Beach Recognized by Bloomberg Philanthropies for Using Data and Evidence to Improve Residents’ Lives
Long Beach is One of the First 50 U.S. Cities to Achieve What Works Cities Certification
Danielle Mitchell
Communications Officer
Technology and Innovation Department

Long Beach, CA – The City of Long Beach announced today it is one of 10 new cities to have achieved What Works Cities Certification for its exceptional use of data to guide decision-making and improve residents’ lives. What Works Cities Certification - the national standard of excellence in data-driven city governance - evaluates how well cities are managed by measuring the extent to which city leaders incorporate data and evidence in their decision-making. The City achieved a Silver Certification level in 2021. 

“We are proud to be recognized as an innovator in how cities use data and technology as part of long-term decision-making,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “This past year reinforced the importance of data in directing our decisions as we recover from the pandemic effectively and equitably, and we are committed to continuing to build on this important work.” 

What Works Cities Certification assesses cities based on their data-driven decision-making practices, such as whether they are using data to set goals and track progress, allocate funding, evaluate the effectiveness of programs or achieve desired outcomes from contracts with outside vendors. The program also measures whether cities are publicly and transparently communicating about their use of data and evidence. 

“The most effective mayors use data to define problems and craft bold new solutions, and this milestone of 50 certified cities highlights the critical progress local governments are leading across the country,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies and 108th mayor of New York City. “By building a culture of data-driven decision-making, these cities will be more resilient and better equipped to fight climate change, protect public health, increase economic mobility, and much more.” 

Over the past year, the City has demonstrated measurable progress on various foundational data practices. Notable examples include: 

  • Used a variety of geospatial and economic development data through the City’s BizCare Program to determine the small businesses most critically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in effort to connect business owners to important resources provided by the City’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security ActThis microtargeting program was a success at finding the smaller businesses typically unaware of these types of programs, providing assistance to over 700 businesses through the pop-up events. 
  • Used data to support the COVID-19 response and recovery efforts by continuing to enhance the City’s data dashboard to inform the community and track the  progress with vaccine distribution.  
  • Enhanced the City’s Open Data portal so that more data sets could be automatically updated. This change improved the quality and usefulness of publicly available data that can be used to improve decision making and outcomes for communities of color.  
  • Launched the Smart Cities Strategy to collaboratively explore and implement new technology and harness the benefits of Artificial Intelligence while balancing the privacy of community members. 

What Works Cities is a national initiative launched by Bloomberg Philanthropies to help cities use data and evidence more effectively to tackle their most pressing challenges. This new cohort of cities joins 16 cities honored earlier this year, bringing the total number of U.S. cities certified for outstanding data practices to 50. The Certification program launched in April 2017, and U.S. cities with populations of 30,000 and higher are eligible to participate. Cities are awarded Silver, Gold, or Platinum Certification depending on their level of data sophistication. A list of all 50 cities that have achieved Certification is available here. 

“These cities are harnessing the power of evidence and data to accelerate progress in their communities,” said Michele Jolin, CEO and Co-Founder of Results for America, the lead partner in the What Works Cities initiative. “As local governments begin investing billions in American Rescue Plan Act funds to meet urgent needs, these certified cities offer a roadmap for how local leaders can use evidence and data to increase the impact of these investments and deliver better results for residents.” 

“Cities that are investing in building their data skills and capacity are seeing the results,” said Jennifer Park, founding director of What Works Cities Certification. “As the movement grows, we will see even more cities delivering better results through faster 911 response times, increased small business support, reduced waste and emissions, and greater civic engagement with residents.” 

A report released earlier this year by the Monitor Institute by Deloitte, in collaboration with What Works Cities, detailed the growing movement of cities using data to drive decision-making and the benefits of this approach for residents. Since 2015, the percentage of cities tracking progress toward key goals has more than doubled (from 30% to 75%), the percentage of cities engaging with residents on a goal and communicating progress has more than tripled (from 19% to 70%), the percentage of cities with a platform and process to release data to the public has more than tripled (from 18% to 67%), and the percentage of cities modifying their programs based on data analytics has more than doubled (from 28% to 61%). These are several of the data practices assessed as part of What Works Cities Certification. 

Certification was developed by a team of experts from Results for America in close consultation with the  What Works Cities Certification Standard Committee and with support from the other What Works Cities partners - The Government Performance Lab at the Harvard Kennedy School, The Center for Government Excellence at Johns Hopkins University, and The Behavioral Insights Team. Over 200 cities have completed a  Certification assessment, benchmarking their practices against the national standard. To learn more about the program and how to participate, visit  

About the City of Long Beach  
Home to approximately 480,000 people, the multiple award-winning and innovative City of Long Beach offers all the world-class amenities of a large metropolitan city while maintaining a strong sense of individual and diverse neighborhoods nestled together along the California coast. As a full-service charter city, Long Beach is home to the Queen Mary, Aquarium of the Pacific, several museums and theaters, a highly rated school district, Long Beach Airport and the Port of Long Beach. The City also has a highly respected university and city college, two historic ranchos, five hospitals, five golf courses, 171 parks, miles of beaches, marinas and bike paths.  

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About Technology and Innovation  
The Technology and Innovation Department provides a centralized resource for technology deployment and support throughout the City. It is our mission to provide a customer-focused environment that integrates people, processes, and technology to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of City services. To learn more about Technology and Innovation, visit:   

About What Works Cities 
What Work Cities, a Bloomberg Philanthropies initiative, helps cities use data and evidence to tackle their most pressing challenges and improve residents’ lives. The initiative’s  What Works Cities Certification program is the first-of-its-kind national standard of excellence in city governance that evaluates how well cities are managed and whether cities have the right people, processes, and policies in place to put data and evidence at the center of decision-making. Through the initiative’s expert  partners, cities around the country are receiving support, guidance and resources to succeed. For more information, visit