Thursday, July 1, 2010

Richmond Awarded Grant to Aid Neighbor-to-Neighbor Initiative

The city of Richmond has been awarded the Cities of Service Leadership Grant to hire a Chief Service Officer who will develop and implement a comprehensive citywide service plan to promote volunteerism and coordinate with Mayor Dwight C. Jones’ Neighbor-to-Neighbor initiative. Richmond was one of ten cities selected to receive a $200,000 grant over two years, funded jointly by the Rockefeller Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies, to hire a Chief Service Officer – a senior city official who will develop and implement a citywide plan to increase volunteerism and help volunteers address their city's greatest needs.

“I am very pleased that Richmond has been selected to receive the Cities of Service Leadership Grant. This award will aid our Neighbor-to-Neighbor initiative which encourages Richmond residents to embrace those values and caring natures that once framed our communities as a better place to do business, raise children and help our neighbor,” said Mayor Dwight C. Jones. “This innovative set of initiatives is aimed at achieving over-arching goals to inspire each of us to develop a closer relationship with our neighbor, especially the children, youth, elderly and disabled residents of our community.”

“The Rockefeller Foundation is proud to continue our long tradition of supporting innovative solutions for urban communities through the Cities of Service Leadership Grants,” said Rockefeller Foundation president Judith Rodin. “As a former University president, I saw first-hand how integral service can be in creating opportunities for communities to be involved in solving problems and finding innovative ideas on a local level. During this difficult economic time, the strongest leaders are guided by the deep understanding that community involvement can change neighborhoods, cities and a state, and the Rockefeller Foundation is thrilled to be a partner in fostering and supporting these efforts."

The cities selected to receive the second round of Cities of Service Leadership Grants are Atlanta, GA; Austin, TX; Baltimore, MD; Baton Rouge, LA; Chula Vista, CA; Houston, TX; Little Rock, AK; Orlando, FL; Pittsburgh, PA; and Richmond, VA.

Richmond’s Neighbor-to-Neighbor initiative is designed to inspire residents, businesses and city employees to volunteer and develop a closer relationship with their neighbor, with an express focus on helping the children, youth, elderly and disabled residents of the city of Richmond.

“I would like to thank the Rockefeller Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies for their investment in our community. It will help Richmond set a new standard for how cities can utilize the power of their people in tackling the most pressing challenges,” said Mayor Jones.

The city’s Deputy Chief Administrative Officer of Human Services, Dr. Carolyn Graham, stated, “I would like to thank Yvette Jones who led the development of our grant application process as her outstanding work aided in our receipt of this award.”


About Cities of Service
Founded in New York on September 10, 2009 by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and the mayors of 16 other cities, Cities of Service is a bipartisan coalition of mayors who have answered the historic Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act’s call to action. Representing more than 46 million Americans in 100 cities, all coalition members have signed a “Declaration of Service,” committing to work together to lead a multi-year effort to expand community service and volunteerism by:

Developing a comprehensive service plan and a coordinated strategy focused on matching volunteers and established community partners to the areas of greatest local need;
Working with other mayors and elected officials to advance strategies and best practices that accelerate the service movement and produce measurable results;
Encouraging other mayors to join this national effort to engage our citizens; and
Ensuring that the voice of cities is heard in federal legislative, policy, and program discussions related to service, which will help the country achieve the ambitious goals of the Serve America Act.

The Cities of Service coalition includes the following cities: Akron, OH; Albany, NY; Allentown, PA; Annapolis, MD; Arlington, TX; Atlanta, GA; Austin, TX; Baltimore, MD; Baton Rouge, LA; Birmingham, AL; Boston, MA; Bowling Green, KY; Brownsville, TX; Buffalo, NY; Catoosa, OK; Chandler, AZ; Charleston, SC; Chattanooga, TN; Chicago, IL; Chula Vista, CA; Cincinnati, OH; Corpus Christi, TX; Davis, CA; Denver, CO; Detroit, MI; Dublin OH; El Paso, TX; Eugene, OR; Flint, MI; Fort Wayne, IN; Fresno, CA; Grand Prairie, TX; Grand Rapids, MI; Harrisburg, PA; Hattiesburg, MS; Honolulu, HI; Houston, TX; Irvine, CA; Jackson, MS; Jacksonville, FL; Kalamazoo, MI; Kansas City, MO; Lancaster, CA; Lexington, KY; Little Rock, AR; Los Angeles, CA; Meridian, MS; Mesa, AZ; Miami, FL; Milwaukee, WI; Muskegon, MI; Nashville and Davidson County, TN; New Bedford, MA; New York, NY; Newark, NJ; Oakland, CA; Omaha, NE; Orlando, FL; Palm Bay, FL; Panama City, FL; Pawtucket, RI; Philadelphia, PA; Phoenix, AZ; Pittsburgh, PA; Placerville, CA; Portland, OR; Providence, RI; Reading, PA; Richmond, VA; Riverside, CA; Roseville, CA; Sacramento, CA; Salinas, CA; Salt Lake City, UT; San Antonio, TX; San Francisco, CA; San Jose, CA; Santa Cruz, CA; Santa Fe, NM; Santa Rosa, CA; Savannah, GA; Seattle, WA; Somerville, MA; Springfield, MA; St Louis, MO; St Paul, MN; St Petersburg, FL; Stockton, CA; Syracuse, NY; Toledo, OH; Topeka, KS; Trenton, NJ; Tucson, AZ; Utica, NY; Vancouver, WA; Ventura, CA; Vicksburg, MS; Virginia Beach, VA; Washington, DC; West Palm Beach, FL.


About Cities of Service Leadership Grants
Ten cities were selected to receive a $200,000 grant over two years, funded jointly by the Rockefeller Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies, to hire a Chief Service Officer – a senior city official who will develop and implement a citywide plan to increase volunteerism and target volunteers to address their city’s greatest needs.

Applications to the Cities of Service Leadership Grants program were limited to members of the Cities of Service coalition, to cities that have more than 100,000 residents, according to the 2008 estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau, and to cities that have at least one community college or four-year public or private university.

The first round of Cities of Service Leadership Grant winners were announced in January 2010. The selected cities, which have all appointed Chief Service Officers, were Chicago, IL; Detroit, MI; Los Angeles, CA; Nashville, TN; Newark, NJ; Omaha, NE; Philadelphia, PA; Sacramento, CA; Savannah, GA; and Seattle, WA. These ten cities are already working towards launching comprehensive service plans this fall to address problems of critical need in their communities. To identify those problems, Chief Service Officers in the ten cities surveyed more than 3,300 individuals and included more than 200 stakeholders and leaders in the non-profit community on advisory councils. The cities have engaged 72 colleges and universities as a part of their service plan and are working with over 300 non-profit organizations.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg appointed the nation’s first Chief Service Officer, Diahann Billings-Burford, in June 2009.

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