Gary Could Gain up to Five Million Dollar Grant in Bloomberg Mayor's Challenge

Sep 18, 2017

Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson poses for Lakeshore Public Radio Reporter Sharon Jackson after a news conference.
Credit Sharon Jackson, On-Air Host/Reporter / Lakeshore Public Radio

GARY - The city of Gary could gain anywhere from one to five million dollars in the Bloomberg Philanthropies 2017 Mayor's Challenge.  Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson says this is not a typical grant.

"Mayor Bloomberg and his philanthropy have put approximately 10-million dollars on the street to help cities solve intractable problems and it's entitled the Bloomberg Mayor's Challenge."

The program is a three year endeavor and Freeman-Wilson says the Bloomberg team has offered to help cities identify problems and work through potential solutions that may be new and applicable to other cities.

"So that not only are you helping a Gary, Indiana as an example, but you're also helping a Flint, Michigan or a Savannah, Georgia or some other city that may have a similar problem."

Mayor Freeman-Wilson says the city is now engaged in a public process to identify a set of problems that would allow it to have the greatest success in the grant.  Among the issues the city of Gary is looking at addressing are vacant and abandoned buildings, crime with an emphasis on violent crime, and economic development in challenging communities.  The mayor says the city has been working on these issues since the beginning of her administration. The deadline for the Bloomberg Mayor's Challenge first submission is in November.