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Leading by Example

Cities of Service Founder Michael R. Bloomberg believes that the most powerful thing a person can do with his or her talent and resources is share them to make the world a better place. He has spent much of his life giving back in one way or another and is one of the world’s most prominent philanthropists.

“Throughout my life, I’ve found that giving back is one of life’s greatest rewards and that civic service may be the most important thing we ever do.”
– Michael R. Bloomberg, April 20, 2009

NYC Service

While Mayor of New York City, Bloomberg created NYC Service in April 2009, aiming to set a new standard for how cities can tap the power of their citizens to tackle their most pressing challenges. Created in response to the bipartisan Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act and built on the Bloomberg Administration’s record of promoting volunteerism and public-private partnerships, NYC Service made New York City the first major city to initiate a comprehensive local approach to support service and citizen engagement.

Cities of Service

Mayor Bloomberg felt strongly about the power of what he created with NYC Service and wanted to share its potential with others. He, along with 16 other mayors from around the country representing more than 20 million Americans, gathered together at Gracie Mansion on September 10, 2009 to found the Cities of Service coalition.

Founding Mayors
  • Mayor Shirley Franklin – Atlanta, Georgia
  • Mayor Sheila Dixon – Baltimore, Maryland
  • Mayor Richard Daley – Chicago, Illinois
  • Mayor Marilee Chinnici-Zuercher – Dublin, Ohio
  • Mayor John Peyton – Jacksonville, Florida
  • Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa – Los Angeles, California
  • Mayor Karl Dean – Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee
  • Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg – New York, New York
  • Mayor Cory Booker – Newark, New Jersey
  • Mayor Phil Gordon – Phoenix, Arizona
  • Mayor Luke Ravenstahl – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Mayor David N. Cicilline – Providence, Rhode Island
  • Mayor Kevin Johnson – Sacramento, California
  • Mayor Douglas H. Palmer – Trenton, New Jersey
  • Mayor Paul E. Winfield – Vicksburg, Mississippi
  • Mayor Adrian Fenty – Washington, District of Columbia
  • Mayor Lois J. Frankel – West Palm Beach, Florida

With generous support from the Rockefeller Foundation, Cities of Service was able to start by offering technical assistance and other support to mayors of coalition cities, including funding full-time chief service officers in select cities to develop and implement comprehensive service programs. Today, Cities of Service is an independent, nonpartisan organization. Our coalition has grown from the original 17 cities to over 235 cities in the U.S. and U.K., representing nearly 55 million people in 45 states, and more than 10 million people in the U.K.

“Cities around the country are facing enormous challenges, and mayors have an opportunity to make the most of our greatest asset: public-spirited citizens and organizations. This new coalition will encourage mayors to find new ways to tap the power of their citizens, help us identify and share the most effective approaches, and empower us to speak with one voice in Washington.”
– Michael R. Bloomberg, September 10, 2009