Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has launched a $1 million innovation fund to pay for the best ideas that city workers can come up with. Garcetti, at a news conference Thursday, said the fund is an attempt by the city to turn innovation into a cultural value that pervades every level of city government.
The fund is an outgrowth of several projects that caught Garcetti’s eye where empowered employees are making the city more efficient, according to Chief Data Officer Abhi Nemani, in a story published in Techwire. He pointed to workers at the sanitation department switching from paper maps to tablets as an example that can spark improvements across city agencies.
“We don’t think innovation should live in just one office,” Nemani said. “It should be democratized across the organization, across the city, and we should empower everybody,” he said.
City employees can submit their ideas using a new website – innovate.lacity.org – which explains the initiative. The $1 million fund will be used on an ongoing basis to support ideas. Officials said the ideas will be reviewed by City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana, the Innovation and Performance Commission and other general managers, including the city council.
The website will also feature ideas that received funding and is expected to provide updates on each winning project.