The Cities Blog

Grant to help Minneapolis check if services equal

Minneapolis has won a grant of up to $2.7 million that the officials will use to evaluate whether the city delivers city services equally.

Twelve U.S. cities, including Boston, Seattle and Los Angeles, will share $45 million in award money from Bloomberg Philanthropies. It's the second round of the foundation's Innovation Team Program.

Previous winners of the grant include Atlanta, which used the money to address homelessness, and New Orleans, which reduced its murder rate.

There are wide disparities in Minneapolis between white residents and minority communities in education, employment, health and other areas.

But the six-person Minneapolis innovation team will analyze whether core city services are delivered fairly to all residents, regardless of race.

In its grant application, the team noted that it might look at whether there are "inequities in how the city tows cars during snow emergencies."

Mayor Betsy Hodges has made improving "racial equity" the centerpiece of her first term. During budget negotiations this month, she clashed with the City Council over how best to achieve it.