Results for America’s Local Government Fellows program was founded in September 2014 to provide an advanced group of local government leaders in diverse and influential cities and counties across the country the knowledge and support to implement strategies that consistently use data and evidence to drive policy and budget decisions on major policy challenges. The City of Seattle was selected in 2015, and the fellowship was transferred to the Innovation & Performance Director in November 2017 at the time of the mayoral transition.
In May, the Fellows convened in New York City for 2.5 days of immersive learning and discussion. This was my third convening as a Fellow, and it proved to be a great investment of time. The convenings are designed with Fellows’ input and involve a blend of interactive site visits with local policymakers, problem-solving sessions where Fellows help one another with their work, and interactive discussions with leading experts to prompt new ideas. The convening design is incredible; I’m able to walk away from these gatherings armed with new ideas for Seattle city government and feeling refreshed about tackling challenges with community.
During our time in New York City, we visited the CUNY ASAP program, which can serve as a model for the Seattle Promise program given its multiple randomized evaluations that have shown the measurable impact of the program for students’ graduation rates. The program design includes wraparound supports that include free transit passes and cohort counseling for students that helps to build a community that anchors students at the community college. I’m excited to think about how we can inform Seattle Promise with lessons learned by the team at CUNY ASAP.