Blumenfield and Martinez Secure Council Support, Funding Plan, for City’s Innovation Fund

LOS ANGELES, CA – Los Angeles City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield today was joined by his colleague Councilmember Nury Martinez in securing the Los Angeles City Council’s support for a funding plan for the first round of proposals as part of the City’s Innovation Fund program. The Innovation Fund solicits and funds ideas from the City family, including employees, commissioners and others, to make city government work better, faster and more efficiently.           

The Innovation Fund was spearheaded by Mayor Eric Garcetti, who joined with Councilmember Blumenfield in officially launching the solicitation and evaluation process in November 2014.

“In government, as in business, we are constantly seeking creative ideas to create efficiencies, save money and make life better for the residents of Los Angeles,” said Blumenfield. “With the establishment of the Innovation Fund, we are exponentially multiplying our ability to explore new ideas to achieve these goals.”

"City employees are at the intersection of our government and the community. They understand how the City works and the needs of its residents,” said Martinez. “It’s time we put their unique skills to work. By utilizing their combination of skills, the Innovation Fund gives employees the opportunity to take the lead and improve our neighborhoods one solution at a time."

Council approved funding recommendations from the City’s Innovation, Technology and General Services Committee, which, along with the Audits Committee, worked with the Innovation and Performance Commission to oversee the Innovation Fund Process. Proposals approved today would, for instance, utilize 3D printed models for the Bureau of Engineering, explore the creation of a Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) app to help Angelenos interpret complicated parking signs, procure a drone and training to assist Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) inspectors avoid injury at high risk locations, and allow for the filing of online police reports, among others.

A proposal to create a nurse practitioner response unit at the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD), brought to Council in a separate motion by Councilmember Mitch Englander, received the most Innovation Fund dollars, in recognition of the programs potential to save dollars and lives by freeing up critical public safety resources.

"The Innovation and Performance Commission (IPC) of Los Angeles is pleased that the first batch of Innovation Fund concepts, submitted by City employees, have been approved by the City Council,” said IPC Chair Todd Sargent. “We anticipate these pilot concepts to bring tremendous benefit to City operations. The IPC is aggressively reviewing additional concepts to fund in this fiscal year and expect to have several more projects for the City Council to review soon. Our City employees have been the best source of ideas to innovate on the way we deliver services to Angelenos."

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