The City of Mesa wins 1st Place for Overall City Government Experience in the Center for Digital Government's fifth annual Government Experience Awards. The award recognizes the achievements and best practices of cities that radically improve government experience and push the boundaries of how citizen services are delivered.
"The City of Mesa has taken a smart city approach to improve the quality of life of our residents. This was never more evident than when our technology and innovation allowed us to continue delivering services despite the unprecedented challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic," said City Manager Chris Brady. "We have an incredible team who put many hours into our smart city efforts to better serve Mesa."
The Center for Digital Government praised Mesa's IT team for transitioning its online services during the pandemic to distribute federal CARES Act funding quickly. With the creation of the Mesa CARES program, the team and other City staff engaged in extensive outreach to residents to understand the needs emerging under pandemic stresses. Tactics included surveys, online polling and a mobile app and social media to pull in citizen feedback.
"Mesa is leading the entire country in funds distribution because of the way we pivoted so quickly," said Chief Information Officer Travis Cutright. "We automated the whole process as much as possible, and we have done so well Maricopa County sent us an additional $5.5 million to distribute, because other cities in the valley were not able to get the money out."
The citizen outreach efforts helped the City identify its most urgent needs. Public transportation needed support and the IT team worked with Valley Metro to provide civic data and GIS information to improve bus and light rail service in Mesa. The City's technology leaders also took on the challenge of the digital divide. With 22 percent of residents lacking internet access at the start of the pandemic, the team partnered with Mesa Public Schools to lead an effort to promote greater broadband accessibility across the City.
More information about the Government Experience Awards is available here. For media inquiries or information about the awards, please contact Kevin Christopher at (480) 644-4699 or Kevin.Christopher@mesaaz.gov.