Gov. Moore, Bloomberg Philanthropies Launch State Innovation Team To Reduce Child Poverty In Maryland

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Governor Wes Moore and Bloomberg Philanthropies yesterday announced a new partnership to promote public sector innovation in the State of Maryland. Together they will establish the first-ever Bloomberg Philanthropies-supported state Innovation Team. Under the leadership of a chief innovation officer, the team will be charged with identifying, testing, and piloting new initiatives to address the governor’s top priorities – particularly in advancing the Moore-Miller Administration’s fight to reduce child poverty. 

“Foundational challenges require innovative solutions. This new partnership will help us discover new and creative ways to deliver for Marylanders, and continue my administration’s frontal assault on child poverty,” said Gov. Moore. “We thank Bloomberg Philanthropies for recognizing the promise and potential in Maryland and joining forces with our administration to leave no one behind. Together, we will make Maryland the best place in the world to change the world.”

“Innovation teams have helped city halls tackle complex challenges and better serve their residents for more than a decade,” said Bloomberg Philanthropies and Bloomberg L.P. Founder and 108th New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. “By bringing this proven model to the state level, we hope to help Governor Wes Moore accelerate his efforts to reduce poverty, including by expanding access to programs like the Earned Income Tax Credit, and bring more opportunity to communities that need them most.”

The announcement was made during the Bloomberg Philanthropies City Data Alliance summit, a convening of international mayors focused on building leading data and artificial intelligence capabilities in local governments at Johns Hopkins University. 

Currently, one in eight Maryland children lives in poverty. Nearly one in four Marylanders receive insurance through Medicaid—nearly half of which are children. In State fiscal year 2022, 592,399 Marylanders were enrolled in SNAP, of which 37% were children under 19. In State fiscal year 2023, 76,605 Marylanders received Temporary Cash Assistance, of which 68% were children. 

The partnership will establish a chief innovation officer and a seven-person team that will work across State agencies and sectors, seeking new and improved solutions and incubating and scaling initiatives, particularly those that will reverse the rise of young people experiencing poverty statewide. To develop strategies, the team will have expertise in data analysis; insight development; rapid prototyping; robust delivery; and project management.

The action builds upon Bloomberg Philanthropies’ global Government Innovation portfolio and Innovation Team (“i-team”) program. The new support from Bloomberg Philanthropies will directly advance and expand the State’s capacity to deepen its use of data; enhance and digitize service delivery; and collaborate with residents, community-based organizations, public schools, state and local government entities. Through this effort, the State of Maryland will join a growing number of governments around the world working with Bloomberg Philanthropies to develop creative, agile solutions for communities’ benefit.

Recruitment for the new team is actively underway. More information is available at Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

“Our goal is to embrace the most effective and innovative strategies for combating child poverty,” said Governor’s Office for Children Special Secretary Carmel Martin. “We look forward to working with the new Innovation Team to design programs and initiatives that center the needs and voices of our communities, who are at the heart of our work.”

The Innovation Team launch, made possible through Bloomberg Philanthropies’ support, is the next step in Governor Moore’s fight to combat child poverty in Maryland. The governor first signed both the Fair Wage Act and the Family Prosperity Act following the 2023 legislative session, increasing the minimum wage two years ahead of schedule, permanently extending the Earned Income Tax Credit, and expanding the Child Tax Credit. Taken together, these actions were part of directing nearly $200 million to fight poverty and support economic mobility.

This year, Governor Moore introduced and passed the ENOUGH Act, which establishes a place-based strategy to tackle the root causes of concentrated poverty by marshaling private, philanthropic, and public resources for Maryland communities with the highest rates of generational child poverty. The governor also issued an executive order in January to establish the Governor’s Office for Children and reinvigorate the Children’s Cabinet—both of which will work in partnership with agencies across the administration and the new Innovation Team.

Today’s announcement builds on Bloomberg Philanthropies’ long-standing work to drive innovation for resident impact in local governments across the globe. To date, the Bloomberg Philanthropies Innovation Team (i-team) program has reached 83 cities across nine countries and four continents—representing more than 65 million residents—and inspired thousands of public sector organizations to embrace innovation systems and practices. 

These efforts have led to the digitization of more than 220 public services that reach over 80 percent of residents in Mexico City, Mexico; the development of mental health supports to treat the trauma of war in Kyiv, Ukraine; and the creation of a lending system in Bogotá, Colombia that helps workers such as shop owners and street vendors safely obtain a formal credit score from the city—rather than predatory loan sharks—so more people can grow their businesses, improve wealth, and access the economic opportunities they deserve. 

Bloomberg Philanthropies will elevate strategies devised in Maryland to other government officials around the world who are grappling with similar challenges. 

Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in 700 cities and 150 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on creating lasting change in five key areas: the arts, education, environment, government innovation, and public health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s giving, including his foundation, corporate, and personal philanthropy as well as Bloomberg Associates, a philanthropic consultancy that advises cities around the world. In 2023, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $3 billion.

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