The City of Mesa won first place in the Center for Digital Government’s fifth annual Government Experience Awards for the city’s overall experience.

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The City of Mesa won first place in the Center for Digital Government’s fifth annual Government Experience Awards for the overall city government experience.

The award recognizes the achievements and best practices of cities that radically improve the government experience pushing the boundaries of the provision of civic services, a press release said.

“The City of Mesa is adopting a smart city approach to improving the quality of life for our residents. This has never been more evident when our technology and innovation enabled us to continue providing services despite the unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, “City Manager Chris Brady said in the press release. “We have an incredible team that put hours and hours into our Smart City efforts to better serve Mesa.” The Center for Digital Government recognized the Mesa IT team for transforming their online services during the pandemic to quickly distribute the federal CARES law funding. In creating the Mesa CARES program, the team and other staff in the city looked closely at residents to understand the needs arising from pandemic loads. Tactics included polls, online polls, and a mobile app and social media to get feedback from citizens.

“Mesa is a nationwide leader in the field because of the way we panned so quickly Fund distribution, ”said Travis Cutright, chief information officer, in the press release. “We automated the whole process as much as possible, and we did so well that Maricopa County sent us an additional $ 5.5 million for distribution because other cities in the valley couldn’t get the money out.” / p> Citizens’ outreach efforts helped the city identify its most pressing needs. Public transportation needed support and the IT team worked with Valley Metro to provide citizen data and GIS information to improve bus and light rail traffic in Mesa. The city’s technology leaders also faced the challenge of the digital divide. With 22% of residents not having internet access at the start of the pandemic, the team partnered with Mesa Public Schools to promote better broadband availability across the city.

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