Local Government Innovation Awards 2015

2015 Winners!

Overall category winners of the 2015 Local Government Innovation Awards include: 

City Category: Rochester Public Library BookBike

Rochester Public Library (RPL) provides services in one of Minnesota’s fastest-growing counties in population (Olmsted County, 149,226). In 2015, RPL maximized grant funding to offer outreach services through the first BookBike in the State of Minnesota. During the spring and summer of 2015, this little mobile library—a customized trailer attached to a bicycle—visited 113 locations and reached 5,696 visitors in central neighborhoods. The BookBike allowed RPL to: collaborate with area organizations; participate in popular outdoor events; reach new library customers; increase awareness/access to services; build relationships; reduce access and transportation barriers; and promote bicycling.

County Category: wRight Choice
From the probation perspective, an ounce of prevention reaps positive rewards. From the education system, helping students become engaged learners is essential to their success. Wright County Court Services and Buffalo High School teamed together to start a program called "wRight Choice," an alternative to out-of-school suspension. This program, started over three years ago, now involves eight school districts referring students suspended from school, to a program built around restorative justice principles. 

Township Category: Pine Island Community Planning Team

Pine Island is a community of 3,400 residents located on U.S. 52 just north of Rochester, on the edge of the area impacted by Rochester’s Destination Medical Center initiative. The Pine Island Community Planning Team (CPT) is a collaborative “think tank” formed in October 2012 with the goal of conceptualizing a vision for the future of Pine Island and the surrounding area. CPT includes representatives from the City, School District, Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Authority, and five surrounding townships.

School Category: Minnesota Partnership for Collaborative Curriculum 

The Minnesota Partnership for Collaborative Curriculum (MPCC) was formed as a grassroots effort to provide all Minnesota teachers with access to high quality, easily adaptable digital materials aligned to the state’s academic standards. Currently, there are now more than 200 Minnesota school districts participating in this effort to use technology to ultimately replace expensive text books and vendor solutions in public education. 

Go here for a complete list of 2015 Local Government Innovation Awardees 
All 24 awardees will be formally recognized at an awards ceremony and reception Thursday, December 10, at 4 p.m. at the Humphrey School. Please join us for this event. Register here.


Want to know how to submit a stellar application? View a recording of our webinar, "How to Craft An Award-Winning Application" HERE!

Humphrey Fellow Jay Kiedrowski explains local government innovation

Are you a school, city, township, or county that has been innovating to improve services or reduce the cost of local government? Share your innovation for a chance to win $5,000 and a professional video highlighting your effort!

Minnesota faces the reality of an aging population, rising health care costs, and increasing demand for government services with reduced revenue. Yet many counties, cities, townships, and schools have refused to let the traditional approaches of either increasing taxes or cutting spending dictate their responses to these challenges. Instead, they are pursuing a third way: innovation and service redesign.

The Local Government Innovation Awards recognizes the creative ways counties, cities, and schools are making Minnesota better and doing things differently. All types of local government innovation are encouraged to enter.

Up to 20 local government entities will be recognized as award winners for their innovation. The winner in each of the four categories will also receive a professional video highlighting their work and a $5,000 grant from the Bush Foundation to continue local government innovation and redesign!


This year's Awards will honor up to 20 local government entities (5 cities, 5 counties, 5 townships, and 5 schools).

One overall winner in each category will be awarded a $5,000 grant from the Bush Foundation.

Please note that these grants must be used exclusively for charitable, public purposes and cannot be used for direct or grassroots lobbying efforts. 


Entries accepted:      September 21st, 2015, 9am CST - October 23rd, 2015, 12pm CST**

**The deadline has been extended to Tuesday, October 27th at 5pm CST.

Awards Ceremony:   December 10, 2015, 4pm-6pm, Location TBA

How to Enter

While the Awards strongly encourages using the online submission form to enter the Awards, emailed and mailed-in entries will be accepted.  

                1) To submit your entry online, click on "Submission Form" on the left navigation bar. 

                2) Entries may be submitted via email to Samantha Hodges at LGIAwards@gmail.com. Download the form from "Submission Form" on left navigation bar. 

                3) Or via mail*:

                    Local Government Innovation Awards

                    2828 University Avenue SE, #150

                    Minneapolis, MN 55414

                *Mailed-in entries must be postmarked by October 20th, 2015 to ensure they are received by the entry deadline.

Other Entry Guidelines:

The deadline to enter online is Friday, October 23rd, 2015 at 12pm CST.**

**The deadline has been extended to Tuesday, October 27th at 5pm CST. 

More than one entry is allowed by the same government entity. However, the same department within a government entity cannot win more than one award.

Entries may be posted online and viewable to the public. Word limits will be enforced for all entries.