ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Last month, Albuquerque’s Mayor Richard J. Berry delivered a talk on Albuquerque’s panhandling initiative There’s a Better Way at TEDxPennsylvaniaAvenue. TEDxPennAve is a platform for several of the world’s most innovative thinkers and doers to share their groundbreaking ideas with leaders in our nation’s capital.
Mayor Berry joined 14 other leading philanthropic, academic, business, non-profit, artistic, and political leaders came together to share their visions for what we can, and should, do together “Within 10 Years” to address our country’s and our world’s greatest challenges. Mayor Berry’s speech on the innovative ways Albuquerque is tackling social issues, resonated with a wide variety of people tuning into the speech resulting in several people looking to adopt the initiative in their towns. Since the inception of the initiative cities like Chicago, Seattle, Dallas, Tucson, and most recently, Portland, Maine have implemented similar programs citing Albuquerque’s success.
To watch the TEDx speech please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btItLAjT5zg&feature=youtu.be
There’s a Better Way started in May 2015 with 15 signs posted at intersections throughout Albuquerque giving drivers an alternative way to donate and panhandlers information to get connected to services. In September 2015 Mayor Berry introduced There’s A Better Way 2.0 where the city partnered with St. Martin’s Hospitality Center to drive around, the city and hire panhandlers for day- long beautification projects such as pulling weeds and picking up trash. Since that launch, the initiative has been a success with wide spread success, garnering international attention. In December 2016, There’s A Better Way 3.0 launched a Citizens At Risk Evaluators (C.A.R.E.) Team to meet with panhandlers on the corners where they are standing to listen, learn and better understand each person’s situation and to then craft solutions for them, such as connections to family, shelter, work or case management.
Through the end of February 2017, There’s A Better Way has produced the following statistics:
- 1,759 day labor jobs have been given, resulting in cleanup at 418 city blocks with 121,601 pounds of litter and weeds being removed
- Over 17,000 times, people have been connected to services they may not have known about previously, 226 people have been introduced and connected to permanent employment opportunities, 20 are in housing, 156 are engaged with mental health services and substance abuse programs.
- The program has received over 15,840 calls with 96% of those calls looking to be connected to resources.
- Total donations to date: $59,725.
Here is a list of TEDxPennsylvaniaAvenue speakers and performers and their full bios can be found here.
TEDxPennsylvaniaAvenue’s mission is to spark connection, conversation, and community among leaders in Washington D.C. who might not otherwise have an opportunity to meet and share ideas. You can find more information about us on our website (insert link to website). Follow us on Twitter at @TEDxPennAve and Facebook at www.facebook.com/tedxpennsylvaniaavenue/.
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x=independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or fewer) delivered by today’s leading thinkers and doers. Many of these talks are given at TED’s annual conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, and made available, free, on TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Monica Lewinsky, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala,Sal Khan and Daniel Kahneman. TED’s open and free initiatives for spreading ideas include TED.com, where new TED Talk videos are posted daily; the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from thousands of volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed; the annual million-dollar TED Prize, which funds exceptional individuals with a “wish,” or idea, to create change in the world; TEDx, which provides licenses to thousands of individuals and groups who host local, self-organized TED-style events around the world; and the TED Fellows program, which selects innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.