A short video released Wednesday explains why Santa Monica wants $5 million to study residents' wellbeing.
"Wellbeing to me, it gets down to happiness," Mayor Pam O'Connor says in the two-minute video filmed on a Big Blue Bus.
In November, Santa Monica was selected as one of 20 finalists in the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Mayors Challenge, a competition designed to inspire fresh ideas to improve city life. If it wins, Santa Monica's plan to be the first city to create a well-being index that measures how fulfilled, engaged, satisfied and healthy residents feel.
The grand prize is $5 million, but the city also has a shot at $5,000 if it's voted as a "fan favorite." The fan favorite selection was unveiled Wednesday on the Huffington Post.
In a blog post on Huffpo, O'Connor writes:
We will use the science behind wellbeing to measure and intentionally improve it in our city. Why? Because wellbeing is the foundation for a stronger, more resilient community of people empowered to solve their own problems.
By looking through the lens of wellbeing, the City will know whether or not we're making the most effective use of resources to meet people's needs. This will fundamentally change the relationship between citizen and government.
Users can watch all 20 videos online then vote for the best one.