This week, we bring you another edition of the i-teams Lightning Round shared by the Innovation Teams (i-teams), a cohort of in-house innovation consultants in cities across the United States and Israel that are developing and deploying bold ideas to tackle the biggest issues facing city governments.

The holiday season is the perfect time to pause and reflect on the past year and take stock of what’s truly important–at home, at work, and in the broader community. As the i-teams work to help cities address big, difficult challenges, they rely on colleagues in city government, community members, and a wide range of other players. As part of our regular #LightningRound series, we asked the Innovation Teams about the people, places, and things they’re thankful for in their cities.

Here’s what they had to say:

Albuquerque

  • Albuquerque is an incredible place to live. There’s nothing like a New Mexico sunset, and I love green chile on everything! The cost of living is lower than many other cities, which makes it easier to enjoy hard work. The weather is awesome - one day I’m snowboarding and the next I’m playing golf or mountain biking. There’s a reason our city is often ranked among the best in the country for recreation and quality of life. Albuquerque also has a unique culture, rooted in history and backed by a spirit of giving.

  • I am thankful for so many things about Albuquerque! I love that I can ride my bike and hike basically year round. I love the food–green chile especially, but we also have an amazing collection of restaurants serving delicious eats from around the world. I’m especially thankful for an amazing community of people who work hard every day for equality, a vital urban environment, education, sustainable living, accessible healthcare, safe and fun opportunities to ride bikes, housing and resources for people who need them, healthy food, and many more (seriously, these are the kinds of things most of my friends do both professionally and in their spare time!). I am constantly driven further by the people in Albuquerque!

  • I’m thankful to be working with a team - both the i-team and City of Albuquerque employees - that is eager to learn, excited to provide ideas and solutions and committed to making our city an even better place to live and work.

Seattle

  • I’m thankful for the Seattle community, which is super engaged with the city and passionate about making the change they want to see. It’s been great for us to keep them front and center when thinking about our ideas.

Los Angeles

  • I’m thankful to live and work in a city filled with people pushing the boundaries of what’s possible –a city of hard-dreamers reinventing themselves and their city.

  • I’m thankful for the small businesses that make up the vibrant multi-cultural fabric of the Los Angeles neighborhoods - for their hard work and long hours to provide a living for their family and a service to their community, their fortitude to figure out how to build and run a business from scratch - and for the city’s many immigrant entrepreneurs, I’m thankful for their resourcefulness to do all of this in a new language and system. Happy thanksgiving all - don’t forget to shop small on Saturday (and other days as well)!

  • Los Angeles has thousands of incredible sights, tastes, smells, sounds and people and I’m undoubtedly thankful for all of them. But even more so, I’m thankful that this city has seemingly endless potential and capacity to keep getting better. I believe we are full of residents, organizations and businesses thirsty enough to seize this potential and push us to ever greater heights. So make sure to come visit us now and in 5, 10, 50 years too.

  • I’m thankful for the opportunity to work and live in the City of Los Angeles - a place full of dynamic people, places and ideas. I’m thankful to be working here during a time of incredible opportunity and thoughtfulness on so many topics, including how we want to live and interact. I’m thankful for the sheer will and perseverance that the people, businesses and organizations in this City have and therefore, their ability to get things done. I’m also thankful to be working with an i-team full of rock stars who show up every day willing to take on new challenges, learn new things and dedicate their energy to making good things happen in our great City with our residents in mind.