Well, maybe not exactly that, but this news proves that all the griping that some of us have been doing has not been for naught. Here is a press release from the City of Hartford:
(June 7, 2011) – Today, Mayor Pedro E. Segarra announced a new partnership to increase and expand how Hartford residents can request city services and report non-emergency problems. Powered by SeeClickFix, the place-based reporting platform allows residents to document neighborhood concerns and improvements alike, ranging from potholes and graffiti to tree requests and speeding.
“This new partnership will engage and empower all of our residents to actively participate in improving the quality of life in our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Segarra. “With its online tool and mobile apps, SeeClickFix places the power directly in the hands of the people who live, work, and visit our City.”
Last month, City Council Minority Leader Luis Cotto invited city residents to start reporting quality of life issues via SeeClickFix.com and its mobile apps.
“311 is great for internal routing of work orders and intra-governmental accountability, but its user interface is somewhat opaque to residents,” Cotto said. “By using SeeClickFix, residents can see what others have identified as problems and interact to help solve quality of life and infrastructure problems in their neighborhoods.”
With the online reporting platform, residents and visitors alike can report quality-of-life concerns through custom service request categories via www.SeeClickFix.com, Facebook, or mobile application, and provide additional information about the problem through the in-depth description or image options. Once someone submits an issue, the reporter and Hartford 311 Call Center will receive email notifications. Hartford 311 will then acknowledge the service request, route it to the proper department, and update the issue page once it’s been resolved.
“SeeClickFix provides residents and our 311 constituent representatives with an efficient, transparent, and user-friendly forum where everyone can be kept informed about challenges (and projects completed) in their community,” said Andy Jaffee, Director of Emergency Services and Telecommunications which oversees the 311 Call Center. “It will not only improve the lines of communication between 311 and the people it serves, but also help improve our city services overall.”
The partnership allows individuals to not only report community issues, but also view, comment on, and vote to fix problems submitted by others. Citizens can even create their own “watch areas” to receive notifications about issues reported throughout the entire city or just in their neighborhood, enabling individuals to follow the progress of all service requests.
“Being based in Connecticut, we’re extremely excited to now count the city of Hartford among our government partners,” said Ben Berkowitz, SeeClickFix CEO. “The Internet continues to prove itself as a tool for civic empowerment. With our technology, we hope Hartford residents will actively engage with one another and their local government online to enact change offline.”
The SeeClickFix Hartford website can be found here: http://www.seeclickfix.com/hartford.
Residents can download iPhone, Android, and Blackberry apps here: http://www.seeclickfix.com/apps.
SeeClickFix allows citizens anywhere in the world to report and monitor non-emergency community issues ranging from potholes and planted trees to garbage and graffiti. Launched in 2008, it empowers citizens, community groups, media organizations, and governments to work together and improve their neighborhoods. Through mobile web, web, iPhone, Android, and Blackberry apps, the SeeClickFix platform is the most widely-distributed citizen reporting tool in the country. The platform is fun and easy to use for citizens while being inexpensive and easily adaptable for governments. Over 40 percent of issues reported on SeeClickFix are ultimately resolved. For more information or to report an issue, visit www.seeclickfix.com.
The reason why I prefer SeeClickFix over 311 is its transparency. I can see where my complaint is, which means that others can too. So much gets unresolved because nobody is held accountable; a complaint can be filed and then it disappears from public view. With SeeClickFix, people can be embarrassed into doing the right thing, if that’s what it takes.
Reprinted with permission of Kerri Provost, author of the blog RealHartford.
To view other stories on this topic, search RealHartford at http://www.realhartford.org/.