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Mayor Rahm Emanuel and SeeClickFix, the most widely-distributed citizen reporting tool in the world, today launched a partnership that will allow the City of Chicago’s 311 service center to improve the public’s ability to submit and track 311 service requests. Last month, Mayor Emanuel opened the 311 platform for developers to create applications that enhance the public’s ability to submit service requests in new ways. SeeClickFix, which has more than 500 unique early-users in Chicago reporting thousands of issues, has now integrated Chicago’s Open311 tools into their platform, thereby empowering residents to submit service requests via SeeClickFix.com, iPhone, Android and Facebook applications. Of SeeClickFix’s nearly 100 partner cities, Chicago is the largest one to launch a fully integrated connection with the site.
“Chicago launched Open311 as part of our unprecedented commitment to make City data more accessible and empower taxpayers,” said Mayor Emanuel. “I’m pleased that we can work with SeeClickFix to create new ways to improve service delivery, increase government accountability and improve the quality of life for all Chicagoans.”
When someone submits a service request on SeeClickFix, the City will automatically post a confirmation and a service number. For the most popular service requests, a tracking number and link will be posted enabling residents to use Chicago’s 311 Service Tracker to see the status of their issue and sign up to receive an email notification when it has been resolved.
SeeClickFix was originally launched in 2008 by entrepreneurs Ben Berkowitz, Kam Lasater, Jeff Blasius and Miles Lasater, as a means to encourage civic involvement and improve government responsiveness. While Chicagoans have had access to SeeClickFix since the company launched in 2008 and have become a loyal and active user base, the tool wasn’t seamlessly integrated directly to 311. According to Berkowitz, cities that integrate more fully into SeeClickFix tend to see as much as a 10-fold increase in engagement per week, measured by the number of requests and comments submitted by residents.
“Chicagoans are clearly passionate about their city and actively involved in reporting issues to 311,” said Berkowitz. “Integrating SeeClickFix tools empowers residents to connect with each other, their alderman and their city to work together to improve Chicago community by community.”
SeeClickFix’s platform also allows aldermen to see issues being reported in their neighborhoods. With the automatic integration into 311, aldermen no longer need to manually input those requests into 311.
“Combining the technology behind Open311 and SeeClickFix allows aldermanic offices to spend more time addressing constituent issues,” said Alderman James Cappleman, “We’ve been impressed with SeeClickFix’s tools and applaud Mayor Emanuel’s dedication to making City government more open and responsive to the needs of Chicagoans.”
This announcement comes at the onset of the largest growth period for SeeClickFix, which is in the process of partnering with large cities outside Chicago including Toronto, Minneapolis and Mason City, Iowa as well as small towns like Andover, MA and Hendersonville, NC. In the coming month SeeClickFix will launch integrations and new software interfaces for managing citizen requests for cities covering more than 10 million people.
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