The advocacy efforts of The E’ville Eye community are finally beginning to take root. Back in September of last year, I presented to council the benefits of embracing mobile technology to recruit residents to work for them by crowdsourcing Public Works tickets and providing a layer of civic transparency to the priority and status of these issues. Thanks to the support of former Councilmember Jennifer West (god I miss her!), we were able to convince the city of the benefits of this and yesterday they deployed a resident Smartphone app called “Engage Emeryville” partnering with the SeeClickFix platform. The E’ville Eye is a news source … but we’re also an advocacy platform for residents and stakeholders working toward better transparency in city government (I’ll go ahead and apologize up front to readers who expect complete objectivity).
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For a city that prides itself as being the “best Connected city in the U.S.” and the Google “digital capital of California“, our own city digital tools have fallen a bit behind. With a recent reboot of the city website, new YouTube channel and now this accompanying mobile app, we’re catching up!
Per the City’s Bi-Weekly E-Newsletter:
The City is excited to announce the launch of the new SeeClickFix application entitled: Engage Emeryville! Now, there will be more ways to report community issues to the City. Engage Emeryville will be available as an app on Android, iPhone and will also be accessible online beginning March 24. The application is another tool for the public to use to report non-emergency community issues like illegal dumping, graffiti, pot holes, sidewalks or broken street lights and the community to report and track all reported issues, bringing transparency to the reporting process.
Using the app is pretty straight forward (as the name “SeeClickFix” implies). When you see something broken, open the app and:
- Snap a picture of it (The app will register your GPS coordinates and map it).
- Assign a category and provide any additional notes
- Submit it and it will alert Public Works
You can also make edits, vote, share and view a list of issues that other neighbors have documented.
In addition to filing reports, the app has links to the city website and Twitter account (Welcome to social media Emeryville!) and a handy Emery Go-Round Schedule (How about for the next update we get the GPS transponders working on the Emery Go-Round so we actually know when the buses are coming?). Download the App for Apple iOS or Google Android and let’s get to work E’villains!