2012 City Partner: Chicago[BETA]
Chicago was an early adopter of 311 — a system that connects residents directly with the local government for non-emergency needs — and now it is a popular method for citizen requests for government services in the city. Their system, however, is phone-based and so closed to the wide range of digital mediums people use to communicate. There’s tremendous opportunity to leverage web-based technology to redefine and renovate 311 in Chicago.
The City of Chicago is partnering with Code for America to make Chicago’s government services more accessible and responsive. Across the country, governments have been adopting a common standard for 311 reporting, Open311, which means that apps built on 311 data anywhere can be used everywhere. By deploying this Open311 standard in Chicago, the Code for America fellows would open up access to the dozens of web and mobile applications empowering citizens to report problems and track their status, as well as enabling government officials to monitor requests and make better decisions. Open311 in Chicago would not only encourage civic engagement and participation, but also boost governmental transparency and efficiency.
Chicago has been selected as a partner for the 2012 Code for America Fellowship, so it’ll be up to a team of CfA Fellows to take on this challenge. In less than a year, they’ll need to work with the city and our local partners to go from concept to delivery — with everything from research and marketing to development and testing.
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