Last week, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced the city’s integration with SeeClickFix, a platform that allows citizens to report non-emergency city issues to government agencies online. 
 
Chicago’s Open311 tools have been fully integrated into the SeeClickFix platform for functionality, allowing SeeClickFix to improve Chicago’s 311 reporting process. When a taxpayer submits a service request on SeeClickFix, the city sends them a confirmation or tracking number, and residents can see the status of their issue. On the back end, reports are automatically routed to city aldermen. The integration eliminates the need for these city employees to manually input requests into 311.
 
“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,” Emanuel said in a city press release. Of the nearly 100 cities fully integrated with the tool, Chicago, with its more than 2.7 million residents, has become the largest.
 
Residents can also submit service requests via SeeClickFix through Facebook, Android and iPhone applications. Chicago opened up its Open311 application programming interface (API) to developers who created these additional functionalities. 
 
“There was a real commitment on Chicago’s part to extending the API in a way that gives more information holistically about things coming into the city of Chicago,” said Ben Berkowitz, SeeClickFix’s co-founder. “Because they’re making that data more available, a citizen in Chicago might have more of an idea what’s going on or how their issue’s being handled than previously.”
 
Berkowitz founded the company in 2008 with business partners Kam Lasater, Jeff Blasius and Miles Lasater to facilitate easier, more seamless civic engagement between taxpayers and their local governments. SeeClickFix has grown steadily over the years across North America.
Kevin Hauswirth, director of social media in Rahm Emanuel’s office, is excited about the change. “By opening up 311, it empowers organizations like SeeClickFix to give more ways for Chicagoans to interact with us,” he said.
 
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com
 
Hilton Collins, Staff Writer Hilton Collins  |  GT Staff Writer

By day, Hilton Collins is a staff writer for Government Technology and Emergency Management magazines who covers sustainability, cybersecurity and disaster management issues. By night, he’s a sci-fi/fantasy fanatic, and if he had to choose between comic books, movies, TV shows and novels, he’d have a brain aneurysm. He can be reached at hcollins@govtech.com and on @hiltoncollins on Twitter.