Chicago Snags Code For America Innovation Fellowship

Some of you might remember a while back when Mayor Michael Bloomberg implemented 3-1-1 in New York -- a non-emergency phone number that revolutionized the way citizens could make service requests of the city.

Got a dead raccoon in your front yard? Is your landlord being a jerk? That's the kinda stuff 3-1-1 is meant to handle, and although Chicago's been an early adopter of the program, is hasn't exactly been accessible via the digital mediums people tend to use to communicate nowadays.

That's why there's been a need for "Open311," a wrinkle on the project that assures the city is more responsive and compatible with 21st-century technologies.

This week Mayor Emanuel announced that Chicago will be one of eight cities that will "help modernize the way service requests are received, executed, and tracked."

Detroit, Macon, and Philadelphia are among the other cities granted Open311 status for 2012.

According to a press release circulated by the Mayor's press office, $300,000 in grant funding has been allocated to assist the Open311 fellows, who will live in Chicago for one month come February 2012. It's the shortest month, yeah, but it's clear to see there are fundamental citywide problems that can easily be identified and hopefully rectified. Spotty CTA service, we're looking at you. But hey, being able to track complaints to the city and hold someone accountable would be a leap forward any city-dweller would be ecstatic to take.

Read the full announcement over at Code For America.

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