Citizen Engagement Archives - Accela

Tag Archives: Citizen Engagement

Customer Spotlight: Tacoma Rethinks the Citizen Experience with Digital Permitting

Mount Rainier over Tacoma WA waterfront. Building solutions.
In the city offices of Tacoma, Washington, hearing the community is all about “hearing the customer.” Speed, accessibility, efficiency, transparency, convenience, these hallmarks of customer service are part of the city’s larger strategy to engage residents and drive community development. Jennifer Ward, Tacoma’s management analyst, said digital tools are essential in this effort as regulations change to adapt to new businesses, technologies and shifts in citizen expectations. Evidence of this can be seen in Tacoma’s recent modernization effort to replace and upgrade its permitting tool. Ward said Tacoma’s Planning and Development Services had struggled with an older enterprise-wide system that had been re-purposed to handle permit applications…. Continue reading

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Driving Citizen Engagement: Philly311 Offers a Model for Success

Jason Shueh

Philly’s service request platform and civic engagement strategy show how cities can use mobile apps to build community

Cities searching for a next-level strategy on “citizen engagement” should visit the City of Brotherly Love. With the launch of the Philly311 mobile app, Philadelphia has built an engagement program that connects its departments and citizens with quick communications and near seamless service response. The mobile app is Philly’s Swiss Army knife for service requests and the centerpiece of a city movement to improve neighborhoods, draw resident feedback and provide outreach to residents. With a few swipes and a photo, residents use Philly311 to report graffiti,… Continue reading

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Using Accela To Meet Department Needs And Save Money

Scott Connors
Guest Blog from City of Pittsfield, Massachusetts Recently our Building Maintenance Department informed us of the upcoming license renewal for their internal work order system for the City of Pittsfield. This system was used to report a building issue to the Building Maintenance department, and also housed all of their preventive maintenance calls. Upon further investigation, we learned the cost for renewing the license and bringing the application up to date would be a staggering $42,000. Accela to the rescue A search was conducted to find a less expensive suitable replacement. During the search process, I realized we had a product in our arsenal which could do the job…. Continue reading

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The Mobile Citizen: Reach Them Where They Are (Part 1 of 4)

David Shaeffer
There’s a shift happening in how we get information, use services and communicate with others. It’s a mobile shift. Forrester, a leading market research firm, calls it the “mobile mind shift” and describes it as an “expectation that I can get what I want in my immediate context and moments of need.” As companies like Uber and Amazon continue to leverage mobile technology to reach customers during these specific “mobile moments,” it’s not as easy for government to engage their “mobile” citizens. Why? Because, unlike businesses, governments can’t target their customers with a service tailored to a specific need. Government must serve everyone by delivering a multitude of services as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible…. Continue reading

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Announcing the Governing Institute’s 2015 Citizen Engagement Awards: Start Nominating Today

Rob Cassetti
As the leading platform provider for government, Accela is always looking for innovative approaches to improving access to information and to citizen engagement. That’s why we’re so excited to announce the 2015 Citizen Engagement Awards with the Governing Institute. We’ve collaborated to develop this program to recognize the agencies and champions creating more accessible, transparent and citizen-centric communities. The awards program is open to any state and local government agency, with the following categories: City/County Government, State Government, and Leadership/Innovator. The Leadership/Innovator category is open to any elected official, government employee, civic organization or nonprofit agency supporting citizen engagement through innovative technology solutions. Nominations are open now and will be accepted online through April 16th and the submissions will be evaluated based on the following criteria: Project scope and implementation to engage citizens Impact of citizen engagement efforts Utilization of technology to achieve results Creativity and initiative to make change Demonstrated leadership to drive change We will recognize the award winners at a formal ceremony at Accela Engage,… Continue reading

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Using Social Media for an Open Government: 7 Tips to Get You Started

Megan Lunetta
Social media can be a powerful tool for the government to listen to their citizens and for citizens to interact with their local government. It is a force to help build relationships, drive engagement and enhance agency reputations. Government agencies are using social media more and more to interact with citizens and local businesses in their community. Here are 7 tips to help get your agency started on social media: 1. Quality trumps quantity. You don’t need to be on every social media channel, so pick one or two to focus on and go from there. Spreading yourself too thin will not help your agency take advantage of building your reputation online…. Continue reading

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Improving Citizen Trust in Local Government [Free Issue Brief]

Daryl Blowes
Local governments strive to engage citizens in the legislative process to build trust and better communities. Local meetings are a great place for citizens to have their voices heard and understand how to get more involved in their city. With busy schedules or poor timing, citizens are not always able to attend local town hall or legislative meetings in person, making it difficult to stay informed. Getting access to the information discussed is also a lengthy and difficult process for both citizens and government officials, involving costly, labor-intensive work to share minutes and other documents. Offering modern, online tools to boost transparency and encourage citizen participation not only builds greater trust in local government,… Continue reading

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Accela Launches Citizen’s View: A New Way to Discover What’s Happening in the Streets

Megan Lunetta
Picture this: you get in your car to go about your day. Maybe you’re going to run some errands or heading to work, but the street is blocked and it’s a familiar sight—road construction. If you’re like me, you want to pull your hair out. Then, when you calm down you think to yourself: Wouldn’t it be nice to know what’s happening in the streets before leaving the house? Enter our new Accela Right of Way Management solution: Citizen’s View. With Citizen’s View your agency can launch a responsive, configurable website that shows road construction, traffic impacts and community events on a map, calendar, timeline and more to engage and inform citizens…. Continue reading

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Governments Worldwide Working for the People: 2014 Accela Engage Customer Award Winners

Rob Cassetti
When Abraham Lincoln spoke the phrase, “government of the people, by the people, for the people,” he envisioned a government that existed to better serve its own constituents—one that was open to change and innovation, and would better the lives of every citizen. Although it’s easy to get caught up in the wave of cynicism that’s so popular these days, there are government agencies around the world that consider improving the lives of constituents a top priority, and are creating new and innovative technologies that embrace that populist ideal by making it easier for citizens to engage with their governments. The Accela Engage Customer Awards were created to honor agencies that are using technology to build better communities by providing online and mobile services,… Continue reading

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Recreation Time!

Jeff Stiles
Each year, billions of citizens visit our National Parks and Federal and State lands. Yet, most agencies still haven’t found a way to leverage technology to improve the effectiveness of limited staff in collecting entrance or usage fees and helping to manage their natural resources, or in making services available online and on mobile. Imagine reserving your campground from your phone or computer, purchasing parks entrance passes without having to wait in a long line or renewing your boat registration from the comfort of your couch. It means that citizens can spend more time enjoying these natural resources and less time with process and paperwork. Accela is now in a great position to help manage these types of valuable resources with our acquisition of Kinsail…. Continue reading

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