I have so many stories illustrating how SeeClickFix has changed my life, neighborhood and my city for the better so it’s quite hard to choose just one. But, I choose a simple but powerful example: neighborhood lighting and safety.
Our wonderful neighborhood, Wooster Square, sits right on the edge of downtown. Many neighbors do not have cars and walk and bike to work and play. Many choose Court Street as their path. It is direct, fast, and sections of the street are amazingly beautiful. However, one stretch is dark and scary. It covers a train track and it littered with broken bottles and trash. At night, that stretch of Court Street is dangerous and treacherous, and over the summer and into the fall, many, many neighbors were assaulted and mugged here. Most assailants hid in the dark recesses of Court Street, using the unlit street to their advantage.
At the same time, there was a general increase in crime around the neighborhood. Neighbors contacted the police but were not happy with their response and the events did not stop. We decided to post the muggings and crimes on SCF and to see what happened. (http://www.seeclickfix.com/issues/9603) We had heard that posting to SCF has helped stop drug dealing in another neighborhood in our city so we thought it was worth a shot.
We encouraged neighbors to vote and comment on this issue. Our activity on SCF gained us attention from the Mayor’s Office and the press.
Today, the neighborhood is active and energized. We now know our neighborhood police officers and have received great attention and support from them and City Hall. Police are more visible and are very responsive. City Hall has responded creatively: solar lights soon to be installed.
And, since our posting on SCF and our neighborhood self-organization, assaults have slowly decreased and we haven’t had a mugging since late December.
I believe SCF gave our neighbors a tangible way to take action. Each vote or comment was sent right to City Hall, police, elected officials and other interested citizens. As long as we commented, complained, discussed and voted, these stakeholders were notified. SCF gave us an easy way to hold our elected officials and city government accountable while also inspiring us to organize ourselves. I also believe it gave City Hall a way to respond positively and proactively, and helped us build a working relationship with them.
At best, SCF helped us organize ourselves. Our neighborhood is more cohesive, more proactive, more engaged, more social, more responsible, and in the end, so is our city.
Thank you SeeClickFix!