Oakland city leaders are encouraging residents to report illegal dumping, graffiti, broken street lights and other problems, and are incorporating a new mobile app that they hope will streamline the process.
The city announced last week that residents can now report non-emergency problems through the SeeClickFix app, available on iPhone, Blackberry and Android cellphones.
The app, used throughout the U.S., can transmit GPS information and pictures of potholes, graffiti, and other infrastructure issues to public works, giving crews a more detailed report than a simple phone call.
City officials are hoping this will help public works respond to complaints more efficiently, which they say is a necessity, given Oakland's shrinking budget.
"With diminishing resources, this system can help city staff work more effectively and enlist more citizens to get involved," Mayor Jean Quan said in a statement. "One of my favorite neighborhood leaders says that 'Grime equals crime.' Together we can make Oakland more beautiful and safer."
Oakland has received reports from SeeClickFix for years, city officials said, but now have officially embraced the platform and will communicate results back to the service so that citizens can see what comes of their reports.