Evanston 311 leads city to ‘citizen-engaged community’ recognition

Manuel Rapada, Assistant City Editor

Evanston has been named a “citizen-engaged community” for its excellence in  communicating with residents, the city announced Tuesday.

The Public Technology Institute, a technology non-profit for municipalities, awarded the designation to Evanston and more than a dozen other communities. In addition to being the only Illinois city to be named “citizen-engaged,” Evanston was the only city or county with up to 75,000 residents to receive the recognition.

In a news release, Evanston city manager Wally Bobkiewicz said the city is “very proud” to receive the award, adding that this is the second time this year the city has been recognized for its communication efforts. In July, Evanston received PTI’s Web 2.0 award for the city’s use of social media for government communication.

For the citizen engagement award, PTI assessed communities on citizen participation processes including service requests, integrated communication channels and technology such as 311 and performance reporting.

Feedback on the city’s 311 citizen support center, which launched in March 2011, has been positive, Bobkiewicz said in the release. On average, the customer call wait time was 11 seconds, compared to the 50-second average of all applicants.

— Manuel Rapada