Thursday, April 14, 2011 - By Megan - 2 comments

Helping San Francisco Fight Blight

Flashback to 2007: A group of Estonian friends are discussing their country's illegal dumping problem. Amidst their conversation, they realize this illegal dumping isn't the real issue. In fact, the root of the problem lies in the country's widespread apathy. Hoping to take matters into their own hands, these friends brainstorm how to change this mentality. What emerged was the Let's Do It initiative.


With the idea of 'one day, one country,' the Let's Do It initiative involves cooperation throughout the entire society--citizens, NGOS, private companies, and the state--to clean up unprecedented amounts of illegal garbage. For example, in Estonia, over 50,000 citizens came together and cleaned up over 10,000 tons of garbage on May 3, 2008.

Starting with Estonia, the campaign has now spread across the globe. In fact, the campaign recently emerged in the United States with yesterday's official launch of Let's Do it SF! in San Francisco, CA.

Like previous campaigns before it, Let's Do It SF! hopes to tackle the increasing incidents of illegal dumping and graffiti in the Bay Area. Consisting of three parts (mapping of garbage, public communication, and clean-up day), the initiative will incorporate SeeClickFix into the first part through the use of our free, efficient, and user-friendly technology.

A GovFresh contributor and member of the City Attorney's Office, Adriel Hampton wrote that San Francisco's Open311 system allows apps like ours to "interface directly with the city's issue ticketing system, creating both efficiencies and new resources from the developer community."

With our mobile applications and widgets, citizens will be trained on how to report and map existing blighted locations, which will then be remedied. Every month, the Department of Public Works will host hundreds of citizen volunteers and city staff on its 'Community Clean Teams' that will plant trees and shrubs, clean up trash, and remove graffiti on public property. Next year, Let's Do It SF! will also participate in the global 'Let's Do It' Cleanup Day.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera believes the Let's Do it SF! initiative will simultaneously beautify the Bay Area and increase collective action among citizens:
Our proactive approach to cleaning up our streets serves as a warning to would-be polluters that San Francisco residents do not tolerate environmental and social injustice and we take pride in our neighborhoods.
Echoing Herrera, the SeeClickFix team hopes our tools will connect citizens online to make a difference offline. We look forward to helping San Francisco communities fight blight!

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for your help and for your support of the Open311 infrastructure and the Let's Do It! movement!

  2. Megan says:

    No problem, Adriel. We're happy to help!

    Keep SeeClickFixing!
    Megan

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