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The City of Evanston has been recognized as a 2014-2016 Citizen-Engaged Community award winner by the Public Technology Institute (PTI).
Evanston is one of only four communities nationwide to be recognized in the “75,000 to 150,000 Population” category. This is the second time the City has received the award, which recognizes excellence in multi-channel contact centers and best practices for the use of Citizen Relationship/Records Management (CRM) systems, 311 services, web portal technology, telephony systems and mobile communications infrastructure. The City was also designated as a Citizen-Engaged Community for 2012-2014.
Evanston’s award focused on the efforts of its 311 Service Center, which has handled more than 141,000 calls in 2014.
“The City of Evanston is very proud to again receive this prestigious designation,” said Evanston City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz. “Our excellent 311 Service Center not only provides thousands of Evanston community members each year with quick, accurate responses to their requests, it helps the City provide best-in-class service across all departments while improving efficiency and accountability.”
The 311 Service Center continues to expand and improve the ways it reaches residents. This year, it became one of only a few centers in the nation to implement a 10-digit live texting service, allowing residents to send text messages directly to 311 from their mobile phone without utilizing a special keyword or short code. Community members can simply text their question or service request to 847-448-4311.
The City also maintains a comprehensive database of more than 1,000 frequently asked questions, giving residents the ability to quickly and easily find the information they’re looking for without picking up the phone. The FAQs are available online at cityofevanston.org/311.
In addition to handling service requests by phone, text, mobile application and online, the 311 Service Center continues to reach out to residents in-person at recreation events, farmers’ markets, community meetings, street fairs, festivals and more, connecting with those who may not have regular access to the Internet.
Evanston has received numerous awards this year recognizing achievements in technology, social media and citizen engagement. In May, the City was recognized with the highest PTI 2013-2014 Technology Solutions Award for Web Management & E-Government, as well as two Significant Achievement awards, which were in the categories of Public Safety Technology and IT & Telecommunications. In July, Evanston was the only city in the nation to receive PTI’s Tech Savvy Award, and in August Evanston received the organization’s Web 2.0 Award, which identifies best practices and excellence in the field of Web. 2.0 and civic/social networking and citizen engagement among state and local governments.
Created by and for cities and counties, the not-for-profit Public Technology Institute supports local government executives and officials with research, education, advisory services and recognition programs. To learn more, visit