While paying bills, my "favorite" activity of the evening, I tried getting into a happy mood while working with my monthly financials. I put on a public radio station and I heard this guy talking about community issues. Three phrases got my attention; "SeeClickFix was created out of personal frustration in our own community", "how we can work together to improve our communities?", and "I live in New Haven." I first thought he's been there, he felt the pain of erratic actions and doings. Then I say to myself ok, he complains but you also have actions and solutions. I then said to myself, that's it, I want to hear some more! I was pleased to hear the interview with smart questions and honest answers. This guy was Ben Berkowitz. (http://www.cpbn.org/program/where-we-live/episode/wwl-beyond-311 click Episode Audio after 15min Ben's starts)
I actually saw Ben at some community meetings we attended in the past and even got his business card in more than one location. Unfortunately in those meetings you don't have the chance, when things are political, to get to know each other. That radio interview was the fist time for me to get to know Ben, because it gave me the opportunity to know how he understands the community's problems and what is more valuable. He expressed how problems affect the quality of life of the human being in the community. I believe that the quality of life will rise up the value of the whole town.
That night, after my meditating session of paying bills, I started using SeeClickFix for the first time. My issue; Graffiti, let me say it again, Graffiti! I don't care how small the issue is; it is not "OK" to aggravate other people's properties. For 7 years, after buying my house, the graffiti drove me crazy every single time I passed the corner. Before SeeClickFix, I raised the issue in the proper areas to complain, and asked for the graffiti to please be removed. I got the response, "Ha, that one, it's being there for years!!!!!" Three weeks later after I posted the issue on SeeClickFix, the graffiti was GONE! With this experience and a few more issues that got successfully addressed, I started telling my neighbors about this NEW SeeClickFix. We started using it as a "block watch tool" to address some of the concerns we have around the neighborhood.
Another example concerns a problem with a pipe that flooded all corners of my neighbor's house that was giving him "HELL" for 12 years. The issue had previously been addressed to the City. Someone was sent to do the same "quickly" procedure that they've been doing for years. After being fed up, my neighbor's wife posted the issue on SeeClickFix along with some photos to show how bad the issue was. It was affecting their childcare business and home. Two months later, the issue was FIXED!
We decided to post these testimonials on Ben's blog because we believe that when someone does a job well done, we need to let them know that their job and efforts are helping improve families, not just individuals. Ben personally stopped by my neighborhood a week ago to meet the people that are working very hard to keep up with our area. Our community does this so beautifully by planting trees and challenging the dance of "clean don't trash". He also met another great guy, Stephen Cremin-endes, from the Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven. I think he saw the diversity of culture, countries, and especially the support we have with each other. We took a tour and walked around the neighborhood where we were able to express our frustrations with one corner's business that was not maintaining all the surroundings of the property. One week later the business owner had done a very good job with his property by cleaning and moving old stuff he had all over. This is a big impact on so many levels; we feel respected that he created a clean property. He contributed with our mission to improve the quality of life for our families. Because we are a good percent of homeowners in this little area of Fair Haven, he also offered an open invitation to make business with him.
Seeclickfix should feel proud of their job, and the business owner will see how much he meant to us with his positive response. We hope you all feel the rewarding feeling of helping the families of Fair Haven.
Thank you Ben and all those at SeeClickFIx who made this possible!
The Community Corner Group.
New Haven, Connecticut