SeeClickFix is a civic tech platform that has some of the best government and citizen users in the world. With that in mind, we’ve reached out to some of our citizen superusers to find out what they think of the platform and how they are using it to create real change in their community.
In this edition of SeeClickFix Citizen Q & A, I speak with Jerry Wooldridge, president of the Fossil Park Neighborhood Association in St. Petersburg, FL to get insight on the platform.
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am 81 years old (I’ll be 82 years old in August), married 61 years; retired Air Force Master Sergeant, and a resident of St Pete since 1946. I’m also a graduate of Largo High School, married to a Green Devil, and I’ve lived in Fossil Park since 1974.
I have 4 kids: one in St Pete, one in Largo, one in Clearwater, and one in Salt Lake City. I’ve been a member of the Fossil Park Neighborhood Association since 1990.
Tell us about your neighborhood: how long have you lived there and what makes it special?
Fossil Park is a quiet working class, diverse neighborhood with access to Tampa, Clearwater, Largo, and St Petersburg. We are adjacent to an active city park featuring baseball, basketball, tennis, a skate park, and swimming during the summer months. It also has a very busy library.
What issues and/or challenges does (did) your neighborhood face?
In the nineties we had a serious prostitute problem along 4th St. centered in the mom & pop motels and it spilled over into the neighborhood. We formed a citizens patrol and kept in close contact with the prostitutes and johns. We also kept an eye on juvenile activity in the park and neighborhood.
We sued a motel for the activity that they allowed on the premises and won and received a settlement. The motel was sold and demolished and a La Quinta Inn stands on that site now. We still have prostitutes working 4th St., but I am confident that St Petersburg is constantly working to fix the problem.
How did you deal with these issues and/or challenges in your neighborhood before SeeClickFix?
We work closely with our community liaison officers. We no longer patrol, but encourage vigilance and reporting anything unusual in the neighborhood.
Before SeeClickFix, we utilized the Mayor’s Action Line. We contacted the individual city departments and received an enormous amount of help and guidance from Suzie Ajoc and the Neighborhood Partnership Office. Our community resource officer attends every neighborhood meeting and reports on crime in our neighborhood; it is a very small report. I have the community liaison officer's email address and phone number and can reach him anytime; I do not abuse that privilege.
How did you learn about SeeClickFix?
We learned about SeeClickFix at a council of neighborhood meeting.
How often do you use SeeClickFix?
I refer neighbors to SeeClickFix every time I get a call about an issue in the neighborhood, and I’ve forwarded the app to everyone on the neighborhood email list.
How has SeeClickFix helped you deal with issues and/or challenges in your neighborhood?
I see it being used by people in the neighborhood. I don't use it a lot, but recommended it every time someone calls and expects me to do what they can do themselves.
Would you recommend SeeClickFix to your fellow residents?
I recommend all the time.
How would you get more of your fellow residents to learn about and use SeeClickFix?
I published SeeClickFix in the neighborhood newsletter and have recommended to people on the neighborhood email list.