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New App Allows Chicago Residents To Utilize 311 Service

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Chicago Works App: Does it work? Can you fix problems with a few clicks on a phone?

"Three times with a 100% success rate," said Lincoln Square resident Strad Vonzarovich.

Vonzarovich happened upon the iPhone app that promised.

Chicago Works app will allow you to make service requests to 311 and track issues as they are addressed. Simply put, you can watch your tax-dollars work for you. Chicago Works is a mobile application developed by 2pensmedia and Ald. Ameya Pawar.

"So, I took a picture of graffiti," said Vonzarovich. "And sure enough within 3 days graffiti removed."
It's called Chicago Works, and it does.

"Usually we think of a city service as a phone call and bureaucracy and red tape, this is really direct," said Vonzarovich.

It started with a promise for rookie alderman Ald. Ameya Pawar.

"I remember going door to door and saying: wouldn't it be great if Chicago had open 311 and we were able to use smart phone apps to fix problems?'." Said Ald. Ameya Pawar.

The alderman is new Chicago – a young, hip, skinny tie-type – using tech savvy to try to improve common problems. Using the app, one gets to real-time track a remedy and allows the Alderman discover potential hiccups.

"I think the big deal over time is you're going to find a lot of people using this data to help inform our decisions and make government more efficient," said Pawar. "People can see their tax dollars at work."

It currently has 1300 users and is now also available on Droid phones. To find it, just search Chicago Works in your application finder.

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