Council approves funds for 'public engagement portal'

On Aug. 10, the Seattle City Council authorized the Department of Information Technology to begin the first phase of development of the Public Engagement Portal.  

In August of 2008, council member Bruce Harrell requested the Department of Information Technology to work with other city departments to develop a Public Engagement Portal.  The goals of the portal are to 1) engage and listen to Seattle residents more effectively, 2) optimize two-way communication between policy leaders and residents, and 3) enhance the city’s customer service system.

The Public Engagement Portal will be called My.Seattle.Gov.  An important feature at My.Seattle.Gov will be the single sign-on system, which will allow users the ability to have one simple login account to access a wide range of services available on Seattle.Gov, such as, obtaining a building permit, paying a parking ticket, paying a utility bill or finding employment.  

The expected launch date for the initial service offerings will be the second quarter of 2010.

Additional public engagement tools, including a simple online poll to capture resident’s feedback, will soon follow, according to council staff.

“This will enhance the simplicity and effectiveness of current online services offered by the city and revolutionize how we listen to the public,” said Harrell.

"This will provide a lot more opportunity for citizen participation at a very modest cost as a result of this legislation," said council member Jean Godden, vice chair of the Energy and Technology committee.

Council President Conlin said, “My.Seattle.Gov promises a significant improvement in the level of customer service provided by the city and an
important part of the council’s work on citizen engagement.”

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