Last week at City Hall, we unveiled CouncilStat, a new system that promises to dramatically improve our ability to deliver constituent services and our approach to making policy.
CouncilStat leverages technology to turn constituent concerns into data that we can analyze to identify the shared problems of a street, neighborhood or borough. Like 3-1-1 or CompStat, CouncilStat has started a quiet revolution in how city services can be managed and delivered.
The City Council is the part of New York City government that is closest to the people.
Council staffs, working in each of the 51 council districts, respond directly to thousands of constituent phone calls, e-mails and letters about community issues and problems.
Collectively, these offices take in a tremendous amount of data - information about missing street signs, quality of life complaints, and the delivery of city services, just to name a few examples. Staff members that work at these district offices, as a result, develop genuine expertise on the needs of the communities they serve.
In the past, this information has been trapped inside the walls of the district offices that obtained it. Each office managed its own data, resulting in 51 different procedures for creating new cases, recording complaints, following up with constituents and conducting community outreach.
Without a way of comparing complaints between districts, it was hard to tell which communities shared problems with trash collection, or noise violations or zoning problems, and which constituent problems were limited to just one neighborhood.
CouncilStat changes this.
By providing a uniform system that all 51 district offices can use, CouncilStat establishes streamlined procedures for collecting, recording and responding to constituent communications.
With a clearer picture of which problems are citywide and which are local, the Council can more efficiently and effectively manage city services to ensure that the needs of our constituents are being met.
Christine C. Quinn is the Speaker of the City Council
Peter Vallone Jr. is the Chair of the Council’s Public Safety Committee
EDITOR’S NOTE: Jack Maple would be proud! Maple, while serving as Deputy Police Commissioner for Mayor Rudy Giuliani developed the crime strategy program known as COMPSTAT. Using maps of the city and information from every precinct commander it tracked crime so well that murder dropped 50 percent and overall crime dropped 39 percent. Maple would often tell cops under him to, “Treat every case as if your mother was the victim.”