The city of Scottsdale earned a national “Voice of the People Award” for leveraging technology to expand the ways residents can provide input and ideas. The awards, presented by Polco and the International City/County Management Association, honor local governments that best engage residents and include public opinion in community decisions.
"Scottsdale is deeply honored to receive the Voice of the People Award. It reflects the hard work and dedication of our city employees and unwavering commitment to serving the needs of our community,” Scottsdale Mayor David D. Ortega said. “Scottsdale is a place where residents have a voice and are actively involved in shaping our future."
Scottsdale’s public involvement initiatives are part of implementing the Collaboration and Engagement chapter of the voter-approved General Plan. In the past year, the city adopted a handful of new technologies to bring new life to community engagement in Scottsdale.
The Hello Scottsdale platform allows people to provide feedback via text/SMS. Several hundred residents provided feedback via the tool when the city asked for input about a new off-leash dog area coming next year to Thompson Peak Park. The platform is also used in Old Town to provide visitors to the area an avenue for feedback, and a pilot is also underway in solid waste, helping connect residents with their recycling and trash services via smart phone.
The city also launched Speak Up Scottsdale – a hosted online community that provides a new space to weigh-in on city issues, programs, services and projects. Currently, residents are providing insights and input on the topic of homelessness via Speak Up Scottsdale, feedback which will be used by Scottsdale's Human Services staff as they continue working collaboratively with clients and partner agencies to address the needs of those experiencing street homelessness.
In addition to these platforms, residents over the past year used the Polco online questionnaire platform nearly 13,000 times to provide feedback about various topics such as a new water-saving landscape ordinance, the draft Sustainability Plan and the new Short-Term Rental Resource Center Map.
Scottsdale's public involvement team continues to drive citywide efforts to expand methods of public feedback to reach and hear from more voices in the community as issues are explored and decisions are made. The team continuously evaluates new methods and tools and launch innovative methods that result in higher numbers of residents engaging with the city.
Learn more about public involvement opportunities in Scottsdale at ScottsdaleAZ.gov, search “get involved.”