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What’s the 311?

Wednesday, October 16, 2019 by Elizabeth Pagano

During Council’s lengthy, heated discussion about the city’s homelessness ordinances Tuesday, there was an interesting sidebar about whether the city’s new policies have empirically impacted public health and safety. According to Taylor Cook, who is a program manager in the city’s Office of Design and Delivery, based on 311 data: no. In an email to Mayor Steve Adler posted on the City Council Message Board, Cook writes, “We established a normal range based on the average monthly frequencies for 2018 and then compared that to the monthly counts from May to August. I should get the September data this week which may change my overall impression, but so far, there is not a strong trend or correlation with most of the terms I have been tracking, and as a group there is no pattern. … When we get data points for September this could look different, but right now there is no pattern in the 311 data that would cause me to conclude that the ordinances have caused a consistent change in residents’ general perception of health and safety (where I would expect all calls and related terms to spike in July) or an material change in health and safety (where I would expect a change in monthly frequency to be sustained).”

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