Blumenfield Pushes City to Utilize Technology to Make Government More Accessible, Effective and Efficient

Moves forward on key initiatives at inaugural Innovation, Technology and General Services Committee Meeting

LOS ANGELES – At the inaugural meeting of the Los Angeles City Council’s Innovation, Technology and General Services Committee (ITGS), Councilmember Bob Blumenfield today set the tone for maximizing the use of technology to make government more accessible, effective and efficient.

“New technology has changed the way we work, play, shop and more. It’s time for technology to change the way we govern in Los Angeles,” said Blumenfield, who chairs the ITGS Committee.

The committee took up two Blumenfield proposals, including his recent motion to undertake the implementation of a citywide municipal WiFi initiative, along with a motion concerning the modernization and virtual application of the MyLA311 system.

“Free and universal public access to WiFi is another critical component of a modern, accessible government,” said Blumenfield. “Expanding access to WiFi will benefit our City in numerous ways, from helping to close the digital divide for students to reducing start-up costs for new businesses. Today we’ve taken the first next steps towards reaching that goal.”

Blumenfield directed the City’s Information Technology Agency (ITA) to report back with more information regarding the feasibility of such a program, and the potential to leverage WiFi with other City infrastructure and take advantage of the private sector's investment, as well as building on efforts to date. Blumenfield also requested information regarding potential cost savings resulting from the implementation of a citywide WiFi network.

“So much has changed since this idea was first proposed. In both real dollars and intangible benefits, there is real potential here for cost savings—not to mention the incalculable benefit of building out Los Angeles’s virtual infrastructure,” continued Blumenfield.

When completed, Los Angeles would be the largest city in the United States with free universal access to WiFi.

Since its launch, the MyLA311 app has processed an average of 2,000 monthly service requests. In the months ahead ITA will fully automate incoming requests, which ITA officials said would “revolutionize” the capabilities of the system. Councilmember Blumenfield directed ITA to evaluate applications run by other City departments with an eye towards making MyLA311 a central portal for accessing City Services.

“We need to use all the tools at our disposal to make City government more accessible, effective and efficient. MyLA311 has been a remarkable success since its launch, but there is a lot of room for growth,” he concluded.

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