By Heidi Unger
For many years, the City of Indianapolis has worked to improve communication between residents and the mayor’s office. The Mayor’s Action Center (MAC) serves as the point of contact for residents who have concerns that city agencies can address. Is trash accumulating at a property on your block? Tired of swerving around a pothole that’s on your commute? Call it in!
Anyone can call 317-327-4622 (Monday–Friday, 7:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.) to report problems such as tall grass and weeds, trash dumping, code violations, and more. To aid reporting and tracking issues 24/7, the city launched the RequestIndy website and app.
What can I report?
Here’s a list of problems you can report via RequestIndy:
Animals: Stray animals and other animal problems
Streets, signs, and signals: Potholes, street maintenance (excluding sidewalks), signs, and signal problems
Environment: High grass and weeds, tree problems, and environmental concerns
Trash, graffiti, and dumping: Illegal dumping, trash, and recycling problems
Zoning violations and abandoned vehicles or buildings: Code enforcement and zoning issues
Parks: Issues within parks related to trees, graffiti, potholes, playground equipment, or dog parks
Note that the RequestIndy app doesn’t currently accommodate certain types of requests. Take a look at the RequestIndy Additional Service Requests page to get an idea of which kinds of requests will require a different reporting method.
Why isn’t the city doing anything?
Regardless of whether the issue that bothers you is near an infrequently traveled alley or on a property that has received local news coverage, the city almost always needs documentation of the problem before they can act. City representatives don’t drive around looking for and citing these types of issues, so it’s up to neighbors to report anything of concern. Don’t assume that the city knows about a particular problem. The best way to prompt action is to open the app and report the issue. It’s quick and easy.
If potholes are of particular concern to you and you’d like to find out what the city is doing to fix damaged roads, you’re in luck. Indy Pothole Viewer gives you the status of every pothole reported in Marion county, along with relevant data.
Why not be neighborly?
Getting to know your neighbors can be the key to harmonious city living. Introduce yourself and get to know each other — especially now while the weather is perfect for sharing a conversation on the porch. Neighbors looking out for each other can reduce crime and solve other problems too. Certainly if you feel comfortable asking a neighbor or nearby business owner why something is amiss, do that. Perhaps you’ll find that the lawn isn’t mowed because your neighbor recently had surgery. Maybe you or another neighbor can help out by mowing for her until she’s recovered — or at least recommend a reliable mowing service. Eliminating calls to the city and possible fines for your neighbors by building goodwill and open communication is a great option.
However, if you’re uncomfortable speaking to a neighbor or business owner, or if the property owner is inaccessible, such as when the property is owned by an out-of-state company, the Mayor’s Action Center is here to help.
How does this work?
When you speak to a MAC representative or report an issue via RequestIndy, you’re issued a case number. Make note of that case number, and you can return to the app at any time to check the status of the case. If you need additional information that you aren’t seeing in the app, especially if you feel that the case is unresolved several days later, call the MAC at 317-327-4622. The representative can often give you additional information and/or explain how that type of issue is typically routed and handled. If you’re new to reporting issues to the MAC, talking to a representative is a great way to get a feel for how the system works.
At times, you might feel a bit out of the loop. For instance, you might report a stray animal but not see the animal control officers who come looking for it. Or if you report a problem with a particular property, such as trash or weeds, the letter from the city will deliver to the property owner but not to you. You might report an infrastructure problem but not see the contractor or city employee who drops by to assess it. So you won’t always know what action resulted from your report. Again, that’s where calling the MAC and asking for more info can help you understand how a case is routed or resolved.
Recruit neighbors to help
Are you and your neighbors fretting over a problem that seems to get no attention? Or are you noticing that a particular property repeatedly violates certain ordinances? Enlist your neighbors to help you communicate with the MAC over time. Flooding the MAC with several calls in one day isn’t helpful, but neighbors do report that assigning a different neighbor each day to follow up on a request yields positive results.
Who else can help?
The mayor’s office employs ten Mayor’s Neighborhood Advocates (MNAs), and each is assigned to a specific area. Hannah Harper represents Area 2, which includes Irvington. You’ll see Hannah at various community meetings, and at the Irvington Branch Library every Wednesday, 3–5 p.m. MNAs serve as a resource to residents who have questions and concerns that city government can address.