“Go Long Beach” App More Than Just Civic Cheerleading


The other night when I saw a jet of water shooting upward from a broken sprinkler head in the middle of a traffic island on Ocean Blvd., I was reminded of a day a half-dozen years ago when I was jogging down the beach bike path late one afternoon and came upon a beach shower stuck in the “on” position, gallon after gallon of water spraying from the showerhead directly to the ground.

I tried to get the stainless steel button unstuck, but to no avail. Failing to come across a lifeguard or other city employee I could alert to the problem, when I arrived home I determined that the broken showerhead was in the 2nd District and called Suja Lowenthal’s office. It was after hours, so I left a message.

I was impressed to receive a call the following day from one of Lowenthal’s aides, informing me that they had reported the matter to whomever it was who fixes these things. Sure enough, when I passed by a few days later, the shower was working like new.

Not everyone would have been so fabulously diligent as I. But in the second decade of the 21st century, no one in Long Beach has to be. Now there’s an app for that, and it’s called Go Long Beach.

According to Vice-mayor Robert Garcia’s office (Garcia spearheaded the implementation of the app), in the two years since its launch there have been 22,685 service requests through Go Long Beach, of which 22,115 have been closed. That is an average of over 900 requests per month. Graffiti removal makes up by far the largest percentage of requests, at 43 percent. Reporting illegally dumped items and potholes comes in second and third, respectively.

The Go Long Beach app is about as easy to use as it could be. The menu screen gives you three simple options: New Issue, Track Issues (allowing you to see the status of your requests), Phone Numbers (a straightforward, alphabetical directory of 17 City departments).[1]

To report an issue, you select the issue type, pinpoint the location on a simple, sliding satellite map that conveniently starts at your current location, and leave any additional comment if you think the matter requires clarification. You can even add a photo.

It took me four minutes to report the broken sprinkler—that long only because Go Long Beach lacks a specific category for sprinklers, so I had to decide which of my choices came closest (I went with “Park Drinking Fountain” and included a write-in explanation).

Especially because it’s free, if you don’t have Go Long Beach, you should get it. City employees can fix only the problems of which they are aware. And with Go Long Beach, it’s easier than ever to help them out.

Click here to view our policies covering Robert Garcia and the Long Beach city council.

[1] A fourth option, Code Enforcement, is a bit more complex and for some reasons requires enrollment, but its purpose is beyond the scope of this article.

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