After hearing a resident complain about potholes and unfixed streets at a neighborhood meeting in West Long Beach this summer, Ngoc Nguyen knew she had to do something to let others know about the available services in the city.
“There’s a lack of information and knowledge of how we can bring about change in the community,” said Nguyen, who was born and raised in the Westside and is currently an administrative assistant principal at Rogers Middle School.
After that meeting, Nguyen created the “Fix Our West LB Streets” group made up of tech savvy volunteers equipped with smartphones and downloaded Go Long Beach applications.
The goal of the group is to walk and take photos of any issues they encounter and submit them on the Go Long Beach app as maintenance tickets for city staff to fix.
The app was launched in 2010 but is still unknown by some in the community. The public can request services for issues like potholes, graffiti and damaged signs.
On Sunday, Aug. 25, the group did just that.
Shout out to these beautiful @fol_cov & @LBSchools volunteers for submitting 100+ tickets to “Fix Our West LB Streets” in 87 degree heat today! Thank you Nguyen Lawyers for the tees, & @StephRivera88 for your support! #bethechange https://t.co/wDibhSE1jK pic.twitter.com/7vN9M6wGnF
— Ngoc Nguyen (@ngocngyn) August 26, 2019
Using her coordinating skills as a previous parks activities director, Nguyen rounded up over a dozen volunteers at Stephens Middle School.
The group was made up primarily of members of her church, Fountain of Life Covenant Church, which meets for Sunday services at the school, as well as associates from Long Beach Unified School District.
Nguyen herself is part of the church’s “Further” team, which focuses on helping develop the West Long Beach community. While having no physical location, the church runs a family center nearby and is behind the social enterprise 5,000 Pies on Santa Fe Avenue.
Paired in twos or threes, the volunteers walked up and down main streets like Santa Fe Avenue as well as residential roads looking for anything in need of repair.
After a few hours under the hot sun, volunteers submitted a total of 230 tickets to the city.
Nguyen said the goal is also for volunteers to engage community members while in the neighborhoods and show them how to request the services themselves.
“Our hope is that when we go out into the communities and when we meet residents to let them know that this is an opportunity to teach them about the Go LB app,” Nguyen said. “That way it’s the community having access to this and doing it on a regular basis.”
The next “Fix Our West LB Streets” event will take place at noon on Sunday, Oct. 20, at Stephens Middle School.
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