Citizens can sign up for texted notifications

By Kristen Tribe | Published Wednesday, January 9, 2013

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J.D. Clark regularly brings his knowledge of local government to his classroom at Bowie High School – but recently he implemented a communication tool he uses at school in the community he serves as mayor.

Clark is using an app, Remind 101, to communicate with the citizens of Chico via text. Those who sign up for the free service will receive reminders about council meetings, emergency information and weather-related closings.

Clark first started using this with his students and their parents after hearing about it at a summer conference.

“I’ve been using it all semester to send test reminders, project due dates, and those kinds of things,” he said. “I got to thinking, ‘this would be cool at the community level, too.’ I’m always wishing we had a lot more participation in local government.”

Clark hopes that by notifying people of upcoming meetings and including specific information about what will be discussed, it will encourage them to attend and be more involved.

The messages are sent through an app on his phone or from the Remind 101 website. His personal cell phone number does not show up on the text, and he does not have access to the cell phone numbers of the recipients, just a list of subscribers’ names.

It’s a one-way system, which means recipients can’t reply to the texts.

As of Tuesday, 30 people had signed up, but he’s hoping for even more participation.

If you would like to sign up, text “@chicotexas” to 754-227-3592.

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