Sure, sometimes I will collect phone books from vacant properties, even mow grass...but I can't exactly fill in a pothole on my own, can I?
Inevitably, the 311 operators go through their procedure and remind me how a 311 report can be filed online. And I always respond....
"Oh, don't worry, I make reports that way, too. But right now, um, I happen to be walking around, so, um...."
The operators tell me I can write the stuff down and report it later. But that's not the system I use. I either call while I'm right there, looking at the problem, or I snap a picture.
Later, when I download dozens of pictures to my laptop, I go through the photos and remember what problem I was documenting. I always make a point of taking a picture that reveals the address of the problem, even if I have to snap a photo of a street sign.
Notably, AT NO POINT IS PAPER (A.K.A. THE FLESH OF DEAD TREES) EVER INVOLVED.
Once I have my pictures downloaded, I start firing off emails to 311 with the photos attached. This often takes place at, like, midnight. It might even take place several states away, while I'm out of town. Sometimes there's one or two photos which need to be forwarded to 311. Sometimes there's dozens, and I have to work my way through the photos over the course of several days, when I have a free moment.
The problems being documented for 311 are not always in North Minneapolis. Sometimes--as in the photo above--the problem might be at 609 Cedar Ave., in the West Bank neighborhood.