Friday Ombudsman: Steve Ramos
Steve Ramos is a Content Marketer, Strategist and Writer. He's been published in Fast Company, New York Magazine, Quartz/Atlantic Media. He provides content marketing and strategy that helps businesses grow.
Name: Steve Ramos
Residential neighborhood: Walnut Hills
Tell us about a small or brief problem/issue you solved with a government agency. How did you do it? What was the key to breaking through the problem?
This week I used the Fixit Cincy app to report a dead animal on the sidewalk adjacent to my house to the City of Cincinnati. I used the GPS and photo feature to provide additional information for dead animal removal. The animal was removed in 24 hours. What's fascinating to me about this case study is the complete digitization of the process. I did not interact with a live City of Cincinnati worker once; and because my service request was completed in a successful and timely manner, I'm falsely building the belief that human workers are the cause of service problems.
Share one of your favorite Cincinnati-area hacks, i.e. a trick, shortcut or skill that helps you get things done faster &/or better.
I am a fan of the Fixit Cincy app; although I'm not sure that qualifies as a hack as it's developed and produced by the City of Cincinnati. I guess it's more about embracing recent tech options (parking app, streetcar/transit app) available from City Hall and not continuing to call the general service number. As far as a trick, I seek out free street parking adjacent to our neighborhood business districts; although I believe that's more about city smarts than a shortcut.
FRIDAY OMBUDSMAN QUESTIONNAIRE:
Your favorite Cincinnati places?
I'm a fan of our walkable neighborhoods and business districts; especially my home neighborhood of East Walnut Hills and Woodburn Avenue. I'm a fan of our Cincinnati Parks especially Eden Park, Friendship Park and Smale Park. I work downtown and I'm an advocate for a vibrant urban core connected by the Cincinnati Streetcar.
What is an “unwritten public etiquette rule” of Cincinnati-area life?
I believe that 'classic' Cincinnati values who you know; where you're from and where you went to school. It's a strict hierarchy. This results in civic rules like you don't ask for something; you first have to be invited to ask. I hope this is changing as Cincinnati grows and becomes more diverse.
Who is your favorite Cincinnatian? Why?
I'm very lucky to meet new artists, business leaders, designers and entrepreneurs every day that impact Cincinnati for good and inspire me. It's difficult for me to choose. I'm going to make a game of this question and share a Cincinnati transplant I met just before writing this post who inspired me. Katie Vogel is a community planner, audience consultant and co-founder of Havayah, Cincinnati's only urban, egalitarian Jewish community. I promise that if you are lucky enough to have a coffee chat with Katie; your mind will open to new ideas and your life will change for the better. She's that impactful.
Defunct place or institution you would bring back?
I look at postcards for Lincoln Park in the West End and it's heartbreaking to imagine the loss of this beautiful urban park.
New place or institution you would bring to Cincinnati?
Just like the Banks neighborhood grew from Cincinnati's Riverfront, I would begin a transformative infill development alongside Eggleston Avenue and I-71 and create a new, dense, walkable urban neighborhood adjacent to our Eastern Central Business District.
What place do we need in the Cincinnati area?
A modern, efficient, state-of-the-art transit center housing local bus lines; Greyhound, Megabus, Streetcar, Amtrak and bike corrals with the capacity to grow and support future transit options.
If they would just make me mayor for a day, I would "__________."
If mayor for one day, I would initiate an innovative home ownership policy to protect longtime residents being priced out of neighborhoods growing in popularity. I would begin construction of the second phase of the Cincinnati Streetcar; implement a citywide network of dedicated bike lanes; fund the bus system; replace Western Hills Viaduct and begin plans for replacing the Brent Spence Bridge. Clearly, I would not sleep on this day.
You should have asked me, "__________."
Oh, Cincinnati business leaders, you should have asked me about your pitch for Amazon HQ2. I think I could have saved you a lot of money and helped land other tech jobs.
Shameless Plug – use this space to plug one local Cincinnati-area event/organization/website/business/place/product that is special to you. Why should we know about it? What makes it singular?
I'm on the team building the Good Discovery(s) Festival for civic design! On March 26th 2019, artists and creatives, including the founder of City Ombudsman, will converge at Memorial Hall OTR for a day of brainstorms, keynotes, panels, and networking to share ideas that impact our community for good. Head to gooddiscoverys.com to learn more. Join us March 26th!
Giveaway for a pass to Good Discovery(s) here
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