WBEZ's Heat of the Moment
Burns got back in touch with the Center for Neighborhood Technology, the organization that held that meeting she attended.
Together they started working on flooding issues in Chatham. They gathered data and learned that the Chatham area had the highest number of flooding insurance claims in the city. That sounds like bad news, but it also was kind of affirming for Burns, because she now had tangible proof of what a big problem Chatham was facing.
“We weren’t really understanding how endemic the problem was or how expansive,” she recalled. “There wasn’t this groundswell of activity to say, ‘Hey, this is ruining homes. Diminishing home values. And really demoralizing as a homeowner.’”
Armed with this information, Burns and CNT organized neighbors, people like Cheryl Watson, the woman at the start of this story.
CNT also helped Burns get a special back-up valve installed. These valves are expensive and a lot of people can’t afford them. But it’s a good fix for an individual home because it stops sewage from coming back through your pipes. Burns said it’s worked really well; she no longer gets nervous and rushes home during every storm.
CNT's Steve Philpott joined Comcast Newsmakers to talk about how civic tech can spark new opportunities in Chicago communities.