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National 311 Day

Google worked with Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Oakland, San José, and its county, Santa Clara County, to create National 311 Day in 2020. National 311 Day aims to raise awareness about the non-emergency number 311 and how to use it, so that non-emergency calls go to that number instead of 911, speeding up response time to emergencies. The day also honors the "first" first responders who take emergency calls. San José unveiled their new SJ311 omnichannel network on the first observance.

The first 311 system was established in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1996, and the Federal Communications Commissions established it as a number in 1997. It is the non-emergency number to report issues like abandoned vehicles, graffitti, potholes and other road damage, streetlight outages, illegal dumping, trees that need trimming, and noise. It can also be used to learn about city services and ask other questions. By the time of the creation of National 311 Day, over 200 cities had 311 systems, including most major cities in the United States and Canada. The 311 systems have continued to expand and innovate since.

How to Observe National 311 Day

Check if your community has 311, and begin using it to report non-emergency issues if they do. If they don't have it, encourage the local government to implement it. Many cities have 311 apps you can download, so check if yours has one of these too. Educate your friends and family about 311 and encourage them to use it. Post on social media about 311 and National 311 Day with the hashtag #National311Day.

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