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PR- 269-08
July 9, 2008


Annual Awards Recognize Outstanding Individuals, Groups and Events that Help Define the Unique Character of New York City

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) Commissioner Paul J. Cosgrave congratulated the New York City 311 Customer Service Center today on its selection as a 2008 Municipal Art Society (MAS) Annual Award recipient. The awards are presented each year to individuals and groups that positively impact the lives of New Yorkers and help define the unique character of New York City. Commissioner Cosgrave will accept the award on behalf of the 311 Customer Service Center this evening at the annual meeting of the Municipal Art Society of New York.

"Government can and should be accessible and accountable to the people it serves, and the creation of 311 is one of the most significant things we have done to make that a reality in New York City," said Mayor Bloomberg. "The state-of-the-art call center allows us to treat New Yorkers and New York City's businesses, employees and visitors as valuable - and valued -   customers. I congratulate Commissioner Cosgrave and the 311 Customer Service Center team for their success, and I thank the Municipal Art Society for recognizing their impact on New Yorkers. Congratulations also to Andrea Williams of our Parks Department for her well-deserved recognition and to all the other award recipients."

"One of Mayor Bloomberg's most enduring accomplishments is a City government with special focus on the customer experience, and 311 is the earliest, and perhaps best example of that transformation," said DoITT Commissioner Cosgrave. "We're honored not only by this award but to be in the service of New Yorkers every day. After more than five years and 65 million calls, the best of 311 is yet to come."

"The city's 311 service is a gift to all New Yorkers - it empowers everyone to have better access to city and community governments," said Municipal Art Society President Kent Barwick. "In a city of more than eight million people, 311 helps ensure that the voices of all New Yorkers are heard."

Nominations for the Annual Awards, which MAS has bestowed for the past 37 years, are submitted by Municipal Art Society members and reviewed by an awards committee, which then chooses the annual award winners. The 311 Customer Service Center is one of five entities selected for this year's awards, the full listing of which can be found at In addition, St. John's Recreation Center Recreation Director Andrea Williams will receive the W. Allison and Elizabeth Stubbs Davis Award, given annually to an employee of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.

"Named in honor of the parents of former Parks Commissioner Gordon J. Davis, the W. Allison & Elizabeth Stubbs Davis Award annually recognizes a Parkie who has dedicated his or her life to serving the people of New York City," said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe. "This year's honoree, Andrea Williams, is a dedicated public servant and a visionary leader of children's recreation, especially track and field.  I commend her for her 23-year career of service."

Since its launch in 2003, 311 has served as a clearinghouse for all things New York City government, routing the details of calls to the appropriate City agencies and providing callers with service request numbers they may use to track the status of their inquiries. In addition, it allows the City to reduce operating costs, use resources more efficiently, measure accountability and feedback, and deliver timely, consistent, and personalized customer service.

"Minute-by-minute, day after day, our outstanding, professional staff brings to bear the best training, freshest content and most robust technology to serve New Yorkers-all of which adds up to a service worthy of our great city," said 311 Customer Service Center Executive Director Joe Morrisroe. "I congratulate everyone at 311 on recognition of a job well-done."

The 311 Customer Service Center responds to calls from residents, businesses, and visitors by providing reliable information and accurately processing requests for City services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in nearly 180 languages. First announced by Mayor Bloomberg in his 2002 State of the City Address, 311 consolidated more than 40 separate call centers and hotlines and 14 pages of government listings in the phone book into one, easy-to-remember number.  The new number enabled New Yorkers to access City government with only two phone numbers: 911 for emergencies and 311 for everything else.


Stu Loeser / Andrew Brent   (212) 788-2958

Nicholas Sbordone   (Information Technology and Telecommunications)
(212) 788-6602

Alexis Schneider (MAS)   (212) 627-5766

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