DC solicits residents for grades

Great cities are always looking for ways to improve. Never satisfied with their current performance, the leaders of ambitious metros often find methods to better the lives of residents. For those looking to live in an area that has this state of mind, you might want to consider buying one of the homes for sale in Washington, DC.

Mayor Vincent Gray recently unveiled Grade DC, a system that allows residents to evaluate the performance of local government agencies. Preliminary results indicate that citizens are generally happy with the city and that their opinions are already becoming more favorable, according to The Washington Post.

The news source reports that grades have been coming in since June 2012 and every agency has received higher scores since then, except the Department of Motor Vehicles.

In response to the grade it received - a C-minus - DMV officials have pledged to hire a public affairs specialist to lessen the need for in-person visits and the prevalence of long lines, according to CBS.

Gray, who said the city is the first in the country to adopt such a program, held a press conference to discuss the initial results.

"We think grades will continue to go up," he told The Washington Post. "We are going to constantly strive to improve outcomes and won't be satisfied until every agency gets an A."

Residents who wish to add their two cents to the discussion of the city's achievements are welcome to do so at Grade.DC.Gov. These scores will be continuously compiled by newBrandAnalytics, the data firm hired by the city to tabulate results. The news source reports that the recent grades reflect approximately 1,000 reviews.

City officials cited the District's response to a storm that hit the area at the end of June as one possible factor in the improving grades.

"We did a lot of cleanup and people realize the value we provide," William Howland, director of the DC Department of Public Works, told the news source. In the aftermath of the storm, this agency's grades leapt from a C-plus in June to a B in July.

Grade DC's mission is to help residents better engage with the local government and the grades will be used to help those agencies improve their services.