The city of Portland is encouraging residents to sign up for a new tool it is piloting to collect community feedback.

Some residents may have already received text messages from the public survey research platform FlashVote inviting them to sign up, the city said in a news release Thursday.

It’s part of a project the city is working on with graduate students at the Harvard Kennedy School that uses FlashVote to engage the community and gather public input.

Residents who sign up will be asked to complete a survey they can choose to receive by email, text or phone call. Personal or demographic information collected by FlashVote will not be shared with the city or anyone else, the city said.

Residents have 48 hours to complete the survey. Once the replies are in, participants will automatically receive a summary of the anonymous results and see how their responses compare to the group’s.

“The data gathered will be really valuable in guiding decision-making processes and ensuring we’re providing residents with the best services possible,” Jessica Grondin, the city’s director of communications and digital services, said in the release.

Grondin said in an email Thursday the city has a specific project it’s working on, but FlashVote wants to keep the subject of that survey private for the time being “as any mention of the specific topic could bias the sample.”

She said more information would be available once the survey is completed next week.

Residents who are interested in signing up can also do so via or by calling 775-235-2240.

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