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Philadelphia Councilman’s “Bad Neighbor Map” Goes Viral, Gets International Attention

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By Oren Liebermann

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The trash on Marsden Street in the Northeast used to be a problem only for Tacony and 6th District Councilman Bobby Henon.

“I expected it to be a door to door campaign,” said the Councilman.

But Henon’s “Bad Neighbor Initiative,” designed to clean up city streets and spot nuisance properties, took off.

“This is not just a city issue. This is a region issue. It’s a state issue. It’s a national issue.”

Visitors have flooded Henon’s website after Yahoo News picked up Monday’s Eyewitness News story about the “Bad Neighbor Map.” The map lets you spot nuisance properties in the 6th district and file complaints of your own.

“If it wasn’t for Channel 3’s exposure to this issue,” said Henon, “we absolutely would have not gone viral.”

Since the report, callers chimed in with new complaints for the city to look at.

“Broken door, trash, trash in the backyard,” said one of the staffers in Henon’s office. “It’s the same complaints over and over again.”

But most of the interest came online, where the number of visitors was 50 times higher after the story.

“The traffic came so fast,” said Micah Mahjoubian, who manages Henon’s website. “We suddenly go up to 10,000 [visitors].”

Most of the visitors came from Pennsylvania, but Texas and California brought in another hundred hits each. Other visitors came in from as far away as China and Sweden.

Nearly 20,000 different viewers clicked on the site in three days. In fact, the site got so many visitors, it crashed three times Thursday. But Henon says that is a good sign for his initiative. He says other city council members have expressed interest, as complaints about nuisance properties pile up faster and faster.

To learn more about Councilman Henon’s “Bad Neighbor Initiative,” visit http://www.bobbyhenon.com/index.php.

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