MISSION, RGV – Mission Economic Development Corporation will release its first civic engagement application, Cityflag Mission EDC, some time next month.

Sharyland native Alberto ‘Beto’ Altamirano, co-founder and CEO of Cityflag, first announced details about the application when he was a guest speaker at a Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce ‘Buenas Tardes’ luncheon held at the Cimarron Club in Mission last Friday Mar. 9.

Alex Meade, CEO of Mission EDC, who introduced Altamirano at the luncheon, says the app will not be a typical 311 application, but will have an economic development component to it.

“The motto for the [City of Mission] is ’It’s the Place to Be.’ That’s the motto for the community [and] we want the community to tell us why it’s the place to be,” Meade said. “They can identify all those unique and interesting places that exist [throughout] the city and make us aware of that so we can plot it on a map. The whole goal is to engage the community, allowing us to make Mission better.”

In a previous interview with the Rio Grande Guardian, Altamirano says Cityflag is an application that connects the community and the government. The app will keep track of the various potholes, power outages and graffiti throughout the City of Mission. However, the app will also also allow the community to share job openings.

“If [a resident] is walking to a restaurant and [he/she] sees a job posting, [he/she] can take a picture, upload it to Cityflag and using the geolocation it’ll tell us where that job is at. That allows us to keep track of all the jobs that are in the City of Mission by engaging the community,” Meade said.

One way Cityflag will determine what issues are high priority is through a like feature similar to Facebook. Meade used potholes as an example. He says there are potholes in every community, but some potholes are travelled more than the others.

“If an individual takes a picture, but maybe it’s not a priority because it’s on one street with a single household. The city’s going to know which pothole received more likes, so the city can address that one because that’s what’s affecting the community the most,” Meade said.

Mission EDC will meet with the City of Mission on a regular basis to ensure the feedback from the community through Cityflag is being properly addressed.

In 2018, Forbes named Altamirano a “30 under 30 Social Entrepreneur” for his social impact work within the technology sector. He has just finished a three-month stint as Mission EDC’s ‘expert in residence’ at the group’s Center for Education & Economic Development (CEED).

Mission Mayor Beto Salinas said the CEED building has been a great success for the City of Mission since its opening October 2016.

“The building itself is beautiful, has done so well and so many people are using it,” Salinas said. He noted that people from all across the Valley ask him about the CEED building.

“That makes me very happy. I think we got our [money’s worth]. The CEED building is for the whole Valley, not just for the City of Mission,” Salinas said.