Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120
jvargo@cityofperris.org

Perris IT Travels to Local School

Information Technology Supervisor Arturo Cervantes (left) and Video Intern Marden De Castro explain how the City uses social networking sites like facebook to get the word out about its upcoming projects
Information Technology Supervisor Arturo Cervantes (left) and Video Intern Marden De Castro explain how the City uses social networking sites like facebook to get the word out about its upcoming projects.

The Perris Information Technology team took a road trip this week, visiting a Moreno Valley magnet school to explain how the City is producing videos and public service announcements and using social media like faecbook and twitter to keep residents informed and up-to-date about projects, programs and progress.

IT Supervisor Arturo Cervantes and Video Intern Marden De Castro paid a visit to North Ridge Elementary School at the invitation of fifth-grade teacher David Coopersmith, who teaches technology at the magnet campus.

The pair brought along a laptop to show the City’s homepage, www.cityofperris.org, its facebook page and showed several videos that were scripted, shot and edited in-house. De Castro handed out some flyers he created on behalf of the City, included one announcing the Centennial Bike Ride on Oct. 1.

Cervantes said the City of Perris is committed to using the Internet, social media and electronic technology to inform its residents about upcoming events, new construction projects, road closures and an assortment of other need-to-know information.  Since creating its facebook page in 2009, the City has acquired more than 750 follower. Dozens of businesses and residents track Perris new via Twitter.

David Coopersmith’s 5th grade class at North Ridge Elementary School
David Coopersmith’s 5th grade class at North Ridge Elementary School.

Technology also keeps city managers and the City Council informed via iPads, saving thousands of pages of paper every month. He said the City also has implemented technology that allows Perris residents to report potholes, graffiti, weeds and other concerns directly to Perris official who can in turn dispatch public works or code enforcement officers to correct them.

“We get instant information, we give an instant reply,” he said.

Cervantes told the group of fifth-graders that he has been interested in computers and technology since he was a kid. He received his first computer at age 12, designed primitive electronic games and wrote in long-dead computer languages like BASIC and FORTRAN. He went on to college, received a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology with a minor in Business Administration and later earned an MBA.

He urged students to embrace technology.

“Jobs will all require some knowledge of the Internet,” Cervantes said. “People want to be connected. They want instant information. IT is where the future is.”

De Castro said he took his love of drawing to college, where he received an Associate’s Degree. He uses computer assistance to design flyers and the City’s logo for its 2011 Centennial. Final Cut Pro is the software of choice for video editing. In the past year, De Castro has completed about 30 video projects.

De Castro and Cervantes wrapped up their presentation by fielding questions from the students. Afterward, Coopersmith said he was very impressed by the presentation and the City of Perris’ commitment to stay on the cutting edge of technology.

“Awesome, an excellent presentation,” he said. “Students need to know about this. They need to become immersed in it.”