CI:Now gave an update on key activities of and lessons learned from helping organize the Alamo Regional Data Alliance at the November 2017 final convening of the Civic Tech & Data Collaborative (CTDC), a cooperative effort of Living Cities, Code for America, and the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership, with funding from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. San Antonio won a slot as a CTDC Learning City in fall 2015.
Norma Garza previewed a new data tool at the Fall 2017 partners meeting of the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership. The ACS Playdoh Factory, in the works now by our frequent co-conspirator Jef Waltman, makes it easier to query and aggregate American Community Survey data for custom groupings of variables and geographies. The session video is available on NNIP’s YouTube channel.
Laura McKieran presented with April Urban from Case Western Reserve on rethinking the local data intermediary role in our local communities at the Fall 2017 partners meeting of the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership. Offering examples from Cleveland and San Antonio (including the Alamo Regional Data Alliance), the session invited partners to think beyond traditional data work and consider how they might help build stronger and more collaborative local data ecosystems in their communities. The session video will be available soon on NNIP’s YouTube channel.
Commissioned by the United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County on behalf of a broader partnership, this Westside Promise Neighborhood Profile presents quantitative data to inform planning for a Westside Promise Neighborhood. As described in greater detail in the Technical Notes, the Neighborhood Profile draws on reliable state and local datasets to paint a quantitative picture of area characteristics and of the strengths of and challenges faced by the children and families who live there. The data presented here are intended to complement and inform community voice emerging from the qualitative data and critical conversations held with neighborhood families and partner agencies like San Antonio Independent School District.
The Neighborhood Profile is organized into five topical sections:
- Physical Characteristics and Population;
- Households and Families;
- Employment, Income, and Poverty;
- Education; and
- Health and Safety.
A supplementary Technical Notes section provides reference maps, notes on data sources, and cautions.
CI:Now just built an interactive scatterplot tool for the United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County. The tool allows the user to explore patterns between issues at the place level – this screen grab shows that zip codes with a higher percent of kids in poverty tend to have a higher percent of adults with less than a high school diploma.
The tool maps any two indicators selected by the user, plots each zip code, and calculates the correlation coefficient between the two indicators. Interested in having a tool like this built for your organization or collaborative? Let us know!
(But speaking of correlations… how about the strong correlation between national per-capita margarine consumption and the divorce rate in Maine? Browse Tyler Vigen’s brilliant collection of Spurious Correlations for a fun reminder to be careful of our assumptions about issues that appear to be associated.)
Voter registration and turnout figures for the May 2017 municipal election tell an exciting story of real progress in San Antonio’s efforts to increase voter participation. Comparing the May joint elections rather than June runoffs to get an apples-to-apples comparison, the number of registered voters increased by a quarter in two years – from 821,615 in 2015 to 1,026,817 in 2017. These huge gains in voter registration had the effect of making overall turnout – the total number of voters who cast a ballot as a percentage of total registered voters – appear to drop slightly, from 11.89 in 2015 to 11.32 in 2017.
The total number of ballots cast in 2017 was 116,222, though – a whopping gain of 19% over 2015’s total of 97,697. If we look at it by voting precinct instead of county-wide, turnout as a percent of registered voters rose in two-thirds of voting precincts, and more than one in ten precincts showed a 10% or greater increase in turnout. Maybe most exciting is the distribution of the increase – both registration and turnout increasing across the county, including central-city and lower-income neighborhoods.
CI:Now’s Laura McKieran and Bob Gradeck of the University Center for Social and Urban Research (UCSUR) in Pittsburgh co-presented via webinar to a group of grantees of the Citi Community Progress Makers Fund on ways to support open data and how San Antonio is organizing and collaborating to build local data capacity. CI:Now and UCSUR are both local partners in the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership.
CI:Now’s Laura McKieran presented as part of the Resilient Neighborhoods panel at the 2017 Mayor’s Housing Summit. Environmental, economic, and social stressors can all have a negative impact on individuals, families and social networks, and neighborhoods and cities. But data can be used to understand current conditions, historical trends and likely future scenarios, relationships among issues, and demographic and geographic patterns, helping us prevent and mitigate both acute and chronic disasters from flash to floods to persistent intergenerational poverty.
Laura McKieran participated in a panel at the May 2017 National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership meeting on Advancing the Role of Neighborhoods in Health. Her presentation focused on how partners can work with health information exchanges (HIEs) to integrate data on person and place to assess neighborhood and population conditions, target and evaluate interventions, and explore and show relationships between neighborhood well-being and individual well-being.