By Francis Koster, Ed. D.
Since 1985, JCCI has been developing a system to track indicators of the quality of life in Jacksonville Florida, and surrounding communities. Tracking both positive and negative trends, this "community progress report" provides an ongoing analysis of the region. The annual report also helps monitor the effectiveness of solutions proposed by JCCI studies and other initiatives.
The Quality of Life Progress Report measures over 100 indicators in nine areas, or elements, of the quality of life, including education, economy, natural environment, social environment, arts and culture, health, government, transportation, and public safety of Jacksonville. An annual survey, donated by American Public Dialogue, provides additional information on our community's perception of the quality of life. Detailed reference data, including charts and graphs, are also provided for those who wish to explore these trends further. The document serves as a roadmap for community improvement, telling us where we are, how far we’ve come and where we need to go.
Here is an example of just one indicator from the “natural environment” section of the report:
St. Johns River compliance with fecal-coliform bacteria standards
And here is another: Births to Teen Moms per 1000 teens:
JCCI has been a pioneer in developing and using indicators to measure community progress and is recognized around the world for its work. The report is updated annually, and often drives the agenda of local government and other groups. The Pew Partnership for Civic Change, the United Nations, the international Community Indicators Consortium and the National Association of Planning Councils have highlighted JCCI's work.
The United Way of Northeast Florida and the City of Jacksonville are major funders of the Quality of Life Progress Report, which has an annual cost of $135,000. The majority of the work in collecting the data, analyzing it, and presenting it to the community is done by citizen volunteers supported by a small professional staff. Production costs include printing of the report, creation of a CD-ROM with the full report, reference data, and other important information, as well as posting on the JCCI website.
Jacksonville Community Council, Inc.
2434 Atlantic Boulevard Suite # 100
Jacksonville, Florida 32207 Phone: (904) 396-3052
Fax: (904) 398-1469