JCCI releases annual Quality of Life Progress Report

JCCI releases annual Quality of Life Progress Report

More than half of 31 indicators improved or remained steady

On behalf of JCCI’s president and CEO Ben Warner, who was unable to be present, the annual Quality of Life Report was launched by Dr. Laura Lane, Vice president and COO on Jan. 24 at JCCI’s new quarters on Festival Park Avenue.

Lane noted that the 29th annual release of the JCCI Quality of Life Progress Report is the longest running report of its kind in the world, providing a community-wide snapshot of Jacksonville’s growth and progress.

Dr. William Rupp, CEO at Mayo Clinic and incoming chair of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, chaired the 2013 Quality of Life Review Committee.
“This is a critical moment in Jacksonville’s history, as the community explores its resiliency and rebounds from the Great Recession,” said Rupp. “The message in this year’s progress report is that we’ve raised the bar. The Review Committee chose to highlight several red flags in this year’s Quality of Life report, but they did so with tremendous
optimism.”

Overall, educational achievement, crime reduction, and children with health insurance have been recognized as 2013 Gold Stars for the community. “This progress needs to continue, but we need to add to our portfolio of community improvement,” Rupp stated. “We need to craft projects, programs, and policies to tackle poverty, housing equity, suicide, and safe passage.”
Primary funder for the report was United Way of Northeast Florida, whose president, Connie Hodges, said “We share the same commitment into improving the quality of life in our community. We have contributed and participated every single year.”

JCCI staff members: Chandra Mitchell, Dr. Laura Lane, Daniel Austin, Molly Wahl, Aschelle Morgan, Candace Long, Susan Cohn, Luke Weidner and Steve Rankin. Not available: Ben Warner, Michelle Simkulet

JCCI staff members: Chandra Mitchell, Dr. Laura Lane, Daniel Austin, Molly Wahl, Aschelle Morgan, Candace Long, Susan Cohn, Luke Weidner and Steve Rankin. Not available: Ben Warner, Michelle Simkulet

Hodges noted that the report provides research, empirical data and the guidance of informed community volunteers in critical decision-making for United Way and other nonprofit organizations. “It is a roadmap for all of us,” she said. “We need to continue to pay attention as a community to this roadmap and its dashboard of indicators as we travel toward a destination of a better life for everyone in Jacksonville.”

CSX and St.Vincent’s HealthCare were acknowledged as champion supporters, instrumental in data collection and community review.

By Kate A. Hallock
Resident Community News

 

Ten targets, 31 indicators of progress

For the first time, the Quality of Life Review Committee looked at the Progress Report through the lens of JAX2025, aligning the annual report to the 10 targets crafted through community participation in JAX2025. Detailed information about the Quality of Life indicators is available at www.communitysnapshot.org.

Excellence in Education: Consistent rise in the Duval County graduation rate, increasing by 35% over the past five years. Currently it stands at 72.1%.

Vibrant Economy: The local economy is rebounding. The trend lines are promising, but housing costs as a percent of household income has increased for renters.

Clean & Green City: Tributaries of the St. Johns River are less healthy and the frequency with which the tributaries comply with water quality standards is on the decline.
Where People Matter: The percent of youth living in poverty has consistently increased since 2008, and the suicide rate has not been this high since 1991. JCCI is embarking on a Mental Health Inquiry beginning Feb. 12, taking a concentrated look at the suicide rate and other community indicators related to mental health.

Arts & Entertainment: Creators were hit hard by the Great Recession as disposable income was reduced or eliminated. This industry has had to re-invent itself over the past few years, which has resulted in an emphasis on the quality of creative expression, over quantity.

Healthiest Community: For those under 18, the trend line for health coverage is heading in the right direction.

Exemplary Governance: Indicators regarding the perceptions about local government have declined. The trend line for residents’ satisfaction with basic city services is at an all-time low.
Smooth Transportation: Serious bicycle accidents have increased by 47% since 2010, and the latest number is the highest that has been recorded for this indicator in the past 13 years.
Diversity & Inclusion: Disparities persist despite progress in other areas.

Neighborhoods & Urban Heart: The crime rate has decreased and is the lowest that has been recorded in the history of the Progress Report. The number of residents that live Downtown continues to increase, and the trend line for Downtown office vacancy rate is also heading in the right direction.

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