The Community Indicators Initiative of Spokane is an online community resource offering a centralized location to learn more about Spokane County. Over 200 indicators are highlighted, all supported by trusted, reliable sources and continually updated.
Nestled between the Cascade and Rocky Mountains, Spokane is as unique as its moniker "Near Nature, Near Perfect". Spokane County and environs form the 100th largest MSA by population, but combines the best of both a large and small city environment. A large, rushing river runs through the County, with lakes and mountains within a half an hour drive. The community is home for four universities, a diversifying economy, significant sports and cultural events.
These measures were chosen by residents of the county through a careful process and represent the preferences of what to measure from the available data. As you begin to examine the nine main categories, we hope you find the information relevant and useful in your daily work and decision-making.
The Community Indicators Initiative of Spokane seeks to improve local, private and public decision-making by providing relevant data in an easily navigable website. The data will serve neutral information for all parties involved.
Our goals include:
- To collect and share a broad spectrum of information for individual community members, policy makers, non-governmental organizations, businesses, business organizations, researchers, and the press.
- To track progress over time of various efforts toward a healthy, vibrant community.
- To measure the community's progress spatially via benchmarks outside of the County.
- To enable analysis of these trends.
- To create a forum for a discussion of the issues underlying the data, either on-line or in person.
A community indicators project must receive its inspiration, general direction, and ultimately, validity from the citizens themselves. Appropriately, the Community Indicators Initiative of Spokane has convened individuals representing many groups, organizations and businesses over three rounds of focus groups since 2005 to arrive at the indicator set you see here.
The site launched in October, 2006. Critical to the launch were several community organizations, including:
- City of Spokane
- Community Building Foundation
- Eastern Washington University
- Greater Spokane Inc.
- Spokane Regional Health District
- Spokane United Way
The effort was helped immensely by a generous grant from the Inland Northwest Community Foundation.
A set of principles informed the votes of our focus groups. We asked fellow residents to consider that their choices of indicators be based on the following criteria:
- Important to large numbers of the community
- Based on valid measurements, as defined by good science and social science
- Understandable to the general public
- Defined to allow comparisons to Washington State, the U.S. or those in similar sized communities
- Available repeatedly over time to allow trend analysis
- Easily accessible
- Sourced from credible sites, largely federal, state & local governments