Government Sites – Civic Engagement Survey
What was your hypothesis?
Residents who take advantage of non-essential government-supported services are more likely to be engaged in the overall civic life of Santa Cruz.
What indicator did you measure?
-Serve on a board or committee
-Organize a community activity
-Contribute time, money, or goods to a local cause
-Vote in the last local election
-Contact the local government
-Attend a community activity
How did you measure it?
We conducted a short verbal survey midday Friday at four sites in downtown Santa Cruz. Three offered public services, and one, a commercial site, served as a comparator.
What did you learn?
We do not have evidence supporting our hypothesis. Respondents at Trader Joe's showed higher levels of engagement by four of the six measures. The library equalled Trader Joe's for board service and surpassed Trader Joe's for attending a community activity.
Civic engagement appears to correlate with age, length of residency, and home ownership. For the most part, gender and raising children don't appear to be significant variables predictive of civic engagement. TraderJoe's demographic did skew older and longer length of residency. The library skewed towards higher home ownership.
Future surveys should include more comparator sites, and respondent profiles from site to site should be more similar, or more data should be collected and analyzed further using multiple regression.
High level of renters encountered, high level of security of each site, and high overall civic engagement across all sites.