Spokane Community Indicators e-Newsletter

Issue #33

INDICATOR NEWS

HOW MUCH IS WASHINGTON STATE TAXING AND SPENDING?

Taxes graphic

Curious to know how much the state is spending on college education? Parks? Public health and safety? State and local governments have responded to the demand for transparency by posting more and more information online; however, people with a strong background in internet research were the only ones able to find that information - until now.

The State and Local Government Snapshot is the most comprehensive and compact view of local government data spanning across the U.S. The tool, created by the U.S. Census Bureau, is a nifty innovation…

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF AMERICANS - THIS IS HOW AMERICA RUNS

Life in America graphic

Apart from the lengthy and detailed scientific method, it is still part of the human experience to try and simplify complicated things in order to help make sense of them. Simplifying the complicated is part of the beauty of data visualizations.

One informative and fun example shows what Americans are doing at any given time throughout a standard 24-hour day. What are typically considered standard working hours from 8am to 5pm are also the best time for leisure and sleep activities for many people, but for how many people in America and exactly at what time are…

INCARCERATION RATES FOR EACH U.S. STATE - COMPARED TO OTHER COUNTRIES

Jail graphic

Crime statistics, by nature, can be a little fuzzy, since they are based on crimes that law enforcement know about. To "know" of a crime, the crime needs to receive an official response from law enforcement. In the minimum, law enforcement must acknowledge it having occurred to officially count in crime statistics.

There are crimes that are almost always reported, like motor vehicle theft and arson, as well as crimes like arson that the authorities will discover on their own as part of an overall public safety response…

INDICATORS IN ACTION

FIREARM-RELATED DEATH RATE IN SPOKANE COUNTY HIGHER THAN STATE -

7.1.8 Graph

More guns, fewer guns, smart guns, or no guns - everyone has an opinion on the gun debate - everyone, that is, except the Trends project. The pure fact of the matter is all weapons are engineered and manufactured with the ability to cause injury and kill - if someone chooses to or needs to use them in such a way.

With recent high-profile school shootings in Parkland, Florida, Houston, Texas, the mass murder from gunfire in Las Vegas, Nevada, and locally at Freeman High School, now might be a good time to remind everyone that the Trends project is about providing accurate data without advocating an agenda. We hope you find most, if not all, the information and resources…

SUSPENSIONS OF SPECIAL EDUCATION STUDENTS DECREASING -

3.2.7 Graph

Over the last decade or more, the efficacy of zero-tolerance policies have come under fire. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), zero-tolerance policies in public school systems, "which mandate that schools severely punish disruptive students regardless of the infraction or its rationale, can actually increase bad behavior and also lead to higher dropout rates."

Looking back at the last 10-years of research, an APA task force made the determination "schools are not any safer or…

LOCAL TAXES - ARE WE CONTRIBUTING TOO MUCH, NOT ENOUGH, OR OUR FAIR SHARE? -

2.2.8 Graph

With all the construction now taking place around Spokane it's hard not to see tax dollars in action. Public projects are highly visible but certainly not comprehensive signs of government work, raising the question: What is our tax burden relative to the local governments around the state? Are we paying the "right amount" to government agencies? That may be a loaded question with a multitude of answers dependent on your political leanings. But what does the data show and how might they de-politicize certain questions? Indicator 2.2.8, municipal government revenue generated, attempts to do just that.

In 2016, all city municipalities within the county and the county government claimed a total of $404.6 million of revenue…

5-QUESTIONS WITH:

KAREN STRATTON - SPOKANE CITY COUNCIL MEMBER, DISTRICT 3

Karen Stratton Photo
 

Q: As a Spokane City Council member, what your top priorities now and for 2019?
A: Public Safety

  • Hire more police officers on the streets and in our neighborhoods via possible Public Safety Bond
  • Hire additional firefighters and support equipment upgrades via possible Public Safety Bond
  • Continue funding Spokane County Regional Criminal Justice Commission
  • Increase financial support to Community Oriented Policing Program - 5% over the next 2-years