Seattle CityClub’s 2017 Civic Health Index Finds Seattle Leads the Way in Civic Engagement

Diane Douglas, Seattle CityClub Executive Director at Civic Cocktail

“We commend Seattle CityClub for its leadership and its work designed to strengthen civic health in Seattle,” said Sally Prouty, Interim CEO of NCoC

The 2017 Greater Seattle Civic Health Index is scheduled for public release May 23 by Seattle CityClub. In collaboration with the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC), the 2017 report ranks 51 American cities across 26 categories measuring civic engagement and the health of their democracies.

Started in 2006 by the NCoC, the Civic Health Index (CHI) examines how Americans connect with each other and their communities by surveying the levels of volunteerism, voting, philanthropy, neighbor-to-neighbor connectivity, political expression and religious affiliation amongst residents. The Civic Health Index uses census data provided to the NCoC from the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Of the 51 cities studied in 2017 Greater Seattle Civic Health Index, Seattle ranked in the top 10 in 19 of the 26 categories, including 1st in charitable donations over $25, 1st in group participation and 2nd in product boycotting. Seattle’s reputation for being a difficult city to make new friends in—commonly referred to as the “Seattle Freeze”—also improved. When it came to residents doing favors for their neighbors, Seattle improved from 37th in 2014 to 6th in 2017 among the 51 cities studied.

The 2017 Greater Civic Health Index also found there are significant disparities in citizen engagement due to lack of access to leaders, civic skills and knowledge of democratic power structures. Greater Seattle residents without a high school diploma are nine times less likely to attend public meetings than residents with a college degree, and Latino Greater Seattle residents are three times less likely to attend public meetings than their White/Caucasian counterparts.

According to NCoC research, communities with strong indicators of civic health as measured by the Civic Health Index have higher employment rates, stronger schools, better physical health, and more responsive governments. “We commend Seattle CityClub for its leadership and its work designed to strengthen civic health in Seattle,” said Sally Prouty, Interim CEO of NCoC.    

The 2017 Civic Health Index will be available May 23 at SeattleCityClub.org.

A preview of the 2017 Civic Health Index will be provided to participants at FullConTech, a cross-sector collaboration conference at Seattle City Hall organized by Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA) on May 22. FullConTech participants will utilize the 2017 Greater Civic Health Index as a tool to inform the direction of their conversations and solutions…

Read the full article from the author…

Back to Top