Being connected to, invested in, and belonging to the community is the essence of
democracy. Social responsibility and stewardship for the future of one's community
changes how we feel about where we live and changes how we feel about ourselves.
When those who live, work and play in the Truckee Meadows are engaged civic participants, quality of life for all improves. We welcome and aim to provide a voice to the full diversity of perspectives, ages, genders, orientations, cultures, races and ethnicities who call the Truckee Meadows home. When we all are invested in our community, our collective future is bright.
To learn more about each indicator, simply click on the icon, chart, map, or graph to be directed to the NevadaTomorrow.org Community Data Portal, where you will see maps, charts, graphs, year-over-year comparisons, and more.***
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HOW ARE WE DOING?
Overall Community Civic & Neighborhood Engagement Grade
Sometimes the most basic of measures indicated offer the most significant meaning. The past few years provided a myriad of opportunities for greater cultural and civic engagement. The COVID-19 pandemic allowed us to redefine how we want to invest in our community.
Learn more below about the state of civic and neighborhood engagement in our community.
Voting is one of the most fundamental rights of a democratic society. Exercising this right allows a nation to choose elected officials and hold them accountable. Voting ensures that all citizens have the opportunity to voice their opinions on issues such as the use of tax dollars, civil rights, and foreign policy. By voting, individuals shape their communities and influence the next generation of society. A high level of turnout indicates that citizens are involved in and interested in who represents them in the political system.
This indicator shows the percentage of registered voters who voted in the 2020 presidential election.
Voter Turnout for Last Presidential Election
Owning a computing device and accessing the internet can help maintain one's health. Healthcare consumers can obtain data regarding physicians and hospitals in their area. Those with chronic diseases can find information on how to manage their illness. Individuals can also learn best practices regarding wellness, fitness, and diet to maintain their health.
This indicator shows the percentage of people in households with an internet subscription.
PLACES TO GET TO KNOW YOUR NEIGHBOR
Access to parks and playgrounds provides opportunities for outside activities, play, and healthy living during all of the seasons.
There are a number of parks and playgrounds, including regional parks, community/neighborhood parks, and playgrounds in the Cities of Reno and Sparks and throughout Washoe County.
DOING WELL BY DOING GOOD
Each year the Moonridge Philanthropy Group and Applied Analysis partner to collect data from a diverse group of corporate funders with representation across Nevada to learn more about corporate philanthropy and volunteerism. These reports provide annual measurements and benchmarks that aid in strategizing corporate philanthropy and community impact.
Regarding volunteerism, the 2020 Corporate Giving Report states, "Employees play an important role in corporate social investment strategies. Volunteer programs established by companies can have positive impacts for the community, the company and their employees. Participating in volunteer activities can be a deeply rewarding experience and can provide the opportunity for teambuilding among company employees. Participation can also improve job satisfaction and instill the feeling that the work employees are doing is making a positive impact in their community."
In 2019, approximately 82 percent of respondents indicated that their company has some sort of volunteer program, a dramatic increase from 2018 when just 57 percent of respondents indicated that they have an established volunteer program. Of those companies with established volunteer programs, 26 percent reported that at least 50 percent of their employees participated in one or more of their volunteer programs during the past year.
In total, survey respondents reported that their employees spent over 210,000 hours volunteering in the community during 2019, an estimated average of 2.6 hours per employee. Applied statewide, this would equate to 3.2 million volunteer hours spent in the community, up from an estimated 2.7 million in the prior year. Employees are a high priority in Nevada companies’ social investment and hopefully this is a trend that continues into the future.
Volunteerism in Nevada
CORPORATE GIVING = COMMUNITY BENEFIT
According to the Moonridge Philanthropy Group and Applied Analysis' 2020 Corporate Giving Report:
"The top issues identified by respondents as the most pressing facing Nevada were also the areas that received the greatest amount of financial support from the corporate community. Leading the way this year was the health and social services category which includes homeless services and affordable housing. The industry received an average of nearly 36 percent of respondents' financial contributions. Education was the second-most supported cause, with roughly 22 percent of average contributions allocated to K-12 and higher education.
Of this, K-12 education initiatives received nearly 16 percent of total contributions, while higher education received roughly 6 percent. Other categories receiving significant support were community infrastructure (7 percent), civic and public affairs (6 percent) and arts and culture (5 percent). In total, 63 percent of respondents noted that their total contributions increased at least slightly from the prior year, while just 11 percent reported a decrease in social investments during the year."
Overall, much of the data and research typically published to help determine this report were unavailable or not updated in 2020. So much of the world's energy went into tracking, surviving, and recovering from COVID-19 that significant reports and research projects were set aside. Despite the challenges, this preparation for this report uncovered several key takeaways.
2020 Voter turnout was high, with 86.7% of registered voters in Washoe County participating, which is much higher than other counties in Nevada.
88.4% of Washoe County Residents had internet in 2019, which during the pandemic proved to be more important to learning and employment than ever before.
Black and Native Americans are ~8% less likely to have internet subscriptions when comparing the data across racial groups.
There are 94 parks in Washoe County, which played a critical role in mental health and the ability to connect with neighbors during the pandemic.
In 2019, corporate volunteer programs increased by 25%, with close to 210,000 volunteer hours reported.
Prior to the pandemic, corporate giving was highest for social services, K-12, and higher education.
Rebuilding a healthy community after the pandemic will be easier with engaged voters who benefit from internet connectivity and access to information. In Washoe County, there are places to meet our neighbors and programs to help us give back to the community. We can anticipate the need will be even greater to help those who have suffered disproportionately during the pandemic. With each indicator, there are insights into the strengths of our community and areas for improvement. Civic engagement is a growing strength in Washoe County.