For almost 30 years TMT has been the leading source of community data. We have stood by the Truckee Meadows for three decades and we are excited to serve our community for 30 more!
The concept of community indicators was first introduced by the Russell Sage Foundation of New York City in the early 1900’s. The Foundation used public surveys–frequently conducted by nonprofits, chambers of commerce or citizen groups –to determine working class living conditions in urban environments so that interventions would be effective in achieving improvements. The term “quality of life” was not used, but the purpose of the data collection was to understand exactly that. The first such project was undertaken in Pittsburgh in 1907. The approach was widely used until the early 1940’s, when it was replaced by more traditional economic-focused measures such as GDP.
In the mid-1980’s, community indicators emerged as an alternative to exclusively economic-based assessments of a community’s vitality and as a much-needed gauge of quality of life, which had become a growing concern. Community indicators measured a full spectrum of issues, as determined by constituencies, that affected their communities’ well-being (e.g., education, housing, health, employment, etc). Rather than a heavy reliance on surveys, researchers looked to the aggregation of objective data at regular intervals in order to track a community’s progress in addressing those issues. Known as “community indicator projects,” initiatives began cropping up around the United States by the late 1980’s, increasing over the next 20 years. TMT was an early adopter; only one other city had an active project at the time of TMT’s foundation.
TMT grew out of an economic development committee comprised of four agencies that convened in 1990:
The Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit which today is the designated Regional Development Authority for the Reno-Sparks MSA, parts of Storey County along the I-80 corridor, and sections of Washoe Valley.
Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Agency (TMRPA), a governmental entity formed as a regulatory agency by the Nevada Legislature in 1989. Part of TMRPA’s mandate is to monitor “quality of life” in the Truckee Meadows Service Area.
The Washoe Education Association, the bargaining unit for education professionals in the Washoe County District.
Washoe Medical Center, which became Renown Medical Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, in 2006.
TMT was first housed and staffed by TMRPA. The community indicators fulfilled TMRPA’s legal mandate under NRS 278 to monitor quality of life. In 1993, partially due to the increased TMT workload, it was determined that TMT should become a stand-alone organization; it was incorporated as 501(c)(3) nonprofit later that year.
Washoe County was one of the first governmental organizations to use TMT indicators to advance the county’s mission and to measure staff performance. Katy Simon, Washoe County Manager, initiated a citizen Organizational Effectiveness Committee in 1996 to develop and emphasize a comprehensive and consistent approach to the evaluation of services. As an early partner with TMT, Washoe County first used the indicators in environmental scans and strategic planning. The Board of County Commissioners officially adopted five indicators in 1998, pledging improvement actions as part of TMT’s Adopt an Indicator Program.
In 2001, Washoe County implemented TMT’s first collaborative Quality of Life Compact to measurably improve the community’s natural resources—the first-time county staff worked across departments while focused on specified performance measures. In 2004, Washoe County began integrating community indicators into performance measurement—using the indicators as tools for budgeting, policy and decision- making to improve service delivery with ever-scarcer resources in a measurable way responsive to citizen priorities.
1989 — The Nevada State Legislature created Regional Planning to ensure Reno and Sparks coordinated efforts to manage growth in the Truckee Meadows, including a stipulation that we in the Truckee Meadows must define and monitor our area’s quality of life. Truckee Meadows Tomorrow (TMT) grew out of an economic development committee that realized quality of life mattered to businesses moving into our area. Founding members included:
Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (initial start-up prior to incorporation)
Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Agency (initial staffing and original indicator research)
Washoe Education Association (consistently high annual contributions)
Washoe Medical Center/ now Renown Health (initial grant funding 1996-2001)
1993 — TMT incorporated as an independent, nonprofit and helped select our area’s first quality of life indicators, asking “What matters most?” to nearly a 4,000 stakeholders.
1994 — TMT issued a prototype of the Indicators Report, which became the benchmark for our future indicator reporting efforts.
1997 — TMT published its first Quality of Life In The Truckee Meadows: A Report To The Community, and in 1998, this report was used in the region-wide visioning process now known as “One Region. One Vision.” TMT continues to publish annual reports to the community summarizing indicator trends.
2000 — TMT surveyed the community and reduced the 66 indictors by collapsing 30 into 6 quality of life categories that resonated with businesses and citizens.
2005-06 — TMT engaged the community in a major Quality of Life Task Force effort to update the indicators for more relevant, outcomes-based measures. Again, thousands of citizens participated in this update process selecting 33 new community indicators, across 10 quality of life categories. TMT also adopted the new tagline “Engaging the Community. Measuring our Progress.” It crystallizes the organization’s mission and has helped citizens understand the important role TMT plays in our community now and in the future.
2007-08 — New indicators were researched and metrics reported in the comprehensive Community Wellbeing Report published in conjunction with Northern Nevada Business Weekly, January 2008. TMT was honored in December 2008 with the Community Indicators Consortium’s , sponsored by the Brookings Institution, for using indicators to generate positive community change.
2009-13 — TMT changed it’s business model to sustain the community’s indicator project throughout Nevada’s devastating recession.
2014 — TMT re-engaged by celebrating its 20th nonprofit anniversary, hosting community forums, and beginning new roundtable luncheons.
2015 — TMT re-invented its website, increasing security, adding interactive data plots for subscriber use, and member data downloads from the cloud.
2016-17 — TMT began geo-tagging quality of life indicator-related data for data mapping visualization.
2018 — TMT hires new executive director, Erica Mirich, to grow community engagement and develop new and relevant data offerings.
2019 — A partnership with TMT founding organization begins anew. Twenty-five years from TMT's launch a new partnership with Renown Health (formerly Washoe Medical) begins. This collaboration's goal is to democratize data and offer a free one-stop portal for community data.
2020 — OnStrategy - a global strategic planning firm based in Reno, NV - works with TMT to complete a much needed strategic plan. The 2020-2025 Strategic Plan codifies TMT's mission, goals, initiatives, and specific objective. Additionally, TMT launches its new website, www.truckeemeadowstomorrow.org. Perhaps most importantly, the Nevada Tomorrow Community Data Portal goes live.
2021 — TMT is approached by Truckee Meadows Health Communities to merge efforts. This merger allows TMT to better serve the growing needs of the community and improve quality of life for all in our region. Truckee Meadows Healthy Communities advocated for policy changes to improve the health of our community and address factors that lead to health inequities. The organization received a $500,000 BUILD Health Challenge grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which is now led by TMT. The purpose of the award, which was matched by Washoe County Health District, Renown Health, Hometown Health and Geriatric Specialty Care, is to prevent senior loneliness, isolation and mental health concerns. Other initiatives included affordable housing, behavioral health, and physical activity and nutrition.
Recognized for almost three decades through numerous case studies, publications, presentations and awards, including TMT programs being replicated in communities all over the world.
2013 — selected as part of a University of Baltimore research study to assess the extent of integration of community indicators with governmental performance measures
2012 — recognized by the Association of Government Accountants for citizen-centric reporting
2009 — selected by the international Community Indictors Consortium (CIC) to write a “Real Story” on how the community’s indicators were integrated into Washoe County’s performance measurement system
2006 — WIN Salutes a Winner award for outstanding contribution to northern Nevada
2005 — CIC Innovation Award, funded by the Brookings Institution for effectiveness in using community indicator data to generate positive change
2002 — International Society for Quality-of-life Studies conference recognition for creating progressive, collaboration and partnership programs as an effective model for community change
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