City Council members met at WHYY on Tuesday night to discuss the Community Sustainability Initiative, a program meant to help Council make sound budget and policy decisions based on neighborhood data.
The program, which was announced this summer, involves a data analysis and mapping tool populated and designed by Econsult Solutions and The Reinvestment Fund (TRF). The tool was demonstrated to the crowd gathered on Tuesday night, and eventually it will be made available for public use. A spokesperson for Council President Darrell Clarke’s office said there’s no timeline on when the tool will be public.
Council is hoping to get community input on the program and incorporate more datasets. The event was also broadcast on 900 AM WURD.
Currently, the Know Your Neighborhood tool ranks all neighborhoods in the city based on some key quality-of-life indices, such as public safety, housing demand and housing stability, access to education, and proximity to neighborhood amenities.
After the tool was displayed, audience members asked questions and made comments about a wide range of issues related to neighborhood health. Council members fielded questions about housing policy and education, and Ira Goldstein of TRF talked about what the new data tool will and won’t be able to do.
The program was emceed by Council President Darrell Clarke. Also in attendance were Council members Mark Squilla, Kenyatta Johnson, Jannie Blackwell, Curtis Jones, Jr., and Marian Tasco. State Representative Cherelle Parker also attended the event, as did State Senator and mayoral candidate Anthony Williams.
Clarke said that district Council members will be bringing the new tool to various community meetings across the city in the coming months.