The 2012 Progress Report assesses three questions about what Indicator data say about each desired condition:
- Are the local data trends positive, stable (or mixed if there are multiple indicators for a condition), or negative?
- How does Albuquerque compare to the nation and, specifically, to peer cities in the Southwest? (See page vii for information on
the selection of peer cities.)
- Does citizen perception match what the indicator data say about the respective desired condition?
NOTE: See the section in the Appendix on “Context, Considerations, Comparisons, Cautions, and Confidence” for a briefing on questions and
issues to consider when looking at DATA.
The answers to these questions led the IPC to a conclusion about each Desired Condition. These conclusions are characterized
in one of three ways:
- The picture is in focus, explaining the significant progress the community has made in moving toward achievement of the desired condition
- The picture should to continue to improve upon the progress made toward achievement; this reflects less progress than the opportunity to celebrate, but positive movement within the community
- And, finally, the picture needs focus, which reflects the need for the community to address the desired condition more effectively.
Establishing 5 year Goals and Desired Community Conditions
In late 2010, the City Council passed and the Mayor signed legislation establishing a new set of five year goals and related Desired (Community) Conditions in eight key areas. These superseded a set of goals adopted in 2006. These goals and desired conditions were based on extensive citizen input. In the summer of 2010 the Indicators Progress Commission (IPC) held a “goals forum” attended by more than 300 citizens. They participated in exercises about what they wanted Albuquerque to be like in the future.
They reviewed the 2006 goals and desired conditions and recommended changes. The IPC took this input and looked at additional data, information from other governments and research institutions, citizen surveys, census, socioeconomic and other pertinent data, then recommended revisions to the 2006 goals and desired conditions.
After the Mayor and Council adopted the goals and desired conditions, the IPC worked closely with City departments and other data sources to develop the indicators and obtain data.
Citizen Perception of Conditions
In preparation for developing the 2012 Albuquerque Progress Report, the IPC conducted two surveys in late 2011, asking Albuquerque households to rate the importance of and perceived progress made in achieving the Desired Conditions adopted in 2010. The results of these surveys have been used to assess the degree to which Albuquerque residents understand these desired conditions. Do their ratings of these conditions reflect what the indicator data say about the conditions? The IPC’s reasoning resides in their belief that a community can’t optimize its investments and maximize its progress if citizens do not have accurate understandings of the state of the conditions that exist in their community. This is not an easy undertaking to determine.
Developing a Community Report Card
The development of a Community Report Card includes seven distinct steps:
- Articulation of the City’s Goals
- Elaboration of the goals by describing Desired Conditions that explain more clearly what achievement of the goals would mean in the community
- Generation of quantitative measures called Goal Progress Indicators that measure the Desired Condition in relevant, comprehensive, and useful ways;
- Collection and analysis of Goal Progress Indicator data to communicate progress at the Desired Condition level;
- Identification, collection, and analysis of available comparative data to contrast our community to other peer cities, counties, or MSA’s, (dependent on the availability of data).
- Comparison of citizen perception of a community condition to what the data say to determine if citizens have an accurate understanding of the respective condition.
- Compilation of results to come to a conclusion about the condition – is the picture in focus, continue to improve, or the picture needs focus.
Using the Report Card
This report card can be used in a variety of ways to:
- Show the current status of a wide array of important environmental, social and economic conditions, and illuminate trends
- Provide a fact based sketch of the conditions of the community, organized by City goals
- Establish a sound foundation of data that can serve as a basis for governmental and civic leaders to understand conditions
- Help Albuquerque residents and other stakeholders understand the true state of conditions
- Assist policy leaders and managers in developing strategies and programs that help them track and measure how well the City is doing in achieving the goals that are important to the community
The Albuquerque Progress Report 2012 is based fundamentally on measurement and data. Like any technical report, this data need context. It is imperative to understand what the local trend is in Albuquerque – that is the basic purpose of this report. Are we improving or not? It is also helpful to know what other communities are experiencing. Are they all improving, too? Are we different -- better or worse? Are there national forces beyond local control impacting these conditions? To minimize the variables, the
IPC focused on cities in the Southwest and picked ones that:
- Are similar in population;
- Have demographic characteristics in common with Albuquerque;
- Have major universities in or near them and/or other institutions, like military bases or labs; and
- Are the center cities of their metro areas.
While we have many things in common with Tempe, AZ, Fort Worth and Arlington, TX, and Lakewood, CO, for example, each is not the center city in their respective metropolitan area.
Therefore, the IPC settled on the following cities as peer or index cities:
- Austin, TX;
- Colorado Springs, CO;
- El Paso, TX;
- Oklahoma City, OK;
- Salt Lake City, UT; and,
- Tucson, AZ.
When the data are available, these cities are used to provide context about Albuquerque’s performance.
On numerous occasions, staffs from these jurisdictions were very helpful in providing data about their respective communities.