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A Brief Guide to the Indicators Report

A Brief Guide to the Indicators Report

Posted & filed under Indicators.

What gets measured, gets managed

Indicators Report
For those new to the SSMC Indicators Report or just seeking a refresher, this extensive examination of our County’s economy, environment, and overall well-being, provides critical independent statistics and summarized insights on the most pressing regional issues.

With rolling coverage of 12 categories — including education, energy, healthcare, and housing — as well as a rotating annual focus area, the report reveals challenges and opportunities facing residents and wage earners.

Overseeing hundreds of annual research and design hours, the current Indicators Program Manager, Flora Kaplan, guides the report using its 21-year philosophy — “what gets measured, gets managed.”

Flora has extensive expertise and education in cultural transformation, renewable energy, climate change, food systems, and waste management.

Celebrating 21 years – guiding leaders on pressing issues

Founded in 1996, the Report’s invaluable infographics, charts, and written summaries have guided local leaders’ organizational strategies and tactics. And its attention to topical issues continues to address the inequities that require immediate attention.

• 1995: Public workshops gather input on indicators & data.
• 1997: 1st Report issued with Peninsula Community Foundation start-up grant.
• 2002: 6th annual Report released at Michael Krasny hosted “Perspectives on the Good Life” panel discussion.
• 2013: 17th annual Report published in searchable, mobile-friendly online format.
• 2014: New tri-annual updates accompany town hall Launch & Lunch events.

Tri-annual Updates

Indicators Presentation
Winter, Spring, and Fall online & PDF updates add topical insights and new 3rd party statistics from entities such as:

• Association of Bay Area Governments
• California Budget and Policy Center
• US Census Bureau

This year’s area of focus, Cost of Living, poses an important question – does San Mateo County maintain a healthy environment, society and economy for the long term?

The Fall 2017 Update (November) focuses on cost child care, education, and healthcare, and reveals:

• Annual child care costs >$14,000 (Fig 1)
• 11,000 shortage of pre-school spaces
• 1600 homeless pre-school to 5th grade

Important solutions include increasing wages for child care providers, utilizing vacant spaces for new programs, and establishing developer fees or reducing facilities fees.

Consumption – online and in print

The 12-category and 48-subcategory report can be consumed in several ways:

New info summary (online & PDF) – review periodic updates summarized 3 times a year
Narrow focus (online) – jump to single topics such as transportation, population, and safety (Fig 2)
Full scope (PDF) – study the complete 100+ annual report
Key indicator (online & PDF) – find info on each year’s focus area

Please let us know how the report helps guide your organization’s strategy and tactics!

Author Doug Silverstein is a multi-generation Bay Area native and passionate contributor to the Citizens Environmental Council of Burlingame and Sustainable San Mateo County. Doug runs a local tech marketing agency and interests include hiking, travel, music, and family.

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From the 2017 Indicators Report

Between 1989 and 2014, low income wages decreased by 7% and high income wages increased by 27% in San Mateo County.

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