Community Perspectives on Data

Over the past few weeks, people in different parts of Sarasota County have been meeting up to exchange ideas about community data for community change.  Here's a sample of the perspectives that people have been sharing: Ms. Sandra Terry

In Laurel, Ms. Sandra Terry started the conversation about community data with a walk through the community garden that is part of the Sandra Sims Terry Community Center.  In keeping with the philosophy, "show, don't tell," she made it possible to experience the flourishing garden directly.  Who knew collard greens could get that big?!  Who knew brussel sprouts form so close to the stalk?!  Seemed like the translation to community data was this:  After we've talked some about creating a "community garden" of data, it will be important to get busy with:

  • preparing the "soil" (grounds for collaboration),
  • planting (and perhaps transplanting) the seedlings (preliminary datapoints),
  • continually nurturing what begins to develop,
  • sharing the developments with others, to that a sense of possibility spreads.

Mr. Morris Dibner

Mr. Dibner moved to Sarasota a decade ago when he was 80 years old, after a diverse career in sectors that ranged from the garment industry to property development.   He is looking forward to participating in Community Data 2.0 because civic involvement matters a lot to him - so much so that he wrote a book titled, Your One Vote.  He has a copy of the first Community Report Card published in Sarasota County in 2001/02, and is reading it in preparation for next week's community-wide convening.

Venice Residents

At Venice Main Street, Mindy, Marilyn, Doug and Ernie got together to reflect on the qualities of life that seem to be especially valued by the people they know who live in Venice.   Frequently mentioned qualities were the "small town" vibe - with an emphasis on a spirit of friendliness and a general sense of safety -- combined with the natural beauty that comes with being a coastal community.  So what would these qualities look like if they were regularly experienced by everyone living in Venice here in Sarasota County?

Central-Cocoanut Neighborhood Scavenger Hunters

Some of the neighborhood scavenger hunters dropped by the SCOPE office this week to make some neighborhood posters.  They took a look at the community report cards and then shared their opinions on "what matters most to kids to have a good life."

  • Shyya said "going to the playground."
  • Ray Ray said, "going places with friends, like to the water park."
  • Quan said, "to be safe."
  • Niya said, "to be nice."
  • Jala said, "having their family there with them and being able to have such a caring and good community so they don't have to worry about things, so they can focus on school."

So how could these values be translated into community indicators, which then could be tracked over time as a way of paying attention to the well-being of our community?

Just a few ideas and perspectives to help us gear up for the community-wide conversation that will take place on Thursday - we hope you'll be there!