by Pam Zubeck
Last year, the Pikes Peak United Way's Quality of Life Indicators were a mixed bag, but it seemed like the bad things outweighed the good.
Colorado Springs was an affordable place to live, the military population has a positive impact, more crimes were solved than the national average and volunteerism was high.
On the down side, the business index worsened for the fourth year running, the city's economy grew slower than the U.S. economy, primary jobs declined, one in 10 El Paso County residents has a substance abuse problem, motor vehicle fatalities were up, as were child abuse and neglect and domestic violence.
Not a pretty picture.
On Monday, the 2010 Quality of Life Indicators will be unveiled, and one can only hope things will look brighter, but don't count on it.
“The current economic downturn has impacted many of the indicators in this year’s report,” J.D. Dallager, president and CEO of Pikes Peak United Way, says in a press release. United Way is one of the organizations responsible for the production of the annual report. “Employment is down and that impacts people’s ability to provide for their families, to meet educational and health care needs, and it has reduced their discretionary income typically used for leisure and entertainment,” he says.
Also from the press release:
“The QLI report makes a conscious effort to present only facts,” says Susan Saksa, executive director of Leadership Pikes Peak, another major QLI sponsor. “While it shows trends, the report does not attempt to evaluate these trends as positive or negative. The goal of presenting this data is to help community members prioritize and make educated decisions about which areas deserve investment of time, talent and resources,” she said.
Among the community leaders using the QLI report is Colorado Springs City Council member Jan Martin. “I use the statistics and conclusions in the QLI report in my own decision-making process at the City. The information has also been helpful in determining the areas of our City that need our attention,” she said.
Introduced in 2009, the yellow stars and red flags are once again included in the 2010 QLI report. These helpful markers provide an easy way to identify where the community is thriving and which areas need improvement. This year’s report features six gold stars and 11 red flags, indicative of the economic downturn not only locally, but also nationally.
The 2010 QLI report will be released at 10 a.m. Monday at Pikes Peak United Way, 518 N. Nevada Ave.