Connecticut Group Releases StateÕs Second Civic Health Report

by Jim Levulis, WAMC

An advisory committee in Connecticut has released its second report on civic and public participation in the state showing how publicly involved people are. The information is a mixed bag ahead of a major election year. The report evaluates how involved people are in public life through indicators such as voting, volunteering and memberships in groups or organizations. ConnecticutÕs Civic Health Advisory Group released its first report in 2011 working with the National Conference on Citizenship and the Hartford-based Everyday Democracy. The foundationÕs executive director Martha McCoy co-chairs the advisory group. ÒItÕs how we contribute as individuals and families to the common good,Ó McCoy said. ÒItÕs how we take that individual or family action, for example volunteering or charity, but also how well we connect with other people and cross divides to work with people that we may not already know.Ó According to the data, Connecticut ranks above the national average when it comes to charitable giving, volunteering, voting and attending public meetings. But with just 35 percent of residents belonging to a community group, the state ranks 36th nationally. New York ranks 45th, Massachusetts 43rd, New Hampshire 19th and Vermont is third. The report concludes demographic and socioeconomic factors define trends in civic participation. For example, 37 percent of those with at least a bachelorÕs degree volunteer while just 13 percent of people without a high school diploma do. That trend holds true when comparing household incomes Ð those with more money volunteer more. Secretary of State Denise Merrill is the advisory committeeÕs other co-chair. [email protected][id=114jbcurl1425]@

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