[Excerpt] The report, written by Mark Abraham, executive director of DataHaven, has gotten high praise for its compilation of data benchmarking economic opportunity, health needs and the civic life of Greater New Haven residents.
In addition to Jackson, the Rev. Bonita Grubbs of Christian Community Action and Leslie Creane, architect and Hamden’s director of planning and zoning, were on the panel.
Creane said they held more than 100 meetings when they changed their zoning laws and people tend to come to those topics with their minds made up. She said having data to explain what actually is going on is the best way to convince people what the reality is when policy changes are on the table.
Oppenheimer said the Abraham’s document is about America and New Haven’s place in America. Abraham said other countries take these kinds of social surveys that measure well being, but the U.S. tends to be behind on this.
Among other things, Abraham found that the number of younger adults, age 25-44, in the suburbs, is expected to drop by 18,000 by 2020, but in New Haven it is projected to jump by 10,000 residents.
As the future workforce supporting an increasingly aging population, the education achievement of children in New Haven will be key to the success of the region.
Things generally are getting better across the area, but there are still serious pockets of poverty from neighborhood to neighborhood in New Haven and continuing health disparities by race and income levels.