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Report includes responses from nearly 2,000 residents of Dakota, Ramsey and Washington counties

The Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation today released the second volume of East Metro Pulse, a tool the Foundation uses to measure vitality and quality of life in Dakota, Ramsey and Washington counties.

In spring 2018, the Foundation—in partnership with Wilder Research—reached out to East Metro residents, asking how they feel about community connectedness, economic opportunity and security, education and other issues that affect their communities. New to this year’s survey were questions about narratives around race and ethnicity in the news media—particularly if residents feel they are fairly represented in the news.

“Over the years, we have found that one of the best ways to assess what the community requires is to simply ask,” said Dr. Eric J. Jolly, president and CEO of the Foundation. “By gathering and sharing these voices, we can access a level of nuance that goes to the heart of our community’s feelings about their quality of life. East Metro Pulse allows us to move beyond community challenges and toward solutions.”

Findings in the report include:

  • Local and national news organizations ranked as the fourth and second lowest institutions respectively in terms of treating people of all races and ethnicities fairly.
  • People of color feel less fairly represented in the media than white people.
  • Seventy percent of respondents own homes – but that number drops to 52 percent for respondents from Saint Paul and to 24 percent for African American respondents.
  • Respondents with no housing-related needs dropped from 47 percent to 27 percent from 2016 to 2018.
  • Forty-one percent of respondents found career/technical education training to be unaffordable in the East Metro.
  • Nearly one in four respondents delayed or did not receive dental care due to cost in the last year.

Data from East Metro Pulse is a community resource that can inform and guide policymakers, funders and local leaders to find opportunities to learn and champion important issues that benefit the East Metro.

In addition to the mailed household survey, the Foundation provided nonprofits with a unique link to the survey to provide to their constituents, and those that had more than 50 responses will receive their own data book to be able to better inform their programs and efforts. Also new this volume, the Foundations will hold ‘data parties’ for anyone interested in learning how to sift through the data book and understand how to use the data in their work.

“East Metro Pulse allows us to add feelings to facts, telling a more comprehensive tale of the vitality of our community,” said Nadege Souvenir, vice president of Operations & Learning at the Foundations. “We encourage the community to use this data to support policy work and other projects benefiting the East Metro.”

For more information and to view the full report and data book, visit eastmetropulse.org.

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