The City of Santa Monica launched a website Tuesday that provides data on crime, income levels, college readiness and more than 40 other metrics grouped under seven priorities.

The City organizes its work around seven outcomes: community, learning, place and planet, safety, economic opportunity, health and governance. The website connects the outcomes to metrics that show the successes or failures of different programs.

“We want residents to know our citywide priorities and how we’re delivering on our commitment to being a sustainable city of wellbeing,” said Mayor Gleam Davis. “Visit the dashboard, explore the topics that interest you most, and look for ways to get involved.”

The City launched the website as it prepares the budget for fiscal years 2019-2021. Every item in the budget will be mapped to the seven outcomes and the website will be updated once the budget is approved this summer to connect expenditures to outcomes.

“The purpose of the dashboard is to use data and additional information to tell a story about how we’re delivering on top priorities,” said Tim Dodd, chief performance officer.

Below are some key takeaways from the data the City has provided.

Community

About one-third of Santa Monica volunteer at least once a month, significantly higher than the one-quarter of Californians and Americans who volunteer monthly. However, that proportion has declined from 38 percent in 2014 to about 35 percent in 2017.

Economic opportunity

About 23 percent of Santa Monica households spent more than half of their income on rent in 2015, a proportion that remained fairly constant between 2010 and 2015. The City has not yet provided data past 2015.

There are deep differences in income between different racial groups in Santa Monica. In 2016, whites earned $72,645 on average, while Latinos earned $32,629 and Blacks earned $33,488. Asians earned $71,210 and Native Americans earned $15,687.

Women also earn significantly less money than men. In 2017, men earned $66,770 on average and women earned $50,137, 28.5 percent less. The disparity is higher than the national average of 19.5 percent and the California average of 12 percent, the lowest of any state.

The economic opportunity category also includes measures of the health of the business community.

90 percent of commercial space was occupied in 2018 and the occupancy rate has been stable since 2010, previously peaking in 2000 and 2007 and falling several percentage points during the recession.

Santa Monica’s top five industries by employment are accommodation and food services, professional, scientific and technical services, information services, health care and social assistance, and retail trade. About 65 percent of workers are employed in those industries.

Another 7.5 percent work in local government and three percent each work in real estate, finance and arts, entertainment and recreation, and wholesale trade. About nine percent work in other administration and services.

Health

Almost four percent of residents were in poor health in 2018, several percentage points less than the rest of Los Angeles County. Eight percent reported feeling severely lonely or isolated, which is on par with the United Kingdom and Western Europe. Loneliness peaks in the 18-24 demographic and in downtown Santa Monica, according to the City’s 2014 Wellbeing Index.

Learning

Only 63 percent of Santa Monica children graduated preschool ready for kindergarten in 2018, but that proportion has increased steeply since 2012, when just 48 percent of preschoolers were kindergarten-ready.

Santa Monica High School graduates lag in college readiness, especially those from marginalized communities.

As of 2018, about 70.5 percent of all students meet entry requirements for California’s public, four-year universities, but half of Black students do not. 95 percent of Asian students, 95 percent of white students and 71.5 percent of Latino students are college-ready. Samohi graduates who matriculate to Santa Monica College earned a 2.47 GPA their first semester in 2017, but that fell to 2.2 for Black and Latino students.

Ecosystems

The City has made progress on reducing its carbon footprint, which is 20 percent below 1990 levels, but has not yet met its goal of cutting emissions to 581,000 tons per year. As of 2015, the city released 1.11 million tons of carbon.

It is, however, on track to meet its goal of water self-sufficiency. By 2023, it will import only one percent of its water. The City has also set a goal to divert 95 percent of waste from landfills by 2030 and diverted about 84 percent in 2018.

Safety

Crime rose 86 percent between 2014 and 2017 and fell by about eight percent in 2018. However, serious crime also increased by about eight percent, mainly due to theft and burglary. There were 1,280 crimes in 2018, 170 of which were violent crimes. About half of residents felt safe, down from 60 percent in 2013.

Governance

The City has a $467 million unfunded pension liability caused by the effects of the recession on the state’s pension fund that it must pay down over the next 10 years. The City could lose between $10 to $40 million each year in the 2020s – even more if a recession hits in the new few years – if it doesn’t cut services while it makes payments to CalPERS.

To access the dashboard, please visit www.santamonica.gov/dashboard.   

madeleine@smdp.com

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