Deadline quickly approaching for Richmond residents to fill out 2021 Community Survey
on October 22, 2021
Richmond residents have until Monday to fill out the 2021 Community Survey, which gauges life, work and play in the city.
The survey has been conducted every two years since 2007. It takes about 20 minutes to complete and asks residents to rate their satisfaction with education, infrastructure, safety, transportation, and the city’s overall economic health. It is offered in both English and Spanish and is available online through the city’s website.
“I think it’s always important to fill out the survey,” said Richmond Neighborhood Coordinating Council President Jan Migone. “If nothing else, it gives the city an idea of what some people feel about what’s going on in the city.”
Departments and programs rely on survey information to make program decisions and prioritize spending. Survey data is also used to compare how Richmond stacks up to other nearby cities and can be used to secure state or federal funding.
“I think most times when you hear residents share information with local government, it’s at a City Council meeting or a public meeting,” said LaShonda White, community services director. “That means people have to watch and listen and call in and show up and speak.”
The survey, she said, is an opportunity to simply and directly give the city feedback on its services.
Residents need not fill out the whole survey but can choose to answer only the questions that are most important to them.
The results inform city officials on a range of topics such as health care, racial equity, safety and youth engagement, White said. Many department heads, “really dig deep and look at the survey results to figure out how they can improve their services,” she added.
Gabino Arredondo, project manager in the Economic Development Department, said his team uses survey data to build the Transparent Richmond website, which provides public data about various aspects of life in Richmond.
The survey’s digital formal has some worried that not all voices in the community will be heard.
Miriam Wong, executive director of The Latina Center, said many Latinos don’t have a computer or access to email or the internet, which means they can’t access the survey.
“Unfortunately [there] is not an extra effort to reach out to our community,” Wong said.
The survey is an opportunity for the city to hear different perspectives, said Garland Ellis, president of the Richmond Annex Neighborhood Council.
“It’s not that the city doesn’t listen to everyone, but certain groups yell the loudest.” Ellis said.
The last time the survey was offered in 2019, 913 residents filled it out. White hopes that number will double this year.
The city also has already conducted a random survey of 3,000 households. The results of that survey and the voluntary Community Survey will be published on the city’s website in December.
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