County 21st Century Council
The 21st Century
Council believes that all members of our Tallahassee-Leon County
community deserve to have a quality of life that provides them the
opportunities for good health, productive work and meaningful
relationships. This belief is grounded in the desire to help all
people develop and maintain themselves as independent, self-sufficient
and contributing citizens.
In order to accomplish this goal, the 21st Century
Council takes a holistic approach to a person’s continual development.
We recognize that physical, intellectual, emotional, social and
moral/spiritual aspects of individuals in our society must be
addressed both as important outcomes for each person and as gaps
between where we are and where we would like to be as a community.
The 21st Century
Council maintains the Quality of Life focus for all its work as a way
for individuals and decision makers to benchmark their efforts to help
those with needs for assistance in our community. Cognizant of
important and measurable outcomes, policies and practices can be
selected by decision-makers to empower our community members to be
active, strong, participating and giving people who help make our
greater Tallahassee area such a special place live in.
Although Sustainability has
been a catch-all phrase applied to a variety of social, economic and
environmental areas, the use by the 21st Century Council is
simple. To us, Sustainability means we are able to make a positive
difference in people’s lives when measured over time. This values
research and data that look over several years to see trends, best
practices that have evidence of cost/benefit effectiveness and
policies that enhance rather than limit individual growth and
Four areas have been
identified to help focus the 21st Century Council’s
consideration of Sustainable Quality of Life Outcomes. These include:
A sustainable population is one that
continues to grow and nurture happy, healthy and contributing
members. Education, recreation, health care, safety, culture
and the arts all help individuals and groups continue to grow
in ways that make them better citizens as well as better
Culture and Leisure
includes individual, family and community
economic development and success that support
the stability of our daily living. Most people
want to work at jobs that are meaningful and
contribute to meeting their personal and family
needs and desires. Most community basic services
can only be met when the local economy is
functioning well and growing. Prosperity is
essential for all citizens who are willing to be
part of the community’s economy.
The natural environment has most often
been associated with Sustainability as a growing population
puts more demands on natural and man-made resources.
Affordable food and housing and the individual level, waste
and growth management at the community level and energy and
climate on the national and international stage are increasing
in importance. Protecting our people and our planet will
require the attention of all our citizens.
There is no progress in a community’s
Quality of Life without a sense of equity and fairness that
includes all members of society. Good government depends on
active citizen engagement. Social welfare depends on personal
responsibility and neighbors helping neighbors. Conflict
resolution depends upon tolerance and understanding. Public
safety depends on share responsibility and accountability. Our
community is rich with many caring individuals, groups and
congregations. Working together toward the common goal of a
better quality of life for ourselves and all our neighbors is
essential to society’s continued success.
Civic / Government
Social / Welfare
One of the first
publications of the 21st Century Council was a Quality of
Life Report in 1991. Since then a number of data reports highlighted
indicators of areas for concern as well as community progress. The
measures themselves were reviewed several times over the last 20 years
to reflect data sources that could be examined in multi-year formats
and could give a picture of the status of key aspects of Quality of
Life in our community.
With limited resources and a
desire to broaden the accessibility of interested citizens to Quality
of Life data, the online approach to community indicators has changed.
The 21st Century Council will maintain a list of
indicators, updated annually, with links to relevant sources of the
most current data. Community members will be encouraged to contribute
to the selection of indicators and reliable data sources.
A more substantive analysis
of priority or high interest indicators will be encouraged in a new
section called Community Indicators Mini-Studies. Individuals and groups
will be invited to contribute their research and analysis skills to
these areas. A standard format will be followed: a description of the
indicator and its importance; a graph and analysis of multi-year data;
a summary of current community efforts; a summary of national and
international best practices; and policy or other action
recommendations. These brief studies from students, individuals,
groups or organizations in the community will be posted on the 21st
Century Council and other web sites. It is hoped they will be used to
support conversations about strategies and policy decisions that can
positively impact an aspect of our community’s Quality of Life.