Eye On Boise

Idaho ranks fair to middling on civic engagement, voting...

A national survey of "civic engagement" finds that Washington scores well, while Idaho's fair to middling, on such measures as voting, volunteering, participating in a group and working with neighbors to solve community problems.

Washington's scores in the new survey by the Corporation for National and Community Service and the National Conference on Citizenship are "admirable," said David Adler, a University of Idaho constitutional law professor and head of the UI's McClure Center for Public Policy. "I think that many in Washington have fully seized the potential of participation in the civic life of their state. And so that represents a standard toward which Idahoans can aim."

Washington ranked fourth in the nation for the number of residents who participate in a group, such as a religious institution or a neighborhood association; sixth for voting; 11th for volunteering; and ninth for working with neighbors to fix a community problem. Idaho ranked 17th for participating in a group; 25th for voting participation; 10th for volunteering; and fifth for working with neighbors to fix a community problem - the state's highest ranking. However, the numbers were very low in that measurement: Idaho's high-scoring level was just 13.6 percent participation on average each year over the last three years. Washington's was 12.8 percent, and the national average was just 8.4 percent. You can read my full story here at spokesman.com.
 




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Betsy Z. Russell




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