[Excerpt] Fewer Connecticut residents are voting, volunteering and donating to charity but more are eating dinner with their families and talking with their neighbors.
These are among the findings from the 2016 Connecticut Civic Health Index. The report, conducted by DataHaven with help from others including Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, looks at the level of civic involvement in several categories across the state.
Connecticut ranked higher than most states when it came to many categories, but the percentage of respondents who said they had voted in the last presidential or midterm election was lower than it was in 2010 the last time the same questions were asked. The same was true for questions about donating more than $25 to charity and volunteering.
"Rising participation in recent years in some activities -- working with neighbors to fix community issues, contacting public officials, eating dinner with family, and talking with neighbors -- fuels improvements to civic helath in Connecticut," according to the report. "But civic engagement has fallen in other areas such as volunteering, charitable giving, belonging to an organiaiton, voting in national elections, and exchanging favors with neighbors."
The report also concluded that high-income, college-educated and older adults were more likely to be engaged in civic pursuits.
"All residents of the state need to know that their voices and participation are not just invited, but welcomed," the conclusion of the report reads. "They need to know that their time will be used well and that they will have a chance to be heard and make a difference. And they often need supports such as child care, transportation, flexibility in meeting times, and translation services. All of these factors make a difference in the rates of participation."