In the course of starting my campaign for City Council in Concord, I listened to a lot of questions that people raised at workshops and community meetings. As such I decided to start a survey site called the Pulse of Concord. In the first survey, in May, we had such questions going from: “should roosters be banned in Concord” to “do you agree that the crime rate has gone down in Concord for the last three years?” See more and the results about roosters* in Concord below.
The main idea is to:
1. Limit the core questions to about 10 at a time so that you can be in and out quickly.
2. Try to ask questions neutrally so as to not push or pull in one direction.
3. Set up a panel to drive future topics and questions so as to keep to a community voice.
4. Keep the focus locally on Concord.
5. Let the questions range from general to specific and a mix of political-social-economic questions based on what is on people’s mind
6. Establish the concept as an independent function that could continue independent of the politics.
7. Questions must be multiple choices, as we cannot deal with reading and sorting out data responses that are in prose.
8. Start it monthly and see if it catches on as a community service.
9. The Survey would be solicited by icons on as many blogs as we could both afford or get to cooperate and they include at this time: Claycord, Mister Writer, Concordian, The Lemon Lady, Frugal Find and Monument Boycott.
The answers were then summarized and sent to those who wanted to follow it and published in the June Concordian. We are currently in the middle of the second set of questions and you are all more than welcome to add your answers.
*As for the answers, Roosters could be a seriously endangered species in Concord, especially if the rumor gets around that they taste like chicken. Fascinating was that 75% of the respondents do not believe that the crime rate has gone down over the last three years. However, that is exactly what the Chief of Police (now Sheriff-elect) maintains citing statistics from the National Bureau of crime statistics.
Nevertheless, the reaction to this news to survey takers was still one of disbelief, pointing to a serious challenge to the City to convince people of some good news, or to sustain the methodology that underlies the numbers presented.