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Topic Score: 75.0
The Civic Engagement Topic measures three different aspects of an engaged community working to improve conditions and collectively shape the future of Oakland. The first Indicator compares the percents of drains that have been adopted in majority Asian and majority White census tracts through the Adopt a Drain program. The second Indicator compares voter turnout rates among residents in Council District 7 and Council District 1. Finally, the third Indicator compares the percent of the population that is Spanish-speaking with limited English proficiency (LEP) and the percent of city public contact position (PCP) employees that are bilingual in Spanish and English to ensure that LEP status does not inhibit access to city services.
With an overall Topic score of 75.0, Civic Engagement is the highest scoring Topic in the Neighborhood and Civic Life Theme and the whole framework. However, the Indicators within the Topic exhibit a wide range of scores. The first Indicator, Adopt a Drain, scored relatively high at 80. The second Indicator, voter turnout, scored the lowest, at 45. The third Indicator, Equal Access Accommodations, received a perfect score of 100, indicating that the City met the requirements for bilingual PCP employees.
Civic Engagement - Adopt a Drain
Majority White census tracts had the lowest percent of drains that were not adopted (87.1%), while majority Asian census tracts had the highest percent (97.5%). Majority African American and majority Latino census tracts fell in the middle (94.8% and 96.3%, respectively), but both percents were low compared to the percent in majority White census tracts. The percent of drains that were not adopted in non-White, mixed census tracts (90.8%) was similar to the citywide percent (91.0%). The percent of drains that have not been adopted in majority Asian census tracts was 1.12 times the percent in majority White census tracts.
Civic Engagement - Voter Turnout
The percent of registered voters who did not vote in the 2016 general election was highest in District 7 (34.8%) and was lowest in District 1 (18.5%). The other four districts fell in the middle: 31.5% of registered voters in District 5, 31.1% in District 6, 28.8% in District 3, and 25.5% in District 2 did not vote in the 2016 general election. Citywide, 26.2% of registered voters did not vote. The percent of registered voters in Council District 7 who did not vote in the 2016 election was 1.89 times the percent in Council District 1.
Civic Engagement - Equal Access Accommodations
In FY 2016-2017, 15.8% of PCP employees were bilingual in Spanish and English, compared to 11.8% of the general population who spoke Spanish and had LEP. The City, therefore, met and exceeded the minimum requirement for bilingual Spanish speakers. The result was similar for Chinese: 6.0% of PCP employees were bilingual in Chinese and English while 5.1% of the general population spoke Chinese and had LEP. The percent of the city population that was Spanish-speaking with LEP was 0.75 times the percent of bilingual PCP employees, meaning that the number of bilingual PCP employees was more than proportional to the LEP Spanish-speaking population. It should be noted that while this Indicator received a score of 100, there is still room for improvement. Bilingual employees in Spanish and Chinese did not match the percents of the population who spoke those languages overall (22.3% and 6.9%, respectively), including both those with LEP and those without LEP. As Oakland’s population changes over time, the City may need to adjust the minimum requirements for bilingual employees to meet the language needs of all Oaklanders.