Late yesterday, the City of Decatur released it’s final Diversity Report (PDF) compiled and written by City Intern & GSU Master’s Student Christian Perry and City Communications Officer Casie Yoder.
The report itself begins with numerous resident definitions of what “diversity” means, and goes on to dissect Census data to show how the city’s demographics have changed over time in a variety of different bar charts. There’s a lot of data in here: covering changes over time in age, race, household type (size, w/children, same sex), education, income, and home value.
(If you’re interested in Atlanta/Decatur demographics, these interactive Social Explorer maps that were pointed out here a while back are a really great way to analyze demographic data at the Census Track level – in Decatur and beyond.)
The report also includes an extensive “Next Steps” section that recommends more qualitative research (i.e. focus groups), keeping track of city employees home location, tracking event attendee demographics, collecting additional data points (occupation, transportation patterns, religious & political affiliation, housing trends, small business owner demos).
It goes on to recommend against a city-wide minimum wage due to the city’s small size and also notes the city’s ability to maintain affordable housing levels, unlike Atlanta. It highlights how the three new apartment complexes currently under-construction in Decatur will attract younger residents to the city, that the UDO is expected to allow new zoning options on residential lots, and that annexation could incorporate commercial areas like Patel Plaza, which serve the Indian-American community.
It concludes by noting that the city has little control over a community’s cultural values, but that it can “create forums and opportunities for responsible, civil discourse about how best to foster a diverse community that is open and welcoming to all.” and that after the funded Phase I is completed by year’s end, Phase II will occur next year with “large-scale community conversations and development of an action plan” in 2015.