Nonprofit SA2020 keeps tabs on 60 different metrics related to life in San Antonio and a summary report of the 19 that have data available through 2020 was released by the nonprofit during a virtual event on Friday.
Only three of those metrics met their 2020 goal: increased downtown housing units, renewable energy, and police response times. Sixteen metrics – including public investment in arts and culture, representation of appointed officials, kindergarten readiness, and air quality – fell short.
“To look at these indicators as merely moving up or down, masks the more complex story of targeted efforts that have driven real change, even incrementally, over the last decade,” outgoing President and CEO Molly Cox said. “Across the data, you’ll see room for celebration, and room for learning and doubling down efforts.”
Since it launched in 2010, the initiative-turned-nonprofit has tracked San Antonio’s progress toward community goals in areas such as education, environment, and poverty while aligning community and governmental partners toward improving those metrics.
As SA2020 prepared for the new decade, it engaged nearly 12,300 residents through public meetings and a survey to take part in reaffirming the vision for San Antonio in 2030.
“We will be re-envisioning this future together every 10 years and we have shifted slightly some of the things that you may have known if you’ve been following us over the last decade,” Cox said.
SA2020 had 11 cause areas, but will move forward with just nine as community safety and family well-being are now incorporated into other areas that measure civic engagement and neighborhoods, she said.
The “complete streets” and “income segregation” metrics were also removed from its list, she noted. “There just are some challenges with the way that they were measured.”
As the remaining 41 metrics, also called indicators, roll in from last year, the data is expected to reflect the toll that the coronavirus pandemic has taken on public health, the economy, and daily life.
Attendance for arts and cultural events, for instance, fell dramatically below the 2020 goal (less than 2 million individuals) despite meeting and exceeding its 3.6 million goal in previous years.
“The COVID-19 crisis exacerbated existing systemic inequities, which we understand well because San Antonians prioritized them as measures to track in 2010,” said Kiran Kaur Bains, director of community impact who will become SA2020’s next president and CEO. “At SA2020, we believe the lessons learned from the past ten years offer strategies on how to sustainably recover from the crisis and honor the 2,027 people we have already lost to COVID-19.”