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Community Council Invites Public to Help Launch Regional Quality of Life Data Website

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Contact: Mary Campbell

Regional quality of life data will be at your fingertips October 13!

Community Council invites the public to celebrate the launch of a new website, Walla Walla Regional Vital Signs, Tuesday, October 13. A brief program at 4:30 p.m. will be followed by a hands-on opportunity to try-out the site.

Walla Walla Regional Vital Signs is the result of more than a year’s work by a committee of leaders from throughout the region.

The project began as part of Northwest Area Foundation’s Creating a Value-Added Community initiative to find ways to strengthen and improve the quality of life for everyone. The Foundation awarded Community Council a grant to undertake the project. After an initial training by Karla Miller, NWAF Program Officer, Whitman professor Michelle Janning facilitated the discussions.

The committee identified about 40 indicators necessary to a good understanding of overall community health. The group’s intention is to offer information about the whole region, wherever possible. This goal is challenged in two ways: some kinds of data are not gathered (by national and state statisticians) in sparsely-populated regions, and comparable data for two rural counties in Washington and one town in Oregon is not always available.

Patrick Jones, Executive Director of Eastern Washington University’s Institute for Public Policy and Economic Analysis, and his team have been working with the group to develop the website using indicator topics identified by the committee.

As the information is gathered, the committee has assigned an evaluative component to each indicator, inviting other community members with expertise about the various categories to join the discussion.

Community Council will be responsible for the website and for convening community members for an annual re-evaluation of and update of the data.

Community Council, a nonprofit organization focused on the region between Burbank and Dayton and from the Snake River to Milton-Freewater, brings citizens together for accurate research on topics of regional interest, for discussion and unbiased analysis of that information, to formulate consensus-based recommendations to benefit their community, and to take action on those recommendations.

For more information, contact Julie Reese, Executive Director, at 509-540-6720 or

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