Washingtonians are the most politically active in the nation, eager to vote and trusting of the media, but are downright deadbeats when it comes to engaging with neighbors right next door, according to a new city “health index.”
The “District of Columbia Civic Health Index” released by Serve DC, the mayor's Office on Volunteerism, and the National Conference on Citizenship, found that Washington ranked first in voter turnout in the 2012 election of all 50 states and tops in trusting the media, but dead last in trusting “all or most neighbors” or eating dinner with family members.
“As compared to the rest of the country, D.C is the most politically active, but also the most socially disconnected place in the country,” said Ilir Zherka, Executive Director of the National Conference on Citizenship.
The report is based on Census data and gauges civic activities like voting, volunteering and interacting with neighbors, traits considered key to the health of communities.
While eager to engage in Washington’s No. 1 business, politics, District residents avoid their neighbors. According to a release detailing the results, “residents fared among the worst when comparing indicators such exchanging favors with neighbors frequently (49th), trusting all or most neighbors (51st) and eating dinner with a member of the household frequently (51st).”
— Volunteering in the District is strong. At 32.2 percent, it is above the national average.
— D.C. ranks in the bottom half of states for charitable giving (28th).
— Least likely to have confidence in major public institutions including corporations (43rd) and public schools (48th).
— Confidence in the media is the highest in the country (1st).Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.