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Huckfeldt, Ana, Irene Hung, and Roya Sabri. (2014). "Social Indicators for New York Local Governments." The Creative Responses to Fiscal Stress Project, Dept. of City and Regional Planning, Cornell University.

As New York State localities face fiscal stress, they must be careful that efforts to cut budgets to ensure fiscal solvency do not cause a decline in services. Social indicators are quantitative and qualitative wellbeing measures that enable local governments to assess the economic and social impacts of budget and service decisions. This report explores how to best design social indicators to identify community needs and aid local government in effectively providing services. We provide the history, precedents, components, uses, and limitations of social indicators and argue for their use in New York State as localities attempt to balance fiscal austerity with social and economic wellbeing. We hope these examples will open a dialogue about the potential for collaborative indicator design among unions, municipalities, and citizens in New York State.

The presentation of this report presented at the State Austerity Policy and Creative Local Response (2014) conference is available. Additionally, an executive summary is also available.

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