Fall 2005

Community Organizing and Development:
Ten Web Sites to Help Profile a Community
  1. NeighborhoodsOnline.Net the Institute for the Study of Civic Value's web site that includes links to all the links suggested below.
  2. Census Bureau - includes demographic data at the census tract, community, city, county, and state level; at the 2000 census gateway, you can even get information related to a specific address.
  3. The State and Local Government Web Site - an easy-to-use online portal to every town, county, city, and state government website in the United States. When you get into individual web sites, read the Mayor's State of the City address will give you a fast look at the major issues facing the community.
  4. NewsLink- indexes newspapers and broadcast stations by city. Want to read the local paper? This website links to all of them.
  5. Local Consolidated HUD Plans- Local and state governments that receive Community Development Block Grant Funding from HUD must submit specific plans documenting the level of poverty and housing, along with a description of the programs that will be used to address it. These plans represent a virtual guide to hardship in America.
  6. Bureau of Labor Statistics - Regional Economic Data – BLS's page that tracks data by region; it provides some indication of the economic condition of the cities and communities within each region.
  7. Federal Spending by County - What is the total federal investment in a county, including entitlements like Social Security and Medicare, grant programs like VISTA and the Head Start, research funding, and salaries of the federal employees working in the county? This little known Census Bureau data site provides information for every county in the United States between 1993 and 2003. As the debate over the federal budget unfolds, this website enables you to make the connections locally.  Also check out Ed’s site: BushBudget.com.
  8. Vote-Smart — still the best web site to get comprehensive information about state and federal representatives throughout the country.
  9. Yahoo Groups- the most widely used listserv service by civic groups, covering a wide range of issues.
  10. Google – Yes, we know, you already use Google.  But it still deserves a place here as the best search engine for anything else you're trying to find in a city or community.


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