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new jersey department of environmental protection  

 





Living with the Future in Mind
Goals and Indicators for New Jersey's Quality of Life
First Annual Update to the Sustainable State Project Report 2000
GOOD GOVERNMENT
GOAL: A statewide system of governing that is efficient, effective, trustworthy, and responsive to citizens and their needs; and that actively promotes good citizenship and effective participation in decision-making. 
New Jerseyans played a prominent role in shaping the initial documents and direction of American democracy. Our state continues to shape democracy’s direction today, with landmark initiatives regarding sex offenders, better land-use planning, and sustainability as highlighted in this report. Even so, our research shows that most New Jerseyans cannot name either of our two U.S. senators, and half of us do not know which party controls the Legislature. If our general knowledge of key public affairs and issues is as weak, our tradition of democracy could be imperiled. Indeed, our state’s voter turnout is declining. With today’s pace of rapid change and increasingly complex issues, we need more than ever a set of representatives we can work with and trust. Our lack of knowledge about and participation in politics works against our need for an efficient, effective, trustworthy, and responsive government.

What we know

Little change in knowledge of government

Voter turnout decreasing

 

 

What we don't know

• Although we do know that we have the highest density of local governments in the nation with 566 municipalities, 618 school districts, 21 counties, and numerous local authorities, we do not have good measures of the efficiency of state and local government.

• To be most effective, public participation in government should be more informed. We have no way to measure how good we are as citizens in getting our voices heard in government.

• The level of government action (local, state, federal) should meet the level of the problem (local, regional, national). We have no way to measure the right balance between governmental activity at the local, state, and federal levels.

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Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996-2006
Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Modified: April 27, 2007

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