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Popular in Civic Engagement
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THE RALPH AND GOLDY LEWIS CENTER FOR REGIONAL POLICY STUDIES SCS FACT SHEET FINDINGS FROM THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA PUBLIC OPINION SURVEY SCS Vol 1 No 9 http ewis spa LIOa edu May 2005 Residents More Concerned About Terrorism than Rest of Country INTRODUCTION Public opinion surveys can play an important role in decision making as they gather information that comple ments data from standard sources such as the Decennial Census and Current Population Survey This Fact Sheet presents findings from a recently completed survey of Southem California residents those living in the coun ties of Los Angeles Orange Riverside San Bernardino and Ventura Details of the survey can be found in the appendix The information from the survey can help better inform elected officials about the public s con cerns and priorities such as the prospect of a terrorist attack in the region and local officials preparedness for such an event Our main finding is that Southern Cali fornians are more worried about the likelihood of a ter rorist attack than is the rest of the nation BACKGROUND There is a general consensus that the attacks on Septem ber llth served as a wakeup call for the United States Although the fear of further terrorist attacks was high in the months following the attacks that fear has some what subsided replaced by concerns over the economy and the war in Iraq However a poll done by the Field Institute in July 2002 claimed that an overwhelming majority of Californians 86 percent believe that there will likely be a terrorist attack somewhere in the United States in the near future while a somewhat smaller per centage 69 percent believe that a similar event will occur within California DiCamillo and Field 2002a Although many in the state have downplayed the events of 9 ll believing that the country has done a lot to im prove its primary response to acts of terrorism re and police some Californians believe that we are still lag ging in such areas as computer security health care emergency response and border security DiCamillo and Field 2002b Los Angeles Times 2002 For South ern California in particular Los Angeles World Airport is considered a prime terrorist target In 2001 a suspect was arrested in a plot to bomb the airport on the eve of the millennium Modernization plans for LAX have also been held up by concerns about how to best in crease security TERROR CONCERN HIGH IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA The results of the Southern California Survey indicate that a majority of Southem California residents believe it is likely that there will be at least one act of terrorism in the region in the next two years see Figure 1 We compared these results to a nationwide CNN USA T 0 dayGallup Poll undertaken at about the same time Although the CNN Poll asked about the likelihood of a terrorist attack in the US over the next several weeks not years the results were the opposite of what we found for Southern California A maj ority of Americans felt that an attack was not likely When asked how likely it was that there would be an act of terrorism in their own community over the next several weeks only ten percent of Americans thought such an attack was likely These results are similar to polls taken in 2002 in which Californians also thought it was more likely that there would be terrorist attacks in the US in the near future than did Americans in general 86 percent versus 56 percent respectively In the same poll over two thirds of Californians thought it was likely that there would be a terrorist attack in their own state in the near future DiCamillo and Field 2002a Figure 1 Likelihood of Terrorist Attack in Next Two Years So CA or Next Several Your Not at all Not too Somewhat Verylikely Don39t likely likely likely KnowNo Response Source Lewis Center CNNUSA To dayGallup Poll Jan 79 2005 Nationwide ABOUT THE AUTHORS Kim Haselho is a postdoctoral fellow at the Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies Paul Ong is Director ofthe Ralph and Goldy Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies Norman Wong is an Administrative Specialist in the Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies THE RALPH AND GOLDY LEWIS CENTER FOR REGIONAI POLICY STUDIES The survey results are more interesting in light of a poll taken of city of cials in California by the Public Policy Institute of California in 2002 The poll found that local officials in California do not seem as concerned about potential terrorist strikes as their counterparts in the rest of the nation as re ected in the level of emer gency planning Apparently city officials in California are less concerned about terrorist attacks than is the pub lic itself While Southern Californians are more con cerned about the likelihood of a terrorist attack than are Americans in general both are equally worried about themselves or their families becoming victims of terror ism A little over a third of respondents from both polls are worried about becoming victims of terrorism while about sixty percent are not see Figure 2 Figure 2 How Worried are You that You or Someone in Your Family will Become a Victim of Terrorisn Notworried Not too SomeVIInat Veryworried Don39t at all worried worried Kn Respo nse GROUP DIFFERENCES IN FEAR OF TERRORIST A TTA CKs Certain groups appear to be more concerned about the likelihood of a terrorist attack than others Latinos are more inclined to think a terrorist attack is likely 72 per cent than are whites 62 percent or other ethnic groups 64 percent Of those respondents making less than 40000 per year 76 percent believe an attack is likely in the next two years versus only 59 percent of those making 80000 or more The percentages are similar when we look at education 7 76 percent of those with only a high school education or less believe an attack is likely versus only 56 percent of those with a BA or higher see Figure 3 Although there is less concern overall about becoming a victim of an act of terrorism the differences between the groups was even greater Latinos were more than twice as likely as whites to be worried about becoming a victim of a terrorist attack Those making less than 40000 per year were twice as likely to be concerned as those making more than 80000 Similarly those with a high school degree or less were twice as likely to be worried about becoming a victim of a terrorist attack as those with a BA or higher Finally younger respondents are more worried about becoming victims than are older respondents See Fig ure 4 Figure 3 Likelihood of Terrorist Attack in So CA in Next Two Years W1ite Otherl Latino 80000 40000 80000 Less than 40000 BA orHigher SomeCollege High School orLess 0 20 40 60 80 100 I Likely Not Likely Figure 4 Worried that You or Your Family will be a Victim of Terrorism White 80000 Less than 40000 BA or Higher High School or Less 0 20 40 60 80 100 EIWonied NotWon39ied GOVERNMENT EFFICACY IN DEALING WITH TERRORISM Overall Southern California residents are fairly satis ed with the preparedness of their local of cials Only about a quarter of respondents feel that officials have done an inadequate job of preparing for a terrorist attack or have little or no con dence in their local govem ment s ability to respond A majority feel that local of cials have done a generally adequate 36 percent or mixed 21 percent job of preparing for an attack see Figure 5 and over two thirds have con dence in local governments ability to respond see Figure 6 1 Other includes Asians AfricanAmericans and mixed ethnicities as well as respondents who did not indicate their ethnicity on the survey THE RALPH AND GOLDY LEWIS CENTER FOR RFGTONAT POLICY STUDIES Figure 5 Performance of Local Elected Of cialsin Preparing for a Possible Terrorist Attack in the Region Don39t KnowNo Generally Response inadequate 15 28 Generally adequ ate v 36 39 Mixed 2 1 Figure 8 Of Those Who Think a Terrorist Attack is Likely Con dence in Local Government to Requond A fair amount 51 A great deal 9 Do n39t KnowNo Response Notverymuch V None at all 3 21 6 Figure 6 Con dence in Local Government to Reqaond to Attack A fair aTount A great deal 48 a 22 Don39t KnowNo Response 39 rune None at all Not verymuch 7 III evaluating government ef cacy in dealing with ter rorism we looked speci cally at those respondents who felt that such an attack was likely in the next two years These respondents were pretty evenly split on whether local of cials are adequately preparing for a possible terrorist attack One third said that their local of cial s performance was generally adequate while another third said it was generally inadequate About a quar ter had mixed feelings on the issue and the remaining ten percent did not know or did not respond see Figure 7 There was more con dence in local government s ability to respond after an attack These results were very similar to the results for all respondents to this question While only 20 percent had a great deal of con dence over 70 percent had some degree of con dence versus only 28 percent who had only some or none at all see Figure 8 Figure 7 Of Those Who Think a Terrorist Attack is Likely Performance of Elected Of cials in Preparing for a Terrorist Attack Don39t KnowNo Generally Response inadequate 13 33 Generally adequate r39 M d 33 Ixe 24 APPENDIX The 2005 Southern California Public Opinion Survey is supported by the UCLA Ralph and Goldy Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies and is designed to gather the views and opinions of Southern California residents on critical public policy issues in this region The survey was developed with input from the campus and commu nity organizations UCLA units include the Center for Communications and Community the Institute of Transportation Studies the Center for Civil Society and the Anderson School of Management Three public agencies participated in the process the Southern Cali fornia Association of Governments SCAG the Metro politan Transportation Agency MTA and the Los An geles Economic Development Corporation LAEDC Several UCLA faculty provided valuable input Profes sors Vickie Mays Michael Stoll Brian Taylor Amy Zegart Frank Gilliam Helmut Anheier Chris Thorn berg and Ed Leamer The 2005 Survey gathered basic demographic data and covered seven topical areas 1 major issues facing the region 2 the ef cacy of local government 3 transpor tation 4 the state of the regional economy 5 housing 6 civic engagement and 7 major disasters When possible questions were worded to parallel existing questions from other surveys Half of respondents were asked questions related to terrorism The Survey was conducted in English and Spanish dur ing the months of January and February 2005 using ran dom digit dialing and the data were collected by The Social Science Research Center at California State Uni versity Fullerton There are 1544 completed surveys for the ve counties Los Angeles Orange Riverside San Bernardino and Ventura The sample is divided proportionally by county household population The characteristics of the sample by age ethnicity income and home ownership categories are consistent with the 2004 March Current Population Survey There is a sampling error of 26 at the 95 con dence level for the full sample and 37 for the subsample an swering the questions related to terrorism The size of the sampling error is larger for subpopulations THE RALPH AND GOLDY LEWIS CENTER FOR REGIONAL POLICY STUDIES SCS FACT SHEET FINDINGS FROM THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA PUBLIC OPINION SURVEY SOS Vol 1 No 8 http ewis Spa LIDa edu May 2005 SOCaI Residents Expect Major Quake Within Five Years INTRODUCTION Public opinion surveys can play an important role in decision making as they gather information that comple ments data from standard sources such as the Decennial Census and Current Population Survey This Fact Sheet presents ndings from a recently completed survey of Southem California residents those living in the coun ties of Los Angeles Orange Riverside San Bernardino and Ventura Details of the survey can be found in the appendix The information from the survey can help better inform elected officials about the public s con cerns and priorities such as the prospect of a major earthquake and local officials preparedness for such an event Our main nding is that over threequarters of Southem California residents think it is likely that we will have a major earthquake in the next ve years This level of concern cuts across demographic groups BACKGROUND California has the distinction of having the most damag ing earthquakes in the United States it shares with Alaska the honors for most earthquakes Each year the Southem California region has about 10000 earth quakes according to the US Geological Service Most are small only about 1520 are greater than magnitude 40 However in January 1994 the Los Angeles area was hit by the 67 magnitude Northridge quake the rst earthquake to directly hit an urban area in the United States since 1933 According to reports the damage from the quake was extensive Over 50 people died and more than 9000 were injured Freeway sections park ing lots and office buildings collapsed while several apartment buildings were severely damaged More than 20000 were displaced from their homes SCEDC Es timates of the damage are in the 20 billion range mak ing Northridge the most costly earthquake in US his tory ABOUT THE AUTHORS Kim Haselho is a postdoctoral fellow at the Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies Paul Ong is Director ofthe Ralph and Goldy Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies Matthew Graham is a Master s student in the UCLA Department of Urban Planning and a researcher in the Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies EARTHQUAKE HAZARDS IN THE REGION The California Geological Survey CGS as required by Seismic Hazards Mapping Act must designate risk zones in both Northern California the Bay Area and Southem California the Greater Los Angeles area in cluding both Ventura and Orange Counties These risk zones are designated as either Landslide Zones Lique faction Zones or both based upon the local land s pro pensity to either slide or liquefy during an earthquakel By merging data on liquefaction and landslide zones with US Census block level population data it is possi ble to roughly estimate the number of people who live on or near these hazard zones The hazard data exists in Southem California only for Los Angeles Orange and Ventura Counties and so counts were only tabulated for these three counties rather than the more general ve county region By land area liquefaction zones make up 120 percent of Los Angeles county 275 percent of Orange County and 115 percent of Ventura County while landslide zones represent 108 percent 165 percent and 179 per cent of those counties respective land areasz The per centage of land area that represented hazard zones was calculated for each Census block the smallest Census geography available and an arbitrary break point of 90 percent land area in one of the hazard zones was set The difference between populations living near land slide zones versus living near liquefaction zones was very clear Only 006 percent of the population of Los Angeles County lived within those blocks that had more than 90 percent of their area in landslide zones the same percentages for Orange and Ventura were respectively 032 percent and 004 percent These combined for a grand total of just over 15000 people On the other hand 312 percent of the population of Los Angeles Countyirepresenting almost 3 million people 29705007are living within or very near liquefaction hazard zones For Orange and Ventura counties respec tively 419 percent and 448 percent of the populations lived in such blocks representing 1192426 and 337018 people THE RALPH AND GOLDY LEWIS CENTER FOR RFGlONAl POLICY STUDIES OVERVIEW OF EARTHQUAKE CON CERNS AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT PREPAREDNESS Although scientists are not able to predict a major earth quake based on probabilities they do estimate that in the next 30 years there is a 60 percent chance that there will be a major quake in Southern California USGS The vast majority of Southem Californians believe we will have a major quake even sooner Over 80 percent think it is likely we will have a major quake in the next ve years see Figure 1 For comparison only 60 percent think a terrorist attack is likely in the next two years However residents were split almost evenly on whether or not such a quake would cause personal harm see Figure 2 Figure 1 Likelihood ofa Major Earthquake in So CA in Next Five Years Somewhat likely 41 Very likely 41 NR 7 Not at all likely 3 N at too likely 8 Figure 2 How Worried are You that You or Someone in Your Your Family will be Harmed by an Earthquake in the Next Five ears I Somewhat worried 28 Very worried 9 Southem Californians are con dent in their local gov ernment s ability to respond to a major earthquake Over 80 percent have at least a fair amount of con dence that their local government will respond quickly and effectively in the a ermath of a quake see Figure 3 And 38 percent feel that their local officials have been doing a generally adequate job of preparing for a major quake Only 24 percent thought that they have been doing an inadequate job Another quarter gave a mixed response while the remainder did not know or did not respond see Figure 4 And residents them selves are preparing for a large quakei65 percent said they had an emergency preparedness kit at home see Figure 5 Figure 3 Con dence in Local Government to Respond to a Major Earthquake A Fair amount A great deal 28 Not very much 11 I r Noneat all 4 Figure 4 Performance of Local Elected Of cials in Preparing for an Earthquake M ixed 25 Generally adequate 37 Generally inadequate 24 14 Figure 5 Do You Have an Emergency Preparedness Kit at Home GROUP DIFFERENCES IN EARTH QUAKE RISK CONFIDENCE IN OFFI CIALS AND PREPAREDNESS Concerns about the likelihood of a major earthquake and opinions about government response to and prepar edness for earthquakes are issues that cut across ethnic and class lines We found virtually no differences in the perceived likelihood of a major earthquake according to demographic characteristics 8590 percent of residents in each demographic group think a major earthquake is likely in the next ve years regardless of age race education or income In addition most Southem Cali fornia residents have con dence in their local govem ment s ability to respond quickly and effectively in the aftermath of a major earthquake Again 8090 percent of respondents in each demographic group had at least a fair amount of con dence in the earthquake response capabilities of their local government When asked about their local of cials performance in preparing for THE RALPH AND GOLDY LEWIS CENTER FOR RFGlONAl POLICY STUDIES a major earthquake in the region a majority still give either a mixed or generally adequate response But here we do see some slight differences among groups by income and ethnicity While 53 percent of those making 80000 per year or more say their local of cials are doing a generally ade quate job of preparing for an earthquake only 38 per cent of those making 4000080000 and 41 percent of those making less than 40000 offered this response see Figure 6 hood services This may be a result of the highly segre gated nature of Southern Califomia s communities Higher income neighborhoods and cities which also tend to be whiter than other areas undoubtedly receive better services in general As for other demographic differences in emergency preparedness only 53 percent of those with a high school degree or less had an emer gency preparedness kit at home versus 69 percent of those with some college education or higher And nally those over 35 were more likely to have an emer gency kit than younger residents see Figure 8 Figure 6 Performance of Southern California39s Elected Of cials in Preparing for a Major Earthquake Others Latinos Whites 80000 40000 80000 Less than 40000 0 20 40 60 80 130 El GenerallyAdequate Mixed El Generallylnadquate Figure 8 Have an Emergency Preparedness Kit at Home by Education and Age High Some BA 0 r 1835 3654 55 School College Higher or Less Whites also were slightly more likely to give local of cials higher marks for earthquake preparedness 49 per cent of whites think their of cials are doing a generally adequate job versus only 37 percent of Latinos and 42 percent of those in other3 ethnic groups However those groups who gave government higher marks for earthquake preparedness were also more likely to be prepared themselves For example 77 percent of those in the highest income category reported having an emer gency preparedness kit at home versus 65 percent of those in the middle income category and 56 percent of those in the lowest income category see Figure 7 APPENDIX SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA PUBLIC OPINION SURVEY 2005 The 2005 Southern California Public Opinion Survey is supported by the UCLA Ralph and Goldy Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies and is designed to gather the views and opinions of Southern California residents on critical public policy issues in this region The survey was developed with input from the campus and commu nity organizations UCLA units include the Center for Communications and Community the Institute for Figure 7 Have an Emergency Preparedness Kit at Home by Income and Ethnicity Less 40000 80000 W1ites Latinos Others t an 40000 80000 Whites were also most likely to have an emergency kit at home 72 percent while Latinos were least likely to have one 54 percent Their own levels of preparedness may factor into their ratings of local government prepar edness along with their overall perception of neighbor 1 l t quot Studies the Center for Civil Society and the Anderson School of Management Three public agencies participated in the process the Southern Cali fornia Association of Governments SCAG the Metro politan Transportation Agency MTA and the Los An geles Economic Development Corporation LAEDC Several UCLA faculty provided valuable input Profes sors Vickie Mays Michael Stoll Brian Taylor Amy Zegart Frank Gilliam Helmut Anheier Chris Thorn berg and Ed Leamer The 2005 Survey gathered basic demographic data and covered seven topical areas 1 major issues facing the region 2 the ef cacy of local government 3 transpor tation 4 the state of the regional economy 5 housing 6 civic engagement and 7 major disasters When possible questions were worded to parallel existing questions from other surveys Half of respondents were asked questions related to earthquakes This document is available for download in PDF form from wwwmssclorg NATIONAL SCHOOL SAFETY CENTER S HANDOUT ON WORKING TOGETHER TO CREATE SAFE SCHOOLS The National School Safety Center was created to help combat school safety problems so that schools can be free to focus on the primary job of educating our nation39s children NSSC was established by Presidential directive in 1984 as a partnership of the United States Departments of Justice and Education NSSC is now a private nonpro t organization serving school administrators teachers law of cers community leaders government of cials and others interested in creating safe schools throughout the United States and internationally For more information about our organization products and services please visit our website wwwnssclorg or call us at 8053739977 NATIONAL SCHOOL SAFETY CENTER 141 Duesenberg Drive Suite 11 Westlake Village CA 91362 phone 8053739977 fax 8053739277 httpwwwnssc1org While most schools have existing safety programs these programs often need conscientious creative application to improve their effectiveness Following is a list of ideas and activities that will work to create safer schools Some of these suggestions may already be part of district or school site programs Many of these ideas may be initiated and carried out by schoolsite principals or parents39 groups working with local school administrators or by school district public relations directors working cooperatively with school superintendents and other district administrators Perhaps the most important strategy is to place school safety on the educational agenda This includes developing a safe schools plan an ongoing process that encompasses the development of districtwide crime prevention policies inservice training crisis preparation interagency cooperation and studentparent participation An appointed task force should develop and implement the plan with representatives from all elements of the school community board members employees students parents law enforcers government and business leaders the media and local residents The following ideas address school safety They work toward achieving quality education and safer schools Through such activities schools can improve campus climate and discipline as well as enlist participation from various groups to create partnerships in this important effort Educators who take active roles and initiate positive programs rather than just react when negative conditions arise help create successful schools PRIMARY STRATEGIES Primary strategies to help inform persuade and integrate school safety and public opinion These ideas will facilitate planning and the implementation of the remaining strategies Place school Safety on the education agenda Convince your school board superintendent and principals that quality education requires safe disciplined and peaceful schools Stress the basic concept that school safety is a community concern requiring a community response School administrators should facilitate and coordinate community efforts which promote safe schools Develop a districtwide safe schools plan as well as individual plans for each school in the system Include systematic procedures for dealing with speci c types of crises and ensuring the safety of students and school personnel Develop a school safety clearinghouse for current literature and data on school safety issues Key topics to include are school crime and violence drugs discipline attendance and dropouts vandalism security weapons youth suicide child abuse and school law Establish a systematic districtwide mandatory incident reporting system The policy should include the development of a standard form to provide complete and consistent information on accidents discipline problems vandalism and security problems as well as suspected child abuse After the policy and reporting form are developed distribute them to all district personnel and monitor compliance Prepare a school safety public information brochure Briefly explain the important issues and the specific roles individuals and groups can play in developing schools that are safe havens for learning Develop safety policies Keep current with trends and exemplary programs in education public relations and school safety Make plans and implement them with authority and conviction Confidence and willingness to accept responsibility are persuasive qualities in the minds of district administrators and other school employees Develop and regularly update a school safety fact sheet for your district Provide current statistics on incidents of crime and violence disciplinary actions and suspensions attendance and dropouts and vandalism and repair costs Compare school crime and violence rates with crime rates ofthe local community Use this data to inform and educate the public and media Create a school safety advisory group This advisory group should include representatives from all constituencies especially law enforcers judges lawyers health and human services professionals parents and the media lndividuals should be able to articulate the desires of the groups they represent and relate advisory group actions backto their peers Select members who can be relied upon for consistent continued support and who seek solutions rather than recognition and status from their participation Recruit group members with special qualifications such as policymaking authority access to the media ability to mobilize volunteers or expertise in raising funds Support America39s Safe Schools Week The third week Sunday through Saturday in October is designated each year as America39s Safe Schools Week This week is an appropriate time to initiate many school safety ideas Develop and maintain a community resource file of people known for their abilities to shape public opinion and accomplish goals Rely on advice from community leaders and the local media to develop a comprehensive list Solicit the support ofthese individuals Keep them informed about district news and issues invite them to various school activities and seek their involvement in the safe schools planning process Build a public relations team starting with school employees The education of students is a business that must compete with other interests for public support School employees are the best public relations people because they are inside authorities Treat these people as importantteam players Print business cards for all school employees This is a simple and relatively inexpensive expression of the district39s respect for its employees and their work Honor meritorious service of school employees with special recognition days and awards Nominate school principals teachers and staff for recognition awards and programs sponsored by local groups or state and national associations and government agencies Create a comprehensive identity program for your district An institution39s identity or image is in many ways a direct reflection of its administration school employees and students Develop a symbol to be used on all printed material Special promotional items using this symbol can include shirts hats lapel pins coffee mugs and bumper stickers Award these items to teachers and staff volunteer parents and students for exemplary workthat has promoted a positive campus climate A thoughtfully developed slogan can also have a positive effect on the public39s perception of the district Publish a district magazine or newsletter Distribute it as widely as possible to board members district employees parents students community residents business and civic leaders local government officials and the media The content should be balanced with specific district news and special features on topical education issues Distinguish the publication with a name not a generic title such as quotbulletinquot or quotnewsletterquot Readers are more inclined to relate to a publication if aided by a mental association between the title and the contents Additionally it is important to take the advice of the advertising industry and package your product as attractively as possible to encourage the public to examine the contents ADDITIONAL STRATEGIES There is no foolproof menu of quotperfect strategies for safe schools However these additional suggestions can provide some working ideas for the development of your individualized quotSafe School Plan They can assist you in working with school board members school employees students parents community residents including senior citizens service groups business leaders government representatives law enforcers and media representatives School safety is about community will it is about adapting strategies to fit your needs as opposed to simply adopting someone else s program WORKING WITH SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS Board of education members need to quotbuy into the importance of public support for school safety Place board members at the top of your mailing list Include them in school safety programs and initiatives Ensure that they receive copies of every internally and externally distributed communication the district magazine student newsletters events calendars teacher memorandums parent notices activity announcements news releases and letters of commendation For especially significant or controversial issues see that board members receive advance copies of materials Invite board members to visit school sites regularly Vary the itinerary for a comprehensive look include lunch with students and staff This personal contact helps break down barriers and stereotypes oAdd school safety to the education mission ofthe school district A phrase which states that quotIt is the goal of ABC Public Schools to provide a safe welcoming and secure environment for all children and those professionals who serve themquot is an excellent beginning Such a statement then allows the school district to develop a series of supporting policies related to safe welcoming and secure schools WORKING WITH SCHOOL EMPLOYEES Often school employees are the only contacts community residents have with a school As inside authorities employees attitudes and opinions carry a great deal of weight locally Consistent district communication can minimize internal conflict and promote teamwork Take the time to circulate among school employees asking for advice based on their firsthand experiences Coordinate school safety workshops that outline the relationship of school safety to quality education and emphasize the need for public support of schools Educate employees about their specific safety responsibilities Invite law enforcers lawyers judges health and human services officials and probation officers to teach about the juvenile justice system and its relationship to effective schools Sponsorclassroom management seminars Use actual case studies such as student misbehavior problems from local schools as part of the training This helps teachers identify more readily with such situations and mitigates an attitude of quotthat doesn39t happen herequot Encourage teachers to contact parents regularly to inform them about the good things students are doing Develop a system to enable teachers to call or write parents routinely and conveniently Provide space and time for teachers to meet regularly with parents at school and recommend that teachers initiate these informal meetings as frequently as possible Monitor the participation Incorporate safety topics into the curriculum For instance social studies or civics classes can discuss Gallup39s annual poll of the public39s attitudes toward the public schools physical education courses can include instruction on physical safety chemistry classes can examine the negative effects of drugs on the human body English classes can correlate literature study with essays on selfesteem characterbuilding or student misbehavior and graphics classes can promote safer campuses by designing posters featuring effective safety messages Develop a policy form or box for suggestions to improve campus climate Respond to all messages promptly and when appropriate personally thankthe individual who offered the advice Include retired school employees on the publication39s mailing list These individuals often can be a school39s most vocal supporters and active volunteers IWORKING WITH STUDENTS Students are both causes and victims of much of the crime and misbehavior on campuses Most of the following ideas and activities require initiation by administrators and teachers Once students experience the positive results of the activities however they likely will assume the responsibility the maintaining such activities olnitiate programs to promote student responsibility for safer schools Create a quotstudent leader39 group consisting of leaders from all formal and informal campus groups Assist this representative group in modeling and encouraging school safety activities among their peers Student government representatives can also form a student safety committee to identify safety problems and solutions Encourage student input in district policy Appoint one or more student representatives to the school board These students would participate in discussions and planning but not be voting members Create and publicize safety incentive programs that share a percentage of the district39s savings with schools if vandalism is reduced Such programs encourage students to take responsibility for vandalism prevention Often students are allowed to help decide what projects to help fund Coordinate student courts Studentjudges lawyers jurors bailiffs and court clerks trained by local justice system experts hear and try cases involving fellow students Student courts make real judgments and pass real sentences Purchase conflict resolution curricular materials that will provide staff and student training in solving problems and conflicts Enlist student mediators to calm tensions among classmates and to provide a positive influence on school climate Establish local branches of student safety groups such as SADD Students Against Drinking Drunk and Arrive Alive which sponsor alcoholfree social activities Consider promoting student and parent groups that provide rides home to teenagers who have been drinking Develop a quotbuddy systemquot Assign current students to newcomers to facilitate easy transitions Assign older bigger students to look out for students who seem to be bullied by others Plan a community beautification campaign for the school and neighborhood using students as a work crew Graffiti and vandalized areas should be priorities With professional guidance students can help maintain campuses parks and other community areas Beautification projects enhance the appearance of the community and develop a strong sense of pride among participants Consider establishing a student tip line which provides an anonymous nonthreatening way for young people to report school crime IWO RKING WITH PARENTS ln Discipline A Parent s Guide the National PTA identifies parents main responsibility Set a good example Children learn more by parents actions than from parents words Parental pride and involvement in the school sets a positive example for children Make time for any parent who wants to meet Treat visiting parents as colleagues in the business of educating children Always listen before talking parents often just need to be heard Try to conclude sessions with a commitment of support from parents Develop a parentoncampus policy that makes it convenient and comfortable for parents to visit the school Get the program off the ground by inviting an initial group of parent participants who ran spread the word Initiate breakfast or lunch clubs forworking parents Flexible meeting times will accommodate working parents Develop a receptive systematic policy regarding meeting with parents Many parents are concerned about their children39s educational progress and safety about school policies and programs and about taking a proactive part in bettering the school climate Ensure that parents are treated with respect and courtesy as colleagues in the education and development oftheir children Call parents at home or even at work to congratulate them on a child39s special achievement or to thankthem for support on a special project Write short letters of appreciation or thankyou notes Help establish a policy in which parents become financially liable for damage done by their children Parents and children need to be made aware of the serious consequences for criminal actions This already is state law in many parts of the country IVVORKING WITH COMMUNITY LEADERS Just as communities work together to prevent crime with quotNeighborhood Watch quotprograms local residents can mobilize to make schools safer Such mobilization efforts target community residents without schoolaged children It is essential to communicate to this critical group that they do have direct as well as indirect relationships to local schools Public opinion polls suggest that the more citizens are involved in schools the more likely people are to have a favorable opinion of schools Hold a series of briefings for community residents to inform them about school problems directly affecting the neighborhood Property values decline when neighborhood schools have poor reputations and surrounding areas suffer from vandalism crime by truants and drug trafficking Form quotSchool Watchquot programs in which neighbors around the school are asked to watch for and report suspicious activities to school or law enforcement officials Post signs on the school grounds quotThis school is protected by a neighborhood School Watchquot Solicit advice from community residents and conduct followup meetings to keep community representatives updated on progress Start a quotSafe Housequot program that recruits responsible community residents Children learn that homes posting quotSafe Housequot signs are safe places to go if they are in danger or need assistance Volunteers need to be closely screened before they are accepted as participants Use outdoor posters or school marquees to announce school events to area residents invite their participation or attendance Roadside signs declaring quotA community is known by the schools it keepsquot also have been used to stimulate community partnerships Recruit parents community residents without schoolaged children retired teachers and senior citizens to form a welcoming committee to greet new residents Enlist volunteer39s to provide information answer questions about school activities encourage participation and prepare school activity packets for distribution Use school facilities to offer adult education classes and health clinics Course topics can range from arts and crafts to exercise and aerobics to income tax preparation These Glasses are beneficial to community residents and integrate them into the school community Encourage senior citizens to participate in such activities Time and experience are prized assets in all public relations planning and senior citizens are often able to supply those two commodities The most important outgrowth of such enlistment is the development of mutual respect and appreciation among students school personnel and seniors Recruit senior citizens in your community to participate at local schools Arrange for seniors to make school presentations to history classes about public attitudes and quotfirsthandquot experiences during significant times in our country39s history Small group discussions facilitated by senior volunteers can be especially educational Seniors can also participate as teacher or staff aides student advisors mentors and tutors special activity organizers playground supervisors and dance chaperones Issue quotGolden Apple Cardsquot to senior volunteers who work on school projects The cards could allow free or reducedprice admission to school programs such as musical concerts plays or athletic events Help integrate students and senior citizens by arranging for students to visit senior centers convalescent centers or retirement homes Students can present plays and musical programs home economic classes can prepare special meals art classes can decorate the facilities and engineering or shop classes can make small repairs Younger children particularly can add a great deal ofjoy with regular visits to seniors Some school groups may wish to participate in quotadoptag rand parentquot programs IWORKING WITH SERVICE GROUPS Most communities have dozens of service civic religious and other specialinterest groups Each organization s headquarters or the president s address should be included on the mailing list to regularly receive the district magazine and other important announcements and publications Use school facilities and available resources to help youth groups such as scouting or Camp Fire troops boys39 and girls39 clubs YMCA and YWCA 4H Red Cross youth programs and youth sports clubs Schools should make every effort to foster continuing relationships with the groups families and individuals who support schools and use school facilities and resources Establish an advisory council of representatives from all the groups to coordinate needs and resources and plan future joint ventures Encourage the participation of clergy in the development of citizenship education programs Character respect and selfdiscipline are appropriate topics for both sermons and classroom lectures Consider organizing a representative group of parents educators and religious leaders to develop a booklet that discusses these issues Use service group newsletters to inform members about special school programs Submit filler including student essays and art to editors Use these forums to encourage school volunteerism as part of public service work IWORKING WITH BUSINESS LEADERS The business community is a natural partner for local schools Businesses have an immediate vested interest in good schools quality education for children of their employees Businesses also have a longrange interest a well trained workforce The quality of life and the quality of education in the community are inseparable The following ideas are suggested to take advantage of this vested interest The logical way to start business partnerships is to meet with representatives from the local chamber of commerce and labor unions Arrange regular presentations by business leaders to students teachers and parents Professional practical advice is invaluable in describing various professions and career opportunities Coordinate career days where business leaders participate in seminars distribute information packets and present demonstrations Coordinate field trips to business offices and production plants Witnessing the practical application of skills can make students more appreciative and understanding of classroom instruction Promote quotadoptaschoolquot programs This trend in school business partnerships unites a business with a school needing resources the business can donate such as equipment or excess supplies Businesses can provide company or staff services such as bookkeeping transportation building repairs maintenance and professional instruction on computers or other equipment Develop a qualified student employment pool Work with business leaders to develop the criteria for a desirable employee Closely screen applicants for the pool based on the qualifications requested by prospective employers Advertise the availability of this conscientious willing work force to local businesses Help realtors quotsellquot your schools Quality schools are a high priority with prospective home buyers Work with real estate agents brokers and boards to promote the positive qualities of your schools Create a special task force to address problems such as vandalism graffiti loitering students unkempt school grounds or even low test scores General information and training seminars which explain how real estate personnel can quotsellquot schools can be added to regular office and real estate board meetings Solicit support from local businesses patronized by students and their parents Develop a marketing strategy that provides discounts to students and parents and that simultaneously promotes local businesses39 products or services Retail outlets of all kinds including gas stations can benefit from such promotions Trade advertising space in your district magazine for quotinkindquot services This often is a valuable quotfoot in the doorquotwith future major donors IWORKING WITH GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVES Unanimous political support the quality education presents schools with a variety of opportunities Many federal state and local agencies and officials provide resources and services that can be helpful to schools Identify the key government officials and political representatives in your area and add their names to your mailing list At the same time start a File on materials resources and services they have to offer Learn their primary interests in schools and explore means to effectively integrate those interests with your needs If top policymakers are not easily accessible request that they assign a regular contact person to work with you Establish a school district orientation plan for newly elected government representatives By initiating these relationships you enhance opportunities for future access Offer to compile data needed by government officials to support education proposals and provide lawmakers with the implications of particular legislation from a practitioners point of view Routinely invite your government representatives to school functions Always recognize them formally when they attend Give elected representatives advance warning if the audience39s attitudes may create or reflect conflict Although you may disagree with officials over policies as fellow public servants your professional courtesy will be appreciated Ask government officials to sponsor student government days Consider teaming government representatives with students to propose solutions to real problems faced by students and schools including drug abuse dropouts vandalism personal safety and fiscal and social problems THE RALPH AND GOLDY LEWIS CENTER FOR REGIONAL POLICY STUDIES SCS FACT SHEET FINDINGS FROM THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA PUBLIC OPINION SURVEY SOS Vol 1 No 1 http ewis spa uca edu April 2005 Residents Split on the State of the Region s Economy INTRODUCTION Public opinion surveys can play an important role in decision making because public policy should be in formed by both objective data and the values held by people While opinions may be subjective and biased they nonetheless shed light on people s concerns and priorities and their views on what government should do This fact sheet presents ndings from a recently completed survey of Southern California residents those living in the counties of Los Angeles Orange Riverside San Bemardino and Ventura Details of the survey can be found in the appendix to this fact sheet One key result is that a majority is pessimistic about the current state of the regional economy This is not sur prising since the regional economy has experienced a recession and slow recovery over the last few years It is important to note that there is a diversity of views and assessments of current economic conditions vary systematically across demographic and economic groups Opinions on the comparative strength and direc tion of the region s economy are also mixed Finally only a minority believes that local government is ade quately addressing some of the economic problems fac ing the region BACKGROUND Over the last few years the regional economy has been in a doldrums Unemployment increased in the early 2000s from 47 percent in 2000 to 61 percent in 2003 but the increase was not as dramatic as the increase dur ing the early 1990s In recent months the Southern California unemployment rate has declined moderately see Figure l The mild recovery rate can also be seen in the data for the moderate 2 growth of the employed population from 2003 to 2004 During this period real per capita income has been relatively at This was particularly true in the early 2000s see Figure 2 Figure 2 SoCal Real Per Capita Income 30 510005 28 7 i 27 7 i 26 7 i 25 7 i 24 I I I I I I I I 990 992 994 996 1998 I I 2000 2002 While the economic slowdown was moderate the im pact was particularly hard on those at the bottom of the income ladder The average median per capita income for the bottom fi h took a much larger hit than for those at the top fifth see Figure 3 Figure 1 SoCal Labor Market Statistics 1990 993 1996 1999 2002 Rate 4 Figure 3 Average Per Capita Income DBottomSth Top5th ABOUT THE AUTHORS Paul Ong is a professor in urban planning social welfare and Asian Ameri can studies at UCLA and Director ofthe Ralph and Goldy Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies Kim Haselho is a postdoctoral fellow at the Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies THE RALPH AND GOLDY LEWIS CENTER FOR RFGIONAI POLICY STUDIES OVERVIEW OF PUBLIC OPINION OF THE STATE OF THE REGION 3 ECONOMY Public opinion mirrors the hard statistics Overall there is a sense that things are not going well A small major ity believes that economically the region is in bad times right now This is consistent with the 2004 California Field Poll which found that a small majority of regis tered voters in California stated that the state s economy was in bad times Not surprising given the divergence in per capita income among the residents of Southern California the public is divided in its view of the state of the regional economy along demographic and eco nomic lines Younger residents are more pessimistic with a sizeable majority believing that the region is in bad times A majority of older residents however are more optimistic believing that the region is in good times see Figure 4 Lower income residents are more pessimistic while higher income residents are more optimistic The differ ence in opinions is not limited to just current income but is also apparent by wealth Renters who on the av erage have lower net assets are more pessimistic while homeowners are more optimistic This may be due in part to the run up in housing values over the last couple of years OPINION ON THE RELATIVE STATE OF THE REGION s ECONOMY The public also differs with respect to its views on the relative strength of the region s economy compared to the rest of the US and on the direction of Southern Califomia s economy in the immediate future Overall a plurality believes that the region s economy is health ier than the rest of the United States see Figure 6 Figure 4 Isthe Region Economically in Bad or Good Times Total Sample D BadTimes EGoodTimes DNo Response Wth Response Figure 6 SoCal Economy Relative to Rest of U S 0 20 40 00 00 3900 All Interviewed Eco no myCurrentIy quotBadquot Eco no myCurrentIy quotGoodquot El Less Healthy About the Same Healthier There are also ethnic differences with minorities being more pessimistic and whites more optimistic There is also a divide along economic lines see Figure 5 Figure 5 BadGood Times by Groups 0 20 40 60 80 00 I H NCOME LeSSlIa1 40k 40k0 79k 30k I DUS NG TENURE Rana Owner El Bad Times m GoodTimes However among those who believe that the economy is currently bad more believe that the region s economy is less healthy than the rest of the nation Among those who believe that we are currently in good times a ma jority believes that the region s economy is faring better than the rest of the nation There is also a difference of opinion about the direction of the region s economy see Figure 7 A large majority of those who believe that the economy is currently in bad times do not believe that things will improve while a majority of those who believe that the economy is currently in good times be lieve that things will not get worse Figure 7 Direction of SoCal Economy 00 20 40 00 00 100 All Interviewed Currentlyquot Badquot Currently quotGoo dquot DWII Get Worse VWI Remain Same El VWI Improve THE RALPH AND GOLDY LEWIS CENTER FOR RFGIONAI POLICY STUDIES OPINION ON GOVERNMENT ACTIONS While employment opportunities are determined largely by market forces local government can play a role in enhancing the region39s competitiveness through support ing business development On this point the public does not give local government good grades Overall a majority of the residents believe that Southern Califor nia39s elected officials are not doing an adequate job in keeping and attracting business investment see Figure 8 Those who are pessimistic about the state of the economy are more likely to believe that elected officials are doing an inadequate job Figure 8 Government39s Performance in Promoting Bus39ness Investment 20 40 60 80 130 All Interviewed EconomyCurrently Bad no m N at Healthierthan US Eco no myCurrently quotGoodquot Eco no myH ealthier than US D Inadequate Mixed D Adequate tation 4 the state of the regional economy 5 housing 6 civic engagement and 7 major disasters When possible questions were worded to parallel existing questions from other surveys Half of the respondents were asked questions related to the state of the regional economy The Survey was conducted in English and Spanish dur ing the months of January and February 2005 using ran dom digit dialing and the data were collected by The Social Science Research Center at California State Uni versity Fullerton There are 1544 completed surveys for the ve counties Los Angeles Orange Riverside San Bemardino and Ventura The sample is divided proportionally by county household population The characteristics of the sample by age ethnicity income and home ownership categories are consistent with the 2004 March Current Population Survey There is a sampling error of 26 percent at the 95 percent con dence level for the full sample and 37percent for the subsample answering the questions related to the state of the economy The sampling error may be larger for subpopulations A version of these ndings are in quotThe UCLA Anderson Forecast for the Nation and Cali fornia March 15th 2005 APPENDIX SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA PUBLIC OPINION SURVEY 2005 The 2005 Southern California Public Opinion Survey is supported by the UCLA Ralph and Goldy Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies and is designed to gather the views and opinions of Southern California residents on critical public policy issues in this region The survey was developed with input from the campus and commu nity organizations UCLA units include the Center for Communications and Community the Institute of Transportation Studies the Center for Civil Society and the Anderson School of Management Three public agencies participated in the process the Southern Cali fornia Association of Governments SCAG the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation LAEDC and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Several UCLA faculty pro vided valuable input Professors Vickie Mays Michael Stoll Brian Taylor Amy Zegart Frank Gilliam Helmut Anheier Chris Thomberg and Ed Leamer The 2005 Survey gathered basic demographic data and covered seven topical areas 1 major issues facing the region 2 the efficacy of local government 3 transpor REFERENCES The Field Institute 2004 A Digest Summarizing the California Public s Sense of Economic WellBeing California Opinion Index August US Bureau of Economic Analysis Local Area Personal Income hnn www hen 39 39 acre ed 22505 US Bureau ofLabor Statistics Local Area Unemployment Statistics httpdatablsgovcgibindsrv accessed 22505 US Bureau ofLabor Statistics Consumer Price Index httpdatablsgovPDg gservletSurveyOutputServlet accessed 22505 US Bureau ofthe Census Annual Social and Economics Supplement March Current Population Survey PublicUse Microsarnple 2001 2002 2003 and 2004 RECOMMENDED CITATION Ong P amp Haselhoff K 2005 Residents Split on the State ofthe Re gion s Economy SCS Fact Sheet Vol 1 No 1 UCLA Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies A CKNOWLEDGEMENTS The authors would like to thank Norman Wong Margaret Johnson Lucy Tran and Diana Tran for formatting and editing the Fact Sheet and the UCLA Anderson School of Management for their input and suggestions DISCLAIMER Neither the University of California the School of Public Affairs nor the Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies either support or disavow the find ings in any project report paper or research liste erein University affilia tions are for identi cation only the University is not involved in or responsi ble for the project THE RALPH AND GOLDY LEWIS CENTER FOR REGIONAL POLICY STUDIES SCS FACT SHEET FINDINGS FROM THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA PUBLIC OPINION SURVEY SOS Vol 1 No 6 http ewis spa uca edu May 2005 Residents Say Local Government Is Not Doing Enough For the Poor INTRODUCTION Public opinion surveys can play an important role in decision making because public policy should be in formed by both objective data and the values held by people While opinions may be subjective and biased they nonetheless shed light on people39s concerns and priorities and their views on what government should do This Fact Sheet presents findings from a recently completed survey of Southern California residents those living in the counties of Los Angeles Orange Riverside San Bernardino and Ventura Details of the survey can be found in the appendix to this Fact Sheet The available objective data reveal that this region has a disproportionately large number of lowincome resi dents with their share of the total population growing over time One key result of the survey is that a large majority states that local government is not doing enough for the poor a view held by most demographic and socioeconomic groups Among those who hold this opinion a large majority also believes that local govern ment is doing an inadequate job of improving education and providing affordable housing in this region BACKGROUND The absolute and relative number of persons in low income families in this region has increased over the last quarter century This can be seen in Figure l which defines the lowincome population as the segment con taining people in families with an income below one and a half times the Federal Poverty Level which was 2873550 in 2004 for a family of four with two chil dren Additional information on the FPL and its use can be found in the Appendix The statistics in Figure 1 come from the 1990 and 2000 decennial census and the 2004 Current Population Survey and are based on an nual income for the prior year For the rest of California outside of Southern California and the rest of the nation outside the state roughly a fi h of the population fell below this threshold a proportion that essentially re mained unchanged for the three reporting years Unfor tunately the proportion for Southem California in Figure 1 Percent Below 150 FPL 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 Rest ofUS SoCaI RestofCA D1989 E 999 El 2003 creased from slightly over a fi h to slightly over a quarter The increase is due in part to both an immigra tiondriven demographic shift to a less skilled labor force and an economic restructuring that has limited upward mobility into the middle class The poor in Southem California also have not fared well over the short run The regional economy has experi enced a recession and slow recovery over the last few years and the impact was particularly hard on those at the bottom of the income ladder The average median per capita income for the bottom fi h in this region took a signi cant hit from 200001 to 200203 a period when the unemployment rate increased and incomes stagnated see Volume 1 Number 1 of this Fact Sheet series What is troubling is that other groups did not experience the same hardships see Figure 2 Figure 2 Nledian Per Capita Income 200203 Relative to 200001 1no change o 7 SoCaI Rest of CA Rest ofUS El Top 5th Bottom 5th Continued on page 2 THE RALPH AND GOLDY LEWIS CENTER FOR RFGIONAI POLICY STUDIES Continued om page I The median for the top fth in this region both the top and bottom fth for the rest of California and the rest of the nation did not change substantially A nal point worth noting is the underlying dynamics of the movement into and out of the lowincome segment Changes in nancial conditions are fairly pronounced at the individual level and may have become more volatile in recent years see for example Formby et al 2002 Gosselin 2004 and Naifeh 1998 The movement be tween income classes can be seen in Figure 3 where a signi cant proportion of the population move into and out off the lowincome segment Not surprisingly the percentages for all categories only in 2002 only in 2003 and in both years are larger for Southern Califor nia than for other areas The ndings indicate that over a third of those in the lowincome segment were able to move up but unfortunately they were replaced by nearly the same number of individuals falling into this seg ment Another interpretation of the statistics is that the number of longterm poor is smaller than indicated by the annual statistics but the number of people who ex perience some nancial hardship over a longer time pe riod is larger than indicated by the annual data Figure 4 Has Your Local Government Done Enough to Help the Poor 19 DDoing Enough Not Doing Enough EINo Response 55 Figure 5 reports the response by economic ethnic and political grouping Not surprisingly an overwhelming majority of those in the Less than 40000 category stated that government has not done enough The per centage is only slightly higher for those in households with less than 20000 in annual income while only a quarter held the opposite opinion What is telling is the pattern for those in the 80000 and more category Nearly half believes that government has failed to do enough to help the poor Moreover if excluding those who did not respond those saying no outnumber those saying yes by 3 to 2 This general pattern holds even among households with incomes of 125000 or more Figure 3 Low Income Status for 20022003 Rest of US Rest ofCA So Cal 0 5 13 6 20 25 30 35 El 2002 Only Beth El 2003 Only PUBLIC OPINION OF THE GOVERNMENT AND THE POOR Given the size of the lowincome population in this re gion a critical question for the public opinion survey is whether residents believe adequate attention is being paid to the poor Speci cally the survey asked respon dents Has your local government done enough to help the poor Figure 4 reports the results For the whole sample a majority stated that government has not done enough The majority is even larger after excluding those who did not give a response Over twothirds of this subsample expressed this opinion Figure 5 Opinion on Helping the Poor by BY HOUSEHOLD INCOM E Less than 40000 40000 to 79999 80000 or more BY ETHNICITY Others Latinos Whites BY VOT IN G STATUS Democrat Voters OtherVoters Nonvoters 0 20 40 60 80 130 D Not Enough H Enough Among Latinos those in the other ethnic categoryl Democrats who voted and those who did not vote a large majority also stated that local government is not doing enough for the poor For the other two groups whites and 2004 voters who are not Democrats those saying no outnumber those saying yes This pattern holds even among Republicans 1 Other includes Asians AfricanAmericans and mixed ethnicities as well as respondents who did not indicate their ethnicity on the survey THE RALPH AND GOLDY LEWIS CENTER FOR RFGIONAI POLICY STUDIES Responses to another set of questions provide some in sights into where government is falling short in assisting the poor The interviewees were asked to evaluate the performance of local government in several policy ar eas including those related to the poor For the fol lowing issue areas please tell me whether the perform ance of Southern Califomia s elected of cials has been generally inadequate mixed or generally adequate Figure 6 presents the tabulations on three items for those who believe that government is not doing enough for the poor keeping and attracting business investment in the region providing affordable housing in the region and improving education in the region The public sector could foster economic development by enhancing the region39s competitiveness through supporting business investments but this does not appear to be a particularly strong concern as respondents are divided on this Fur thermore while investments may increase job opportu nities it may do little to increase the income of the working poor On the other hand a majority believes that local government is doing an inadequate job of im proving education Tackling the problem of our public schools would ultimately help improve the economic chances of the children of the poor Finally a super ma jority states that local government is failing to provide affordable housing Since the high cost of housing is particularly burdensome to those with low incomes the provision of more affordable housing would provide immediate relief for the poor Table 6 Efficacy of Local Government forthe poor BUSINESS IMPROVING AFFORDABLE INVESTM ENT EDUCATION HOUSING Inadequate Mixed nAdequate APPENDIX SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA PUBLIC OPINION SURVEY The 2005 Southern California Public Opin ion Survey is supported by the UCLA Ralph and Goldy Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies and is de signed to gather the views and opinions of Southern California residents on critical public policy issues in this region The survey was developed with input from campus and community organizations UCLA units in clude the Center for Communications and Community the Institute of Transportation Studies the Center for Civil Society and the Anderson School of Management Three public agencies participated in the process the Southem California Association of Governments SCAG the Los Angeles Economic Development Cor poration LAEDC and the Los Angeles County Metro politan Transportation Authority Several UCLA faculty provided valuable input Professors Vickie Mays Mi chael Stoll Brian Taylor Amy Zegart Frank Gilliam Helmut Anheier Chris Thomberg and Ed Leamer The 2005 Survey gathered basic demographic data and covered seven topical areas 1 major issues facing the region 2 the efficacy of local government 3 transpor tation 4 the state of the regional economy 5 housing 6 civic engagement and 7 major disasters When pos sible questions were worded to parallel existing ques tions from other surveys All respondents were asked questions related to the efficacy of local government in addressing a number of major policy issues The Sur vey was conducted in English and Spanish during the months of January and February 2005 using random digit dialing and the data were collected by The Social Science Research Center at California State University Fullerton There are 1544 completed surveys for the ve counties Los Angeles Orange Riverside San Bernar dino and Ventura The sample is divided proportionally by county household population The characteristics of the sample by age ethnicity in come and home ownership categories are consistent with the 2004 March Current Population Survey There is a sampling error of 26 percent at the 95 percent con dence level The sampling error maybe be larger for subpopulations LOW INCOME DEFINITION There is no widely accepted de nition for the poor but most de nitions are related to the Federal Poverty Level FPL which is roughly three times the US Department of Agriculture food budgets for a given family The FPL varies with family size and composition and for a family of four with two children the threshold was 19157 in 2004 The Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers is used to adjust the FPL annually to account for inflation Despite the wide variation in the regional cost of hous ing the same FPL is used throughout the country ANALYSIS OF MOVEMENT ACROSS INCOME CLASS The analysis of the movement into and out of the lowincome class was conducted with data from the March Current Population Survey Because of the way the samples are rotated into the survey a household can appear in the survey in two consecutive years This has enabled research to examine twoyear changes in in come and earnings THE RALPH AND GOLDY LEWIS CENTER FOR REGIONAL POLICY STUDIES SCS FACT SHEET FINDINGS FROM THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA PUBLIC OPINION SURVEY SCS Vol 1 No 5 INTRODUCTION Public opinion surveys can play an important role in decision making by complementing standard sources such as the Decennial Census and Current Population Survey This Fact Sheet presents findings from a re cently completed survey of Southern California resi dents those living in the counties of Los Angeles Or ange Riverside San Bernardino and Ventura Details of the survey can be found in the appendix The infor mation from the survey can inform elected officials about the public39s concerns and priorities and can also help the residents of this region gain insight into them selves as a community This SCS Fact Sheet provides information on the level of interest in purchasing hybrid automobilesvehicles that combine gasoline and electric motors to increase fuel mileage and reduce air pollution A signi cant minority stated that they are willing to pay more for such a car with the proportion varying by in come and ethnicity Not surprisingly those drivers who commute to work and those with environmental con cerns are more likely to pay the additional cost for a hy brid car BACKGROUND Among the immediately available technologies for more energyefficient and cleaner automobiles hybrid cars have emerged as the most marketable Unlike vehicles that depend solely on electricity hybrids do not require charging from an external source Instead a hybrid uses onboard generators to charge its batteries and is able to recover energy from braking The generator is also an electric motor that provides power to propel the vehicle ere is no need to plug a hybrid in for overnight charging The stored energy is used to propel the vehi cle when an onboard computer determines it is feasible Hybrids come in two versions a full hybrid can operate without using the gasoline motor at low speeds while a mild hybrid uses its electric motor to assist the gasoline motor The electric motor can also be used at most speeds when the car needs extra power for acceleration The availability of the electric motor allows manufactur https ewis spa LIOa edu High Interest in Hybrid Cars May 2005 ers to use smaller gasoline motors The unique features of a hybrid car mean that it is more energy ef cient and pollutes less The gain in higher fuel efficiency is more pronounced for incity driving in part because hybrids can turn off the gasoline motor when it is not needed Figure 1 presents data on gasoline consumption and emissions from the US Environmental Protection Agency EPA for 2005 small and familysize automo biles The available hybrid models are in the oval and this group of automobiles has the highest milesper gallon ratings and lowest annual emission of greenhouse gases While the EPA MPG statistics tend to be overly optimistic data from third party testers such as those for the magazines Consumer Reports and Motor Trend also show that hybrid cars are more fuel efficient Figure 1 Greenhouse Gas Emiss39on v TonsperYear N u A m m I an to as Because of additional features and the associated cost which is discussed later buyers of hybrid cars have a higher average income than buyers of other types of cars Moreover hybrid buyers tend to be older Hybridcarscom 2005 Given the environmentally friendly characteristics it is not surprising that hybrid cars have become vehicles of choice for those who are concerned about oil dependency and air pollution Continued on page 2 ABOUT THE AUTHORS Paul Ong is a professor in urban planning social welfare and Asian Ameri can studies at UCLA and Director ofthe Ralph and Goldy Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies Professor Ong owns a Toyota Prius Kim Haselho is a postdoctoral fellow at the Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies THE RALPH AND GOLDY LEWIS CENTER FOR REGIONAI POLICY STUDIES Continued om page I III a 200203 survey of hybrid owners in Oregon 89 percent stated that they purchased their car because it pollutes the air less and another 77 percent stated that the car emits less climatechanging C02 Oregon Envi ronmental Council 2003 In a survey by Hybrid carscom 80 percent stated that they purchased a hybrid because it reduces dependency on foreign oil and 78 percent stated that the car pollutes less In both surveys nearly threequarters also stated savings from better MPG While these are selective samples the findings nonetheless indicate that owners are environmentally oriented Hybrids appeal to individuals beyond those who are the most environmentally conscious A 2002 survey of re cent car buyers found that 30 percent would de nitely consider a hybrid vehicle and any of these were willing to pay more for such a vehicle JD Power and Associ ates 2002 A survey of Californians show that a large majority would seriously consider buying or leasing a hybrid car gaselectric Baldassare 2004 Despite the interest the number of gaselectric vehicles sold in the early 2000s was extremely low due to both a limited supply and limited appeal of the existing models which were underpowered and small see Figure 2 Figure 2 Hybrid Sales 00000 14 ilAbsoluteNumber W 12 PercentofTotal W 10 80000 W 60000 W W 08 40000 W quot 05 r 04 20000 W W 02 00 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 STATED VVILLINGNESS TO PAY MORE One barrier facing potential buyers is the additional cost of additional technology and equipment in hybrid vehi cles The difference in the sticker price between compa rable vehicles with and without a hybrid system is over 3000 but that understates the differences in sale price due to differences in demand that push up the price of hybrids Moreover there are longterm real but uncer tain cost differences associated with fuel consumption and maintenance particularly the batteries for the hy brid Tax policy offsets some of the purchase price of hybrids A buyer can deduct 2000 for the purchase of a qualifying gaselectric car but because this is a deduc tion rather than a credit the value depends on the tax bracket The higher the marginal tax rate the higher the value of the deduction To gauge interest in hybrid automobiles the 2005 Southem California Public Opinion Survey asked re spondents Hypothetically if you were to purchase a new car today how much more would you be willing to pay for a fuel efficient low emission hybrid car which uses both gasoline and electricity They were given several options and the responses are summarized in Figure 3 While stated preference is not the same as actual purchases the patterns of the responses do pro vide some insights into the potential market for hybrids in this region The results show that two in ve a sig ni cant minority of the respondents are willing to pay more Given the difference in the price between hybrid and nonhybrid cars a more realistic cutoff is willing ness to pay at least 10 percent more At this level nearly a quarter of the respondents answered affirma tively Late 2003 was a turning point for the market with the introduction of the 2004 Toyota Prius a second genera tion hybrid that overcame many of the shortcomings of previous models and won praises from both consumers and thirdparty testers Hybrid cars also received an additional image boost when they became the vehicles of choice for many of the environmentallyoriented at tendees of the highly visible 2005 Academy Awards Total sales in 2004 of all hybrids climbed to about 88000 and the volume for this year is projected to at least double with the introduction of more models De spite this rapid growth hybrids will make up a very small percentage of the total market for automobiles Figure 3 Willingness to Pay More Interested but Wlling to Pay Wlling to P ay 0M ore Wlling to Pay re No Opinion There is considerable variation in the willingness to pay 10 percent transit usage by economic and demographic groups see Figure 4 Although the percentage for younger adults 18 to 35 is lower the overall variation among the three age groups is not statistically signi cant The difference by household income however is THE RALPH AND GOLDY LEWIS CENTER FOR RFGlONAl POLICY STUDIES sizeable and statistically signi cant The percentage for those in the top bracket 80000 or more in annual in come is over three times the percentage for those in the bottom bracket less than 40000 Finally there is also a signi cant variation by ethnic groups due in part to ethnic differences in income Figure 4 Willingness to Pay 10 or More by Groups AGE 18to 35 36to 54 Statistically 55 amp older H H INCOM E 80k 40k 80k Less than 40k EFHN ICITY White Latino Other 0 13 20 30 40 Figure 5 Willingness to Pay at Least 10 More DRIVERS Solo WorkCommuter Not Employed GOV39T ENV PERFORMANCE InadequatyM ixed All Others BUYLEASE IN NEXTSYRS Yes No HAVE ENVCONCERNS Yes No 0 13 20 30 40 OTHER VARIATIONS IN VVILLINGNESS The survey results show additional variations Solo drivers who commute to their jobs are more likely to be willing to pay 10 percent or more than drivers who are not in the labor market but the difference is not statisti cally signi cant This may be due to a relatively small number of observations in these categories Those who give local government an inadequate or mixed rat ing in improving the environment are slightly more likely to be willing to pay more than all other respon dents This indicates that personal action may be seen as a substitute for the low performance of local govem ment Interestingly those who de nitely or maybe plan to purchase or lease a new car within the next three years are more inclined to pay more than all others This may be driven in part by a strong correlation with income Finally those who are more concerned about the environment are more willing to pay the additional cost Respondents were asked to name the three most important problems facing this region today Among A CKNOWLEDGEMENTS The authors would like to thank Norman Wong Margaret Johnson Lucy Tran and Diana Tran for formatting and editing the Fact Sheet DISCLAIMER Neither the University of California the School of Public Affairs nor the Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies either support or disavow the nd ings in an project report paper or research listed herein University affilia tions are for identi cation only the University is not involved in or responsi ble for the project those who identi ed an environmental concern air pollution water pollution etc a third stated that they are willing to pay 10 percent or more for a hybrid vehicle APPENDIX The 2005 Southern California Public Opinion Survey is supported by the UCLA Ralph and Goldy Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies and is designed to gather the views and opinions of Southern California residents on critical public policy issues in this region The survey was developed with input from campus and community organizations UCLA units include the Center for Com munications and Community the Institute for Transpor tation Studies the Center for Civil Society and the Anderson School of Management Three public agen cies participated in the process the Southern California Association of Governments SCAG the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation LAEDC Several UCLA faculty provided valuable input Professors Vickie Mays Michael Stoll Brian Taylor Amy Zegart Frank Gilliam Helmut Anheier Chris Thomberg and Ed Leamer The 2005 Survey gathered basic demographic data and covered seven topical areas 1 major issues facing the region 2 the ef cacy of local government 3 transpor tation 4 the state of the regional economy 5 housing 6 civic engagement and 7 major disasters When possible questions were worded to parallel existing questions from other surveys All respondents were asked questions related to hybrid cars The Survey was conducted in English and Spanish dur ing the months of January and February 2005 using ran Continued on page 4