In the first survey of Bay Area residents conducted by the
University of San Francisco’s Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the
Common Good, 34 percent of respondents considered the economy to be the biggest
problem facing their community.
The survey, comprised of 1,177 respondents in eight
counties, included questions on the economy, government, and public policy. The
research will give USF faculty and students insight into what topics matter to
local residents and guide USF in its public service research.
“We wanted to survey the Bay Area as a region because we
think that the area is remarkably under studied,” said Corey Cook, director of
the McCarthy Center. “There are some excellent statewide surveys, but they tend
to lump the Bay Area together.”
The McCarthy Center plans to conduct several similar surveys
each year in an effort to chart Bay Area public opinion over time.
“Voters are very concerned about the economy and pretty
ambivalent about the future,” Cook said, of the survey recent results. “Bay
Area residents seem to want local solutions from people they trust to help
stimulate the economy.” The survey found that 22 percent of those polled
believe local governments are doing their jobs best, while county governments,
state governments, and the federal government received 15 percent, 6 percent
and 12 percent support, respectively.
An overwhelming 86 percent of respondents indicated that
they preferred to stimulate the local economy through improving education,
rather than cutting taxes. The survey also addressed pension reform, finding
that people are open to moderate changes in pension systems for public