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object(Timber\Post)#3711 (44) { ["ImageClass"]=> string(12) "Timber\Image" ["PostClass"]=> string(11) "Timber\Post" ["TermClass"]=> string(11) "Timber\Term" ["object_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["custom"]=> array(5) { ["_wp_attached_file"]=> string(12) "S_901MBS.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(6) "495582" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(78650) "PPIC Statewide Survey: Special Survey of Orange County in collaboration with the University of California Irvine Mark Baldassare Senior Fellow and Survey Director September 2001 Public Policy Institute of California Preface The Orange County Survey – a collaborative effort of the Public Policy Institute of California and the School of Social Ecology at the University of California, Irvine – is a special edition of the PPIC Statewide Survey. This is the first of an annual series of PPIC surveys of Orange County. Mark Baldassare, the director of the PPIC Statewide Survey, is the founder and director of the Orange County Annual Survey at UCI and a former UCI professor. The UCI survey was conducted 19 times from 1982 to 2000, so the Orange County Survey collaboration between PPIC and UCI is an extension of earlier survey efforts. The current survey was co-sponsored by UCI, with local support from Deloitte and Touche, Pacific Life Foundation, Disneyland, Los Angeles Times, Orange County Business Council, Orange County Division of League of California Cities, Orange County Register, The Irvine Company, and United Way of Orange County. Orange County is the second most populous county in the state and one of California’s fastest growing and changing regions. The county is home to 2.8 million residents today, having gained nearly one million residents since 1980. Three in four residents were white and non-Hispanic in 1980; today, nearly half are Latinos and Asians. The county’s dynamic economy has become one of the leaders in the high-technology industry. The county is a bellwether county in politics and the site of many important governance issues, including a county-government bankruptcy, public controversy over a proposed airport at the closed El Toro Marine Corps Air Station, and the use and expansion of toll roads. There are also housing, transportation, and environmental concerns related to development. Public opinion findings are critical to informing discussions and resolving public debates on these key issues. The purpose of this study is to inform policymakers by providing timely, accurate, and objective information about policy preferences and economic, social, and political trends. To measure changes over time, this survey of 2,004 adult residents includes “benchmark” questions from earlier Orange County Annual Surveys. It also includes key indicators from the PPIC Statewide Survey for comparisons with the state and other major regions of California. We also consider how regional racial and ethnic differences affect political, social, and economic attitudes and policy preferences. The following issues are explored in this edition of the Orange County Survey: • Local perceptions – Have two decades of growth and change led to declining residential satisfaction and public service ratings? How do residents view growth and growth policies? • Regional issues – How does Orange County compare to the rest of the state in perceptions of traffic, growth, housing, and jobs? What do residents see as the causes of county problems, and do they think that there is enough local government funding to prepare for growth? • Orange County issues – What are the most important issues facing the county, and what are the perceptions of the county's economy, quality of life, growth, and county government? What are the transportation trends and preferences for the reuse of the El Toro Marine Air Base? • Economic and political trends – What are the recent trends in consumer confidence, computer and Internet use, and approval ratings for President Bush and Governor Davis? Copies of earlier survey reports or additional copies of this report may be ordered by e-mail (order@ppic.org) or phone (415-291-4400). The reports are also posted on the publications page of the PPIC web site (www.ppic.org). -i- - ii - Contents Preface Press Releases Local Perceptions County Regional Issues Orange County Issues Economic and Political Trends Survey Methodology Survey Questions and Results Survey Advisory Committee i v 1 5 9 15 21 23 27 - iii - - iv - Press Releases ANXIETY ABOUT GROWTH LOOMS LARGE IN ORANGE COUNTY Residents Say Development, Housing, Traffic Are Major Problems; But Overall Satisfaction Remains High SAN FRANCISCO, California, September 26, 2001 – In a significant shift from one year ago, Orange County residents cite growth-related issues – not crime or schools – as the most critical problems facing the region, according to a new survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) and UC Irvine. Despite their concern that growth-driven problems such as housing shortages and traffic congestion will negatively affect the area’s future, the overall mood remains positive: Most county residents are very satisfied with the local economy and their quality of life. When Orange County residents are asked to name the most important issue facing Orange County today, growth-related concerns top the list: Population growth and development (21%), the El Toro Airport controversy (14%), housing issues (13%), and traffic and transportation (12%) are mentioned most often. Only 5 percent think last year’s top issue – crime – is the county’s most important problem today. However, Latinos are significantly more likely than non-Hispanic whites to view crime as the most important issue. Two in three Orange County residents (65%) think their cities and communities have experienced rapid growth in the past few years. Such perceptions are notably stronger in the South County (73%) than in the North County (62%). Overall, residents are twice as likely to see population growth over the past decade as a bad thing (41%) rather than a good thing (22%). However, Latinos and Asians are less negative than non-Hispanic whites about growth. Interestingly, all racial and ethnic groups tend to be negative about future population growth in Orange County. Sixty-five percent of residents believe that population increases will make the county a less desirable place to live in the future. Non-Hispanic whites are more likely (73%) than Latinos and Asians (48% each) to feel this way. What negative consequences of population growth worry residents the most? High housing costs (37%) and traffic congestion (31%) are top concerns, while fewer than three in ten residents name any environmental issue as a serious downside to growth. When asked about the benefits of population growth, residents cite an improved job market and economy (41%), increased social diversity (21%), and more state and local tax revenue (15%) as most important. Public Services, Economy, Quality of Life Get High Marks “If people are anxious about future growth, it doesn’t appear to be affecting their satisfaction with Orange County today,” said PPIC Statewide Survey Director Mark Baldassare. “Residents find the county as agreeable a place to live as it was in the early 1980s, when there were about a million fewer people.” Indeed, 67 percent say they are very satisfied with their housing situation, an 11point increase over 10 years ago. Similarly high numbers (68%) say they are very satisfied with their neighborhoods. Although all racial and ethnic groups express satisfaction with their quality of life, non-Hispanic whites are more likely than Latinos and Asians to say they are very satisfied with their homes and neighborhoods. Despite the recent economic slowdown, the general outlook among Orange County residents remains positive, with nine out of ten reporting that things are going either very well or somewhat well, and -v- Press Releases only 10 percent saying things are going badly. Moreover, three in four residents say the county’s economy is in excellent or good shape. Consistent with this upbeat mood, residents give high marks to their county’s main public services – ratings as good as they were 20 years ago. Solid majorities rate as excellent or good their local police protection (82%), local parks and beaches (81%), local freeways, streets, and roads (68%), and local public schools (61%). The Great Divide? North and South County Perceptions among residents who live in the northern and southern areas of Orange County are similar when it comes to traffic, housing, and growth but diverge considerably over economic concerns. A majority of residents in the South County (55%) do not believe that a lack of opportunities for well-paying jobs is a problem, while only 39 percent of those in the North County agree. North-South differences also emerge when residents are asked about the causes of problems facing their area. South County residents are more likely to name rapid growth as a major cause of problems in the region (62% to 52%), while North County residents are more likely to say misguided government spending is a major cause of the region’s problems (55% to 44%). Attitudes about adequate funding for roads and other infrastructure needs do not differ between North and South County residents, nor do they differ across age, education, and income groups. Overall, nearly six in 10 Orange County residents believe that their local governments have adequate funding for infrastructure projects. Residents Rate Local Government, Davis, Bush The collective mood of satisfaction in Orange County appears to play out in significantly improved ratings of county government performance from one year ago. Forty-three percent of residents believe that their county government is doing an excellent or good job in solving problems, compared to just 29 percent a year ago. Despite this general endorsement, only one in 10 residents thinks that county government pays a lot of attention to what the people think when making policy decisions, while four in 10 believe that local officials pay very little or no attention. In another criticism of local government, 83 percent of residents believe that county officials waste at least some tax dollars, with a significant portion (37%) saying they waste a lot. While Orange County’s ratings of Governor Gray Davis may reflect the county’s GOP leanings, only a slim majority of Democrats are happy with Davis’ performance, and a majority of independents disapprove. Overall, 53 percent of the county’s residents disapprove of Davis’s performance in office, while 40 percent approve. An even harsher assessment of the governor emerges when residents are asked about his handling of the state’s electricity crisis: Sixty-three percent say they disapprove of his performance. Conversely, President Bush enjoys solid popular support in Orange County. A majority of county residents (57%) approve of his performance as president, while only 36 percent disapprove. Approval ratings of the president are higher in Orange County than in the nation as a whole, where 50 percent approve and 38 percent disapprove of his performance. Other Key Findings • Consumer Confidence (page 15) A decline in optimism about the national economy does not appear to have greatly influenced residents’ attitudes about spending: Sixty-three percent say it is a good time to make large purchases, down only seven points from 2000. Orange County’s score of 93 on the five-question - vi - Press Releases consumer confidence index – almost an exact match of the national rating – is down a substantial 19 points from last year but remains in positive territory. • Real Estate (page 17) Eighty-three percent of homeowners think that buying a home in Orange County is an excellent or good investment, likely a nod to lower interest rates. A surprisingly high number of renters (70%) also think buying a home in the county is a good investment. Like homeowners, renters rate housing as an investment significantly higher than last year. About the Survey The Orange County Survey – a collaborative effort of PPIC and the School of Social Ecology at UC Irvine – is a special edition of the PPIC Statewide Survey. Findings of the current survey are based on a telephone survey of 2,004 adult Orange County residents interviewed from August 20 to August 31, 2001. Interviews were conducted in English or Spanish. The sampling error for the total sample is +/- 2%. Dr. Mark Baldassare is a senior fellow and program director at PPIC, where he holds the Arjay and Francis Miller Chair in Public Policy. He is founder and director of the PPIC Statewide Survey, which he has conducted since 1998. From 1982 to 2000, Dr. Baldassare directed the Orange County Annual Survey for UC Irvine. He is the author of numerous books, including California in the New Millennium: The Changing Social and Political Landscape (University of California Press, 2000). PPIC is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to objective, nonpartisan research on economic, social, and political issues that affect the lives of Californians. The Institute was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. This report will appear on PPIC’s website (www.ppic.org) on September 26. ### - vii - Press Releases - viii - Press Releases ORANGE COUNTY RESIDENTS NOT SWAYED BY “EL TORO LITE” Big or Small, Airport Proposal Still Opposed by Majority of Residents; Broad Support for Limiting El Toro Use to Non-Aviation Purposes SAN FRANCISCO, California, September 12, 2001 – Orange County residents remain opposed to transforming the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station into an international airport, even if annual passenger limits are reduced, according to a new survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) and UC Irvine. As the Board of Supervisors readies itself for a vote on the new airport proposal, residents continue to express disappointment in county government’s handling of the issue and again appear ready to take matters into their own hands through the initiative process. The large-scale public opinion survey of the county found that residents feel the same now as they did a year ago about building an international airport at El Toro: Fifty-two percent oppose the proposal and 38 percent support it. Residents of the North County are equally divided on the issue (44% to 44%), but South County residents overwhelmingly oppose the airport plan (76% to 19%). Despite recent efforts to increase public support for the airport by developing a scaled-down plan, a similar number of residents also oppose the proposal to reduce the number of annual passengers at the airport from 28 million to 18 million. Fifty-four percent oppose the smaller airport plan, while 36 percent support it. Both North County residents (46% to 42%) and South County residents (76% to 19%) oppose this proposal. “Clearly, the county’s efforts to reach a compromise proposal are not supported by residents,” said PPIC Statewide Survey Director Mark Baldassare. “The airport plan has been a tough sell for local leaders from the start, but with this latest effort to find a middle ground, they have actually lost support from North County residents.” The survey reveals residents’ lingering unhappiness with county government’s handling of the El Toro conversion issue: Similar to last year, half disapprove (49%), while only 25 percent approve. On a related note, residents again appear ready to defy the will of the county by expressing strong support for an initiative that would allow only non-aviation uses, including a large park, for the El Toro Marine Air Base. Sixty-two percent of residents say they would vote yes and 31 percent would vote no. Supporters greatly outnumber opponents in both the North County (57% to 36%) and the South County (79% to 17%). Among voters, 61 percent would vote yes on the initiative and 34 percent would vote no if the election were held today. The Special Survey of Orange County – a collaborative effort of PPIC and the School of Social Ecology at UC Irvine – is a special edition of the PPIC Statewide Survey. Findings of the current survey are based on a telephone survey of 2,004 adult Orange County residents, interviewed from August 20 to August 31, 2001. Interviews were conducted in English or Spanish. The sampling error for the total sample is +/- 2%. Dr. Mark Baldassare is a senior fellow and program director at PPIC. He is founder and director of the PPIC Statewide Survey, which he has conducted since 1998. From 1982 to 2000, Baldassare directed the Orange County Annual Survey for UC Irvine. PPIC is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to objective, nonpartisan research on economic, social, and political issues that affect the lives of Californians. ### - ix - Press Releases -x- Local Perceptions Local Population Growth Orange County has grown rapidly since the early 1980s, and most of its residents are very aware of this. For the most part, however, they believe their local governments are doing enough to accommodate the growth. Sixty-five percent of residents think the population has grown rapidly in their cities and communities, and another 21 percent believe their local areas have experienced slow growth. Only 14 percent say the local population is unchanged, and no one thought it had declined. Perceptions of rapid growth were about the same as in the 1991 Orange County survey but were greater than in 1982, the year of the first Orange County Annual Survey at the University of California, Irvine. These perceptions did not vary across racial/ethnic groups or by age, income, or education. However, the perception of rapid population growth was higher in the South County (73%) than in the North County (62%). Given the high percentage of people who believe their areas are growing rapidly, it is rather surprising to find that two in three residents also believe that government regulations aimed at controlling growth are either about right (55%) or actually too strict (9%). Only about one-third think their local growth regulations are not strict enough. These attitudes mirror those in the 1982 survey but differ considerably from attitudes in 1991. At that time, residents were much less likely to believe that growth regulations were about right, and much more likely to believe they were not strict enough. There were no differences across regions or political party lines in the belief that local efforts to control growth are about right. Older, higher income, and college-educated residents were somewhat more likely than others to believe that local growth controls were not strict enough. Attitudes toward controls also differed by race and ethnicity: Non-Hispanic whites (40%) are much more likely than Latinos (25%) and Asians (26%) to believe that local growth controls are not strict enough. Even among those who perceive rapid growth, fewer than half (46%) say that local growth controls in their cities and communities are not strict enough. All Adults In the past few years, do you think the population of your city or community has been growing rapidly, growing slowly, staying about the same, or declining? Growing rapidly Growing slowly Staying about the same Declining Do you think that the government regulations aimed at controlling growth in your city or community are too strict, about right, or not strict enough? Too strict About right Not strict enough 1982 1991 2001 57% 23 19 1 64% 18 17 1 65% 21 14 0 9% 7% 9% 51 36 55 40 57 36 1982 and 1991 results are from the Orange County Annual Survey, UCI, by Mark Baldassare and Cheryl Katz. -1- Local Perceptions Residential Satisfaction How has Orange County held up under these two decades of rapid population growth? Very well, according to its residents. In terms of housing and neighborhoods, they find Orange County as satisfying a place to live today as it was for residents in the early 1980s. They are considerably more satisfied than residents were 10 years ago, during an economic downturn when county residents were in a pessimistic mood. More than nine in 10 residents say they are very satisfied (67%) or somewhat satisfied (26%) with their house or apartment. Only one in 12 is dissatisfied. The percentage of residents very satisfied with their housing is identical to the percentage in the 1982 survey and significantly higher than in 1991. More than nine in 10 also describe themselves as very satisfied (68%) or somewhat satisfied (25%) with the neighborhoods in which they live. Fewer than one in 12 express any degree of dissatisfaction with their neighborhoods. Again, these results are almost identical to 1982 survey results, and residents today are considerably more satisfied with their neighborhoods than residents were in 1991. The county’s major racial/ethnic groups vary in residential satisfaction, but a large percentage of all groups are highly satisfied. Non-Hispanic whites (71%) are more likely than Latinos (55%) and Asians (61%) to say they are very satisfied with their homes. Non-Hispanic whites (71%) are also more likely than Latinos (59%) and Asians (60%) to be very satisfied with their neighborhoods. Homeowners are more pleased than renters with their homes (78% to 45%) and neighborhoods (74% to 55%). Similarly, those living in detached homes are more satisfied with their residential conditions than those living in apartments. Residential satisfaction in Orange County also tends to increase with age, household income, and education. South County residents are more likely than North County residents to say they are very satisfied with their homes (74% to 64%) and very satisfied with their neighborhoods (80% to 63%). All Adults How satisfied are you with the house or apartment in which you live? Very satisfied Somewhat satisfied Somewhat dissatisfied Very dissatisfied How satisfied are you with the neighborhood in which you live? Very satisfied Somewhat satisfied Somewhat dissatisfied Very dissatisfied 1982 1991 2001 67% 30 2 1 56% 35 6 3 67% 26 4 3 64% 30 5 1 54% 35 7 4 68% 25 4 3 1982 and 1991 results are from the Orange County Annual Survey, UCI, by Mark Baldassare and Cheryl Katz. -2- Local Perceptions Local Public Service Ratings Residents of Orange County give their public services ratings as high as residents did in the early 1980s, indicating once again how little growth seems to have affected perceived quality of life. When the excellent and good rankings are combined, residents today are about as likely as they were in 1982 to give positive ratings to local roads (68% to 72%) and local parks and beaches (81% to 82%) and more likely to give positive ratings to local police protection (82% to 76%) and local public schools (61% to 45%). Moreover, positive ratings of local services have improved dramatically over the ratings in 1991: Excellent or good ratings are at least 10 points higher for local roads (68% to 58%), local parks and beaches (81% to 71%), local police (82% to 59%), and local public schools (61% to 28%). "How would you rate some of the public services in your local area – are they excellent, good, fair, or poor?" All Adults Local police protection Excellent/Good Fair Poor Don’t know Local parks, beaches, and other public recreational facilities Excellent/Good Fair Poor Don’t know Local freeways, streets, and roads Excellent/Good Fair Poor Don’t know Local public schools Excellent/Good Fair Poor Don’t know 1982 1991 2001 76% 16 4 4 59% 28 9 4 82% 11 3 4 82% 10 2 6 71% 18 8 3 81% 13 4 2 72% 21 6 1 58% 32 9 1 68% 22 10 0 45% 14 8 33 28% 28 27 17 61% 12 6 21 1982 and 1991 results are from the Orange County Annual Survey, UCI, by Mark Baldassare and Cheryl Katz. -3- Local Perceptions There are no differences across racial and ethnic groups in the proportion of excellent or good ratings given to local roads. However, non-Hispanic whites are more positive than others about local parks and local police, and Asians and Latinos are more positive than non-Hispanic whites about local public schools. The ratings of public services do vary across regions: South County residents are consistently more positive than North County residents about local roads (79% to 63%), local parks and beaches (89% to 78%), local police (87% to 80%), and local public schools (68% to 58%). Higher-income residents are more positive than others about local police, parks, and schools. Residents with children in the public schools give their local schools higher ratings than others do (78% to 52%). "How would you rate some of the public services in your local area – are they excellent, good, fair, or poor?" Local police protection Excellent/Good Fair Poor Don’t know Local parks, beaches, and other public recreational facilities Excellent/Good Fair Poor Don’t know Local freeways, streets, and roads Excellent/Good Fair Poor Don’t know Local public schools Excellent/Good Fair Poor Don’t know Race/Ethnicity Asian Latino White 76% 17 2 5 76% 17 4 3 86% 8 2 4 75% 18 5 2 76% 15 6 3 83% 11 3 3 68% 21 11 0 68% 20 12 0 67% 23 9 1 62% 13 4 21 69% 12 5 14 59% 12 5 24 -4- County Regional Issues County Regional Problems Despite the general satisfaction with neighborhoods, county residents do perceive problems in their regions of the county when asked about specific issues. Most residents think that traffic and housing are at least somewhat of a problem, and about half said that traffic congestion (54%) and affordable housing (48%) are big problems. In contrast, although seven in 10 see at least some problem with growth and development, only 29 percent saw this as a big problem. Similarly, although about half see lack of jobs as at least somewhat of a problem, only 19 percent see it as a big problem. Orange County residents give nearly identical ratings as residents statewide to problems with traffic, housing, and growth in their regions. However, 47 percent of Orange County residents think a lack of jobs is at least somewhat of a problem, compared to 61 percent of California residents. Orange County residents complain less than Los Angeles residents about traffic congestion and the lack of jobs, and they complain less than Bay Area residents about traffic, housing, and growth. "In your region, how much of a problem is ..." All Adults California SF Bay Area Los Angeles Orange County Traffic congestion on freeways and major roads Big problem 60% 82% 69% 54% Somewhat of a problem 23 14 20 35 Not a problem 17 4 11 10 Don’t know 00 0 1 Availability of housing you can afford Big problem Somewhat of a problem Not a problem 47% 26 25 74% 17 8 40% 34 24 48% 28 20 Don’t know 21 2 4 Population growth and development Big problem 29% 39% 28% 29% Somewhat of a problem 37 40 38 38 Not a problem 32 19 31 30 Don’t know 22 3 3 Lack of opportunities for well-paying jobs Big problem 29% 18% 31% 19% Somewhat of a problem 32 30 33 28 Not a problem 35 49 32 44 Don’t know 40 4 9 Source for California, Bay Area, and Los Angeles is the PPIC Statewide Survey, May 2001. The phrase “part of Orange County” replaced the word “region” in the series of questions asked in Orange County. -5- County Regional Issues As for differences within Orange County, 52 percent of North County residents think that lack of well-paying jobs is at least somewhat of a problem in their region, compared to 34 percent in the South County. However, the North County and South County have similar perceptions of traffic, housing, and growth. Problem perceptions differ across population groups. Non-Hispanic whites tend to be unhappier than other groups about traffic and growth issues, while Latinos are especially likely to say that the availability of well-paying jobs and affordable housing are problematic. People with higher incomes and college education are more likely than others to cite traffic and growth as major regional issues. Those with lower incomes and less education are more likely to mention jobs and affordable housing as big problems. Older residents are more likely to mention traffic and growth, and less likely to mention housing and jobs, as significant problems in their regions. "In your part of Orange County today, how much of a problem is ..." Region Race/Ethnicity Traffic congestion Big problem Somewhat of a problem Not a problem Don't know Availability of housing you can afford Big problem Somewhat of a problem Not a problem Don't know Population growth and development Big problem Somewhat of a problem Not a problem Don't know Lack of opportunities for well-paying jobs Big problem Somewhat of a problem Not a problem Don't know All Adults North 54% 35 10 1 56% 33 10 1 48% 28 20 4 49% 26 21 4 29% 38 30 3 28% 38 31 3 19% 28 44 9 23% 29 39 9 South White Latino Asian 49% 39 12 0 56% 36 8 0 48% 32 19 1 51% 39 10 0 47% 30 19 4 47% 28 21 4 52% 25 19 4 44% 29 23 4 32% 39 27 2 32% 39 27 2 23% 36 37 4 19% 32 42 7 9% 25 55 11 13% 28 48 11 39% 29 26 6 11% 31 49 9 -6- County Regional Issues Causes of County Regional Problems The survey asked Orange County residents to rate three possible causes of the problems in their part of the county. These three causes were also rated by residents of San Diego County in a July 2000 survey, one of the PPIC Statewide Survey's regional surveys. Half of Orange County residents believe that too-fast growth (55%) and the government spending money on the wrong things (52%) are major causes of the problems facing their regions. Lack of convenient public transportation was rated a major cause by less than half (39%) of the residents. Among those residents who cite traffic as a big problem, fewer than half (46%) say that a lack of public transit is a major cause of regional problems. Despite the county’s reputation for anti-tax and anti-government sentiments, Orange County residents are much less likely than San Diego County residents to say that government spending money on the wrong things is a major cause of the problems facing their regions (52% to 75%). Orange County residents are slightly less likely than San Diego County residents to rate too-fast growth as a major cause of problems in their part of the county (55% to 63%). Residents of the two counties are equally likely to see lack of convenient transportation as a cause of regional problems. Within Orange County, there are regional differences. Residents in the South County are more likely than North County residents to consider too-fast growth a major cause of their region’s problems (62% to 52%). People in the North County are more likely than people in the South County to cite government spending money on the wrong things (55% to 44%) as the major cause of regional problems. Across racial and ethnic groups, non-Hispanic whites (57%) and Latinos (52%) are more likely than Asians (42%) to say that too fast growth is a major cause of the problems in their part of the county. Latinos are at least 10 percent more likely than non-Hispanic whites or Asians to rate government spending money on the wrong things as a major cause of their region's problems. "Is ______________ a major cause or a minor cause of the problems facing your part of San Diego County / Orange County?" Too-fast growth Major cause Minor cause Don’t know Government spending money on the wrong things Major cause Minor cause Don’t know Lack of convenient public transportation Major cause Minor cause Don’t know All Adults San Diego County Orange County 63% 35 2 55% 41 4 75% 19 6 52% 37 11 40% 56 4 39% 53 8 * Source for San Diego County is the PPIC Statewide Survey of San Diego County, July 2000. -7- County Regional Issues "Is ______________ a major cause or a minor cause of the problems facing your part of Orange County?" Region Race/Ethnicity Too-fast growth Major cause Minor cause Don’t know Lack of convenient public transportation Major cause Minor cause Don’t know Government spending money on the wrong things Major cause Minor cause Don’t know All Adults 55% 41 4 39% 53 8 52% 37 11 North 52% 44 4 37% 55 8 55% 35 10 South 62% 34 4 45% 47 8 44% 43 13 White 57% 40 3 39% 53 8 49% 41 10 Latino 52% 41 7 38% 52 10 59% 29 12 Asian 42% 52 6 38% 54 8 47% 36 17 Preparing for Regional Growth Most Orange County residents apparently believe that their local government has enough money to cope with growth: 58 percent say that local governments have adequate funding for the roads and other infrastructure projects that are needed. They are more positive on this question than Californians were overall in a May 2001 PPIC Statewide Survey. On this fiscal issue, there is general agreement in the North and South County regions and across population groups. Most liberals, moderates, and conservatives and Republicans, Democrats, and independent voters believe that local governments do have adequate funding for the infrastructure projects needed to prepare for future growth. Agreement is also general across age, education, and income groups, and Latinos (65%) are even more optimistic than non-Hispanic whites (56%) that their local governments have funds for infrastructure. "Overall, do you think your local government does or does not have adequate funding for the roads, transit, and other infrastructure projects that are needed to prepare for future growth?" All Adults California Orange County Does 43% 58% Does not 48 31 Don’t know 9 11 Source for California is the PPIC Statewide Survey, May 2001. -8- Orange County Issues Most important Issue Overall, Orange County residents are most likely to name growth and development (21%) as the most important problem facing Orange County today, followed by the El Toro airport controversy (14%), housing issues (13%), and traffic issues (12%). Nearly half name three growth-related issues – traffic, housing, and growth and development as their top concerns. Other topics such as schools, crime, the economy, pollution, and immigration are each noted by less than 10 percent of residents. These figures mark a distinct shift in concerns from a year ago, when Orange County residents were most likely to mention crime (24%) and schools (17%) as their top issues. There are, however, regional and ethnic differences in concern. In the South County, the El Toro Airport controversy is the top issue this year, as it was in the 2000 Orange County Annual Survey. Non-Hispanic whites are more inclined than others to mention growth and the El Toro Airport controversy, while Latinos are more likely than others to mention crime and education, and Asians are more likely than others to name housing as their top county issue. Interestingly, only 1 percent of Orange County residents name the state’s electricity problems as the biggest issue facing the county. In the PPIC Statewide Survey in July 2001, 56 percent of California residents named the electricity problem as the top issue in the state. "What do you think is the most important issue facing Orange county today?" Population growth and development El Toro Airport controversy Housing issues Traffic and transportation Schools and education Crime and gangs Jobs and the economy Environment and pollution Immigration, legal and illegal Electricity problem Local government Poverty, the poor, the homeless, welfare Drugs and drug abuse Government regulations Other Don’t know All Adults 21% 14 13 12 7 5 4 4 3 1 1 1 1 1 2 10 Region Race/Ethnicity North South White Latino Asian 20% 23% 25% 10% 18% 7 30 18 2 11 14 11 12 14 20 12 10 11 12 14 9 4 6 11 7 6 2 3 12 3 5 2 2 11 4 344 1 3 323 2 0 111 3 2 111 1 0 111 1 1 100 2 0 101 01 433 3 2 12 6 9 15 14 -9- Orange County Issues The County’s Population Growth Many county residents see the county’s population growth revealed in the 2000 Census as a bad thing. In fact, they are twice as likely to see it as a bad thing than as a good thing (41% to 22%). People in the North and South County, overall, evaluate growth about the same. However, perceptions vary considerably by race and ethnicity: Non-Hispanic whites are much more likely to think that growth has been a bad thing than a good thing (47% to 18%). Latinos and Asians are more divided on the implications of county population growth, with the largest percentage saying it has made no difference. According to demographers, births to current residents are by far the greatest cause of population growth in the state's major regions, including Orange County. However, most Orange County residents think otherwise: 48 percent believe immigration is the single biggest factor in the growth, while 34 percent name migration from elsewhere in California or from other states. Only 7 percent point to births, and 3 percent say state and local policies. Across regions of the county and racial and ethnic groups, births to current residents are overlooked as a cause of county growth. North County and South County vary in their perceptions of the importance of immigration versus internal migration. Compared to Asians and non-Hispanic whites, Latinos are less likely to mention migration from within the United States as a cause of county population growth. "According to the 2000 census, Orange County’s population grew by 435,000 since 1990 – from about 2.4 million to 2.8 million. Do you think this is a good thing or a bad thing or does it make no difference?" Good thing Bad thing No difference, don’t know All Adults 22% 41 37 Region North 21% 40 39 South 23% 43 34 Race/Ethnicity White 18% 47 35 Latino 32% 27 41 Asian 29% 26 45 "Which of the following do you think is the single biggest factor that is causing the county’s population to grow?" All Adults Region North South Immigration from other countries 48% 56% 31% Migration from elsewhere in California and the U.S. 34 27 50 Children born to current residents 7 77 State and local policies 3 34 Other/Don't know 8 78 Race/Ethnicity White 49% 37 6 2 6 Latino Asian 52% 39% 19 45 10 6 74 12 6 - 10 - Orange County Issues The Consequences of Population Growth What are the most negative consequences of county population growth? For two in three residents, high housing costs (37%) and traffic congestion (31%) top the list. Fewer than three in 10 name environmental issues, specifically the loss of open space (16%) and pollution (11%). However, response varies slightly across regions: North County residents are more likely to mention high housing costs, while South County residents focus more on traffic and open space. Latinos and Asians are more likely to name housing, while non-Hispanic whites mention traffic and open space more often. What are the most positive consequences of county population growth? Residents most often named an improving job market and economy (41%), followed by increasing social diversity (21%), more state and local tax revenues (15%), and improvement of services and amenities (13%). For all racial and ethnic groups and in both regions, the economic benefits of growth outweigh all other issues. Most residents were not happy when told that Orange County is expected to gain about 650,000 people and reach the 3.5 million mark in population by 2020. Sixty-five percent believe this increase will make the county a less desirable place to live. Although this negative response was pervasive across regions and racial and ethnic groups, non-Hispanic whites (73%) were much more likely than Latinos and Asians (48% each) to say that growth would make the county a less desirable place to live. "Which of the following do you think is the most negative consequence of Orange County’s population growth?" High housing costs Traffic congestion Loss of open space Pollution Other/Don't know All Adults 37% 31 16 11 5 Region North 40% 29 15 11 5 South 31% 33 20 11 5 Race/Ethnicity White 32% 34 19 10 5 Latino 51% 19 9 14 7 Asian 44% 29 12 12 3 "By 2020, Orange County is predicted to reach a population of 3.5 million residents, gaining about 650,000 more people. Do you think this will make Orange County a more desirable place to live or a less desirable place to live or will it make no difference?" More desirable place to live Less desirable place to live No difference Other/Don't know All Adults 10% 65 23 2 Region North 9% 65 23 2 South 10% 65 23 2 Race/Ethnicity White 6% 73 20 1 Latino 21% 48 27 3 Asian 15% 48 33 4 - 11 - Orange County Issues El Toro Airport Orange County residents feel the same now as they did a year ago about the county government’s proposal to transform the closed El Toro Marine Corps Air Station into an international airport: Half oppose it and about four in 10 favor it. Residents of the North County are equally divided on the airport issue (44% to 44%), but South County residents overwhelmingly oppose an El Toro international arport (76% to 19%). Among the voters of Orange County, 56 percent oppose the airport plan, 36 percent favor it, and 8 percent are undecided. The county's residents also feel the same now as a year ago about how the Board of Supervisors is handling the airport issue: Half (49%) disapprove, while one in four approve. Disapproval is much higher than approval in the North County (42% to 27%) as well as in the South County ( 71% to 17%). Among voters, 55 percent disapprove and only 24 percent approve of the job the supervisors have done. The recent proposal to reduce the number of annual passengers from 28 million to 18 million does not generate more support for the proposed airport: 54 percent oppose and 36 percent would favor an El Toro airport if there were a reduction of 10-million passengers annually. Both North County residents (46% opposed and 42% in favor)and South County residents (76% opposed and 19% in favor) are as opposed to this idea as to the idea of the airport in general. Among voters, 34 percent are in favor and 58 percent are opposed to the reduced-passenger airport proposal. In contrast, there is considerable support for a citizens’ initiative that would authorize only nonaviation uses, including a large park, for the El Toro Marine Corps Air Base: 62 percent of residents would vote yes and 31 percent would vote no on this initiative. Supporters greatly outnumber opponents in both the North County (57% to 36%) and the South County (79% to 17%). Among voters, 61 percent would vote "yes" on the initiative and 34 percent would vote "no" if the election were held today. Do you favor or oppose the proposal to transform the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station into an international airport? Favor Oppose Don't know Do you approve or disapprove of the way that county government is handling the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station conversion issue? Approve Disapprove Don't know 1997 41% 48 11 23% 43 34 1998 41% 48 11 29% 43 28 All Adults 1999 2000 42% 46 12 35% 54 11 30% 42 28 23% 49 28 2001 38% 52 10 25% 49 26 - 12 - Orange County Issues The current proposal for an El Toro airport includes about 28 million annual passengers. Some have suggested an airport with fewer passengers. Do you favor or oppose the El Toro Airport if it includes a limit of 18 million passengers? Favor Oppose Don't know An initiative for the March 2002 ballot would authorize the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station to be used only for non-aviation purposes, including a multipurpose central park, open space, a nature preserve, school facilities, and other uses. If an election were held today, would you vote yes or no on this initiative? Yes No Don't know All Adults 36% 54 10 62% 31 7 North South 42% 46 12 19% 76 5 57% 36 7 79% 17 4 Voters 34% 58 8 61% 34 5 Traffic and Transportation Issues Orange County residents have not changed their commuting habits over the past 20 years: Eight in 10 still commute to work by driving alone. In the last 10 years, the perception of traffic problems also hasn't changed: Six in 10 still say traffic congestion is a problem and two in 10 say it is a great problem on their commute to work. When asked to name their favorite transportation projects for Orange County, residents were equally likely to say building a light rail system (36%) and widening freeways (33%), while fewer named more buses or more carpool lanes. The county’s toll roads are popular: 54 percent say they have been a good thing for Orange County, and 59 percent favor the construction of the Foothill Toll Road South. Do you think that the three toll roads – the Foothill, the San Joaquin Hills, and the Eastern Corridor – have been a good thing or a bad thing for the Orange County transportation system, or have they made no difference? Good thing Bad thing No difference Don't know Do you favor or oppose construction of the Foothill Toll Road South, which will run from the I-5 south of San Clemente to the existing Foothill Toll Road along Mission Viejo? Favor Oppose Don't know - 13 - All Adults 54% 12 25 9 59% 26 15 North South 49% 13 27 11 69% 8 19 4 56% 27 17 66% 23 11 Orange County Issues County Government Ratings of county government performance in solving problems have improved significantly from a year ago. However, ratings of the responsiveness and fiscal performance are unchanged. Forty-three percent of residents think the county government does an excellent or good job in solving problems in Orange County, compared with 29 percent a year ago. The current ratings are similar to perceptions in 1998 and 1999 and considerably higher than in the years immediately following the 1994 county-government bankruptcy. Nevertheless, only about one in 10 residents believe that county officials pay a lot of attention to what the people think when making policy decisions. About half think they pay some attention, and four in 10 think they pay very little or no attention to what the people think. This perception of county officials’ responsiveness has not changed over time. About four in 10 residents believe that the people who run county government waste a lot of the money paid in taxes. This perception has declined slightly from a year ago, but it has changed very little since we began asking this question in the 1996 Orange County Annual Survey. How would you rate the performance of county government in solving problems in Orange County? Excellent/Good Fair Poor Don’t know When deciding policies, how much attention do county officials pay to what the people think? A lot Some Very little No attention Don’t know How much do the people who run county government waste the money we pay in taxes? A lot Some Very little None Don’t know 1996 24% 52 20 4 7% 52 31 7 3 39% 45 9 2 5 1997 26% 50 20 4 6% 50 35 7 2 40% 44 9 2 5 All Adults 1998 1999 2000 2001 38% 46 10 6 40% 44 12 4 29% 50 17 4 43% 38 14 5 12% 51 28 5 4 12% 50 29 7 2 7% 47 36 7 3 9% 48 29 9 5 36% 47 10 2 5 35% 47 10 2 6 42% 40 11 2 5 37% 46 10 1 6 - 14 - Economic and Political Trends Consumer Confidence In Orange County, confidence in the economy has taken a strong turn for the worse, largely because of pessimism about the national economy. The five-question Orange County Consumer Confidence Index now registers 93. This represents a 19-point drop from the 2000 Orange County Annual survey and the largest annual decline since 1990 – the beginning of the last recession. The Orange County index is similar to the national index, which now stands at 92. The national index dropped 17 points from last year. The Consumer Confidence Index is calculated from a formula provided by the University of Michigan, which computes scores for each of 5 questions (better – worse + 100), then adjusts for the 1966 base period. The national index score was 100 in 1966. A score above 100 on the Consumer Confidence Index is considered very good, since 85 is the average national score over the 50 years the survey has been conducted. Orange County results for the individual items that make up the index: • There has been a dramatic decline in optimism about the national economy: 48 percent see good times in the next year, compared to 70 percent in 2000. Forty-five percent see bad times ahead compared to 14 percent in 2000. • The long-term outlook on the U.S. economy is now mixed: 46 percent see good economic times over the next five years, while 45 percent expect bad times. In 2000, 60 percent predicted good times and 21 percent predicted bad times. • Fifty-five percent say they are better off now than last year, and 21 percent say they are worse off. While the proportion who say they are better off is unchanged from last year, the number saying they are worse off has increased: In 2000, 13 percent said they were worse off. • The percent who say they will be better off next year is down six points from last year (45% vs. 51%); however, the percent saying they will be worse off is only slightly higher (7% vs. 5%). • Positive attitudes about making large purchases have declined seven points from a year ago. Sixty-three percent now call it a good time for such expenses, down from 70 percent in 2000. The percent calling it a bad time to buy big items increased from 10 percent to 26 percent. Less affluent Orange County residents show less consumer confidence: For instance, those making less than $40,000 per year have an index rating of 88, compared to 98 for those making more than $80,000. Despite their lower incomes, Latinos have a slightly better index score (96) than do non-Hispanic whites (93). Men (98) have higher consumer confidence scores than women (88). Five-Question Consumer Confidence Index All Adults ‘86 ‘87 ‘88 ‘89 ‘90 ‘91 ‘92 ‘93 ‘94 ‘95 ‘96 ‘97 ‘98 ‘99 ‘00 ‘01 Orange County United States 109 104 106 105 85 84 75 73 89 90 101 110 105 111 112 93 92 94 95 96 76 82 77 75 92 94 95 107 100 105 109 92 Source for Orange County from 1986 to 2000 is the Orange County Annual Survey at UCI by Mark Baldassare and Cheryl Katz. Source for the United States is the University of Michigan. - 15 - Economic and Political Trends Overall Mood Even as talk in the nation has turned to prospects of an economic recession, overall attitudes about Orange County remain very upbeat. Ratings of the county economy and quality of life are basically the same as in the past few years. Today, 74 percent of residents give the county economy an excellent or good rating; 21 percent say it is fair, and 4 percent say it is in poor condition. The bullish attitudes toward the economy have persisted since the 1998 survey. They stand in stark contrast to the trends of the early 1990s: When the state and nation were in a deep economic recession, only two in 10 residents gave positive ratings. As for quality of life, nine in 10 residents say that things are going very well (36%) or somewhat well (54%), and only 10 percent say things are going badly. Prior to 1998, Orange County’s quality of life ratings were never quite this high. During the early 1990s, at a low point, about 60 percent of residents said things were going well in the county. The positive ratings of the county’s economy and quality of life tend to increase with higher income. Non-Hispanic whites give higher ratings of the economy than do Latinos or Asians, but there are no differences across racial and ethnic groups in the county’s quality of life ratings. "In general, how would you rate the economy in Orange County today?" All Adults 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 Excellent/ Good 19% 20% 28% 19% 44% 63% 76% 78% 79% 74% Fair 52 49 54 50 45 32 20 19 17 21 Poor 28 30 17 30 10 4 3 2 2 4 Don't know 1111111121 Source for Orange County from 1987 to 2000 is the Orange County Annual Survey at UCI by Mark Baldassare and Cheryl Katz. "Thinking about the quality of life in Orange County, how do you think things are going – very well, somewhat well, somewhat badly, or very badly?" All Adults ‘87 ‘88 ‘89 ‘90 ‘91 ‘92 ‘93 ‘94 ‘95 ‘96 ‘97 ‘98 ‘99 ‘00 2001 Going well 88% 85% 77% 75% 66% 60% 60% 71% 68% 82% 88% 91% 92% 91% 90% Going badly 12 15 23 25 34 40 40 29 32 18 12 9 8 9 10 Source for Orange County from 1987 to 2000 is the Orange County Annual Survey at UCI by Mark Baldassare and Cheryl Katz. - 16 - Economic and Political Trends Real Estate Market In the face of a decline in the stock market and lower interest rates, Orange County residents seem to be expressing a more positive attitude toward housing as an investment. Among homeowners, 83 percent think that buying a home in Orange County is an excellent or good investment; 11 percent say it would be a fair investment; and only 5 percent think it would be a poor investment. Since 1997, at least seven in 10 homeowners have described owning a home in the county as an excellent or good investment. This year’s scores are significantly higher than in recent years and a marked improvement from the perceptions of housing as an investment in the early-to-mid 1990s. Among renters, 70 percent believe that buying a home in the county is an excellent or good investment; 17 percent consider it a fair investment; and 11 percent think it would be a poor investment. Since 1997, roughly six in 10 renters have described buying a home as an excellent or good investment. Once again, this year’s scores are much higher than in recent years and significantly higher than in the early-to-mid 1990s. For both homeowners and renters, the positive perceptions of home buying as an investment increase with income. There are no differences across racial and ethnic groups, age categories, or regions. In general, overwhelming numbers of residents in all demographic groups see buying a home in Orange County as an excellent or good investment. "Do you think that buying a home in Orange County is an excellent, good, fair, or poor investment?" All Adults 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 Homeowners Excellent/ Good 59% 57% 50% 60% 70% 75% 75% 75% 83% Fair 26 28 31 30 23 18 19 18 11 Poor 14 14 18 8 6 5 5 5 5 Don't know 111212121 Renters Excellent/ Good 53% 47% 41% 45% 56% 61% 56% 57% 70% Fair 25 30 32 34 29 25 27 25 17 Poor 20 20 25 17 9 12 13 15 11 Don't know 232462432 Source for Orange County from 1993 to 2000 is the Orange County Annual Survey at UCI by Mark Baldassare and Cheryl Katz. - 17 - Economic and Political Trends Governor’s Approval Ratings As Governor Gray Davis begins his bid for a second term, Orange County residents are not very happy with his overall job performance. Forty percent approve of his performance in office, while 53 percent disapprove. Davis’ low approval ratings partly reflect the strength of the GOP in the county: Only 25 percent of Republicans approve of his performance. However, his approval rating is only slightly higher among independent voters (38%) and rises to just a bare majority even among Democrats (52%). Reflecting the Democratic leanings of California, Davis has more support statewide: In the July PPIC Statewide Survey, 44 percent approved and 45 percent disapproved of his performance. What is noteworthy about Orange County is that residents from all political groups appear to be less happy with Davis than groups statewide: Disapproval was higher in the Orange County survey than in the July statewide survey among Democrats (42% to 34%), Republicans (71% to 66%), and independent voters (54% to 46%). Residents are also unhappy with the governor's response to the electricity crisis: 63 percent disapprove of his performance. His disapproval ratings are higher for his approach to the electricity problem than they are for his overall job performance among all political groups: 76 to 71 percent among Republicans, 68 to 54 percent among independent voters, and 55 to 42 percent among Democrats. In the July PPIC Statewide Survey, 51 percent of residents statewide said they disapproved of Davis’ handling of the crisis. Orange County residents outside of the GOP are more unhappy with Davis than we found statewide: Democrats (55% to 41%) and independents (68% to 50%) are more disapproving in our Orange County survey than in our statewide survey, while Republicans largely feel about the same (76% to 72%). There are important differences between demographic groups. Latinos are much more positive than non-Hispanic whites about Davis overall (55% to 34%) and on the electricity problem (47% to 24%). Similarly, there are variations across socioeconomic groups. For instance, high school graduates are much happier than those with a college degree with Davis overall (52% to 35%), and the difference is even larger for the issue of electricity (44% to 25%). Income has almost the same effect. Party Registration Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Gray Davis is handling his job as governor? Approve All Adults Democrat Republican Other Voters Not Registered to Vote 40% 52% 25% 38% 52% Disapprove 53 42 71 54 35 Don’t know Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Governor Davis is handling the issue of electricity in California? Approve 7 31% 6 40% 48 20% 27% 13 41% Disapprove 63 55 76 68 49 Don’t know 65 45 10 - 18 - Economic and Political Trends President’s Approval Ratings George W. Bush is popular in the GOP heartland. A majority of county residents (57%) approve of his performance as president, while 36 percent disapprove. The ratio of approval to disapproval in Orange County is higher than the ratio in the national survey by CBS/New York Times in late August (50% to 38%) and much higher than in the PPIC Statewide Survey in July (47% to 43%). Bush has the solid support of Republican voters, and a slim majority of independent voters like the job he is doing in office. Three in 10 Democrats approve of Bush. These results are similar to the ratings given by Democrats and Republicans in the July PPIC survey. Independent voters in Orange County, however, are more likely to support Bush than are independents in the state as a whole (51% to 42%). Despite the signs of weakness in the national economy, President Bush appears to be taking little blame, so far. Opinions of his performance with respect to the economy are virtually identical to his overall performance ratings. Fifty-six percent approve and 36 percent disapprove of his handling of the economy. Democrats are highly negative (62%), and Republicans are overwhelmingly positive (78%). A slim majority of independent voters (52%) approve of the job he is doing with the economy. There is little in the way of demographic differences for these presidential ratings: Even Latinos, who tend to be Democratic, were just as approving as non-Hispanic whites, both overall and in terms of the president's handling of economic issues. Do you approve or disapprove of the way that George W. Bush is handling his job as president? Approve Party Registration Not All Other Registered Adults Democrat Republican Voters to Vote 57% 32% 81% 51% 57% Disapprove 36 62 16 43 30 Don’t know 76 3 6 13 Do you approve or disapprove of the way that President Bush is handling economic issues? Approve 56% 30% 78% 52% 56% Disapprove 36 62 16 41 30 Don’t know 88 6 7 14 - 19 - Economic and Political Trends Computers and the Internet Orange County residents are “wired,” but no more so than a year ago, and no more so than the rest of California. Today, 80 percent of residents say they use a computer at least sometimes, compared to 77 percent last year. The same is true of Internet use: 71 percent say they use the Internet at least sometimes, compared to 67 percent last year. A “Digital Divide” persists in Orange County: 85 percent of non-Hispanic whites use computers and 78 percent use the Internet; the same numbers for Latinos are 62 percent and 45 percent, respectively. Asians by both measures are even more tech-savvy than either non-Hispanic whites or Latinos. Furthermore, although our statewide survey shows that the gap between non-Hispanic whites and Latinos statewide is shrinking, the gap in Orange County remains the same as last year. The wealthier and less ethnically-diverse South County differs from the less affluent and more ethnically diverse North County in having higher computer use (86% to 78%) and Internet use (82% to 67%). Interestingly, 18 to 34 year olds are less likely than those between the ages of 35 and 55 to use computers (82% to 88%) and the Internet (74% to 79%) – perhaps a reflection of a large number of younger Latinos – while those 55 and older are the least likely to use computers (67%) and the Internet (58%). Fewer Orange County residents use computers at home (67%) than use them overall (80%), a difference that is unchanged from last year (64% vs. 77%). The digital divide between Latinos and nonHispanic whites in home computer use also remains unchanged from last year and stands at 36 percentage points in the current survey (37% to 73%). Do you ever use a computer at home, at work or at school? Yes, often Yes, sometimes No Do you ever go on line to access the Internet or World Wide Web or to send or receive e-mail? Yes, often Yes, sometimes No Do not use computer Do you have a personal computer at home, and if so, how often do you use it? Yes, use it often Yes, use it sometimes Yes, never use it Don’t have a computer at home All Adults Region North South Race/Ethnicity White Latino Asian 63% 17 20 59% 19 22 73% 13 14 68% 17 15 39% 23 38 76% 17 7 54% 17 9 20 49% 18 11 22 66% 15 5 14 60% 18 7 15 28% 17 17 38 71% 16 6 7 48% 19 5 28 43% 18 6 33 59% 19 4 18 53% 20 5 22 24% 13 6 57 60% 23 1 16 - 20 - Survey Methodology The Orange County Survey is a special edition of the PPIC Statewide Survey, which is directed by Mark Baldassare, a senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, with research assistance from Lisa Cole and Eric McGhee. The survey was conducted in collaboration with the School of Social Ecology at the University of California, Irvine; however, the survey methodology and questions and the content of this report were solely determined by Mark Baldassare. The findings of this survey are based on a telephone survey of 2,004 Orange County adult residents interviewed from August 20 to August 31, 2001. Interviewing took place on weekend days and weekday nights, using a computer-generated random sample of telephone numbers, ensuring that both listed and unlisted telephone numbers were called. All telephone exchanges in Orange County were eligible for calling. Telephone numbers in the survey sample were called up to five times to increase the likelihood of reaching eligible households. Once a household was reached, an adult respondent (18 or older) was randomly chosen for interviewing by using the “last birthday method” to avoid biases in age and gender. Each interview took an average of 20 minutes to complete. Interviewing was conducted in English or Spanish. We used recent U.S. Census and state figures to compare the demographic characteristics of the survey sample with characteristics of Orange County's adult population. The survey sample was closely comparable to the census and state figures. The survey data in this report were statistically weighted to account for any demographic differences. The sampling error for the total sample of 2,004 adults is +/- 2 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. This means that 95 times out of 100, the results will be within 2 percentage points of what they would be if all Orange County adults were interviewed. The sampling error for subgroups is larger. Sampling error is just one type of error to which surveys are subject. Results may also be affected by factors such as question wording, question order, and survey timing. Throughout the report, we refer to two geographic regions. North County refers to cities and communities north of the 55 Freeway, including Anaheim, Orange, Villa Park, La Habra, Brea, Buena Park, Fullerton, Placentia, Yorba Linda, La Palma, Cypress, Los Alamitos, Rossmoor, Seal Beach, Westminster, Midway City, Stanton, Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach, Santa Ana, Garden Grove, Tustin, Tustin Foothills, and Costa Mesa. South County refers to cities and communities south of the 55 Freeway, including Newport Beach, Irvine, Lake Forest, Newport Coast, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Mission Viejo, Portola Hills, Rancho Santa Margarita, Foothill Ranch, Coto de Caza, Trabuco, Laguna Beach, Dana Point, San Clemente, Capistrano Beach, and San Juan Capistrano. In the analysis of questions on the proposed El Toro airport, we include Newport Beach in the North County. We also present results for non-Hispanic whites (referred to in the tables as “whites”), Latinos, and Asians because each group accounts for a substantial number of the county’s adult population. We also contrast the opinions of Democrats and Republicans with "other" or “independent” registered voters. This third category includes those who are registered to vote as “decline to state” as well as a fewer number who say they are members of other political parties. In some cases, we compare the Orange County Survey responses to responses in the 1982-2000 Orange County Annual Surveys at the University of California, Irvine, the PPIC Statewide Surveys, and national surveys by the University of Michigan and CBS/New York Times. - 21 - - 22 - PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY: SPECIAL SURVEY OF ORANGE COUNTY AUGUST 20-31, 2001 2,004 ORANGE COUNTY ADULT RESIDENTS; ENGLISH AND SPANISH MARGIN OF ERROR +/- 2% AT 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL FOR TOTAL SAMPLE 1. Is the place where you currently live a single family detached home, an attached home such as a condo or townhouse, an apartment, or a mobile home? 57% single family detached 18 attached 22 apartment 3 mobile home 2. Do you own or rent your present residence? 65% own 35 rent 3. How satisfied are you with the house or apartment in which you live – very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied? 67% very satisfied 26 somewhat satisfied 4 somewhat dissatisfied 3 very dissatisfied 4. How satisfied are you with the neighborhood in which you live? 68% very satisfied 25 somewhat satisfied 4 somewhat dissatisfied 3 very dissatisfied I’d like to ask how you would rate some of the public services in your local area. 5. How about local freeways, streets, and roads? Would you say they are excellent, good, fair, or poor? 19% excellent 49 good 22 fair 10 poor 6. How about local parks, beaches, and other public recreational facilities? Would you say they are excellent, good, fair, or poor? 34% excellent 47 good 13 fair 4 poor 2 don’t know 7. How about local police protection? Would you say this is excellent, good, fair, or poor? 36% excellent 46 good 11 fair 3 poor 4 don’t know 8. How about local public schools? Would you say they are excellent, good, fair, or poor? 24% excellent 37 good 12 fair 6 poor 21 don’t know 9. In the past few years, do you think the population of your city or community has been growing rapidly, growing slowly, staying about the same, or declining? 65% growing rapidly 21 growing slowly 14 staying about the same 0 declining 10. Do you think that government regulations aimed at controlling growth in your city or community are too strict, about right, or not strict enough? 9% too strict 55 about right 36 not strict enough I am going to read to you a list of problems other people have told us about. For each one, please tell me if you think it is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem in your part of Orange County. 11. How about traffic congestion on freeways and major roads? 54% big problem 35 somewhat of a problem 10 not a problem 1 don’t know 12. How about population growth and development? 29% big problem 38 somewhat of a problem 30 not a problem 3 don’t know 13. How about the availability of housing you can afford? 48% big problem 28 somewhat of a problem 20 not a problem 4 don’t know 14. How about the lack of opportunities for well-paying jobs? 19% big problem 28 somewhat of a problem 44 not a problem 9 don’t know - 23 - I am going to read some of the reasons people give for the problems in Orange County. For each, please tell me if you think this is a major cause or a minor cause of the problems facing your part of Orange County. 15. What about the government spending money on the wrong things? 52% major cause 37 minor cause 11 don’t know 16. What about too-fast growth? 55% major cause 41 minor cause 4 don’t know 17. What about a lack of convenient public transportation? 39% major cause 53 minor cause 8 don’t know 18. Overall, do you think that your local government does or does not have adequate funding for the roads, transit, and other infrastructure projects that are needed to prepare for future growth in your part of Orange County? 58% does 31 does not 11 don't know 19. Next, we are interested in your opinions about Orange County as a whole. First, what do you think is the most important issue facing Orange County today? (Code, don’t read) 21% population, growth and development 14 El Toro Marine Air Base controversy 13 housing issues 12 traffic and transportation 7 schools and education 5 crime and gangs 4 environment and pollution 4 jobs and the economy 3 immigration, legal and illegal 1 drugs and drug abuse 1 electricity problem 1 government regulations 1 local government 1 poverty, the poor, the homeless, welfare 2 other 10 don't know 20. In general, how would you rate the economy in Orange County today – excellent, good, fair, or poor? 21% excellent 53 good 21 fair 4 poor 1 don't know 21. Do you think that buying a home in Orange County today is an excellent, good, fair, or poor investment? 35% excellent 44 good 13 fair 7 poor 1 don’t know 22. Thinking about the quality of life in Orange County, how do you think things are going – very well, somewhat well, somewhat badly, or very badly? 36% very well 54 somewhat well 8 somewhat badly 2 very badly 23. How would you rate the performance of county government in solving problems in Orange County – excellent, good, fair, or poor? 4% excellent 39 good 38 fair 14 poor 5 don’t know 24. When your county government’s officials decide what policies to adopt, how much attention do you think they pay to what the people think – a lot, some, very little, or no attention? 9% a lot 48 some 29 very little 9 no attention 5 don’t know 25. In general, do you think the people who run the county government waste a lot, waste some, waste very little, or waste none of the money we pay in taxes? 37% waste a lot 46 waste some 10 waste very little 1 waste none 6 don't know 26. On another topic, do you approve or disapprove of the way that county government is handling the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station conversion issue? 25% approve 49 disapprove 26 don't know 27. Do you favor or oppose the proposal to transform the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station into an international airport? 38% favor 52 oppose 10 don't know - 24 - 28. The current proposal for an El Toro airport includes about 28 million annual passengers. Some have suggested an airport with fewer passengers. Do you favor or oppose the El Toro airport if it includes a limit of about 18 million passengers? 36% favor 54 oppose 10 don't know 29. An initiative for the March 2002 ballot would authorize the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station to be used only for non-aviation purposes, including a multipurpose central park, open space, a nature preserve, school facilities, and other uses. If an election were held today, would you vote yes or no on this initiative? 62% yes 31 no 7 don't know 30. What is your current work status – full-time employed, part-time employed, or not employed? 60% full-time employed 11 part-time employed 29 not employed (skip to question 33) 31. How do you usually commute to work – drive alone, carpool, employer vanpool, public bus or public transit, or some other means? 81% drive alone 8 carpool 1 employer vanpool 4 public bus or public transit 6 other 32. On a typical day, how much of a problem is traffic congestion when you travel to and from work? Would you say it is no problem, somewhat of a problem, or a great problem? 40% no problem 39 somewhat of a problem 21 great problem 33. Which of the following transportation projects do you consider to be the priority for Orange County if public funds become available? 36% building a light rail system 33 widening freeways 16 expanding the public bus system 13 adding carpool lanes to existing freeways 2 don’t know 34. Do you think that the three toll roads – the Foothill, the San Joaquin Hills, and the Eastern Corridor – have been a good thing or a bad thing for the Orange County transportation system, or have they made no difference? 54% good thing 12 bad thing 25 no difference 9 don’t know 35. Do you favor or oppose construction of the Foothill Toll Road South, which will run from the I-5 south of San Clemente to the existing Foothill Toll Road along Mission Viejo? 59% favor 26 oppose 15 don’t know 36. According to the 2000 census, Orange County’s population has grown by 435,000 residents since 1990 – from about 2.4 million to 2.8 million. Do you think this is a good thing or a bad thing or does it make no difference? 22% good thing 41 bad thing 37 no difference, don’t know 37. Which of the following do you think is the single biggest factor that is causing Orange County’s population to grow: (a) children born to current residents; (b) immigration from other countries; (c) migration from elsewhere in California and the United States; (d) state and local policies? 48% immigration from other countries 34 migration from elsewhere in California and the United States 7 children born to current residents 3 state and local policies 8 other (volunteered) / don’t know 38. Which of the following do you think is the most negative consequence of Orange County’s population growth: (a) traffic congestion; (b) high housing costs; (c) pollution; (d) the loss of open space? 37% high housing costs 31 traffic congestion 16 the loss of open space 11 pollution 5 other (volunteered) / don’t know 39. Which of the following do you think is the most positive consequence of Orange County’s population growth: improving the job market and economy; (b) increasing social diversity; (c) more services and amenities; (d) more state and local tax revenues? 41% improving the job market and economy 21 increasing social diversity 15 more state and local tax revenues 13 more services and amenities 10 other (volunteered) / don’t know 40. By 2020, Orange County is predicted to reach a population of about 3.5 million, gaining about 650,000 more people. Do you think this will make Orange County a more desirable or a less desirable place to live, or will it make no difference? 10% more desirable 65 less desirable 23 no difference 2 don't know - 25 - 41. Would you say that you and your family are financially better off or worse off than you were a year ago? 55% better off 21 worse off 21 same 3 don't know 42. Do you think that a year from now you and your family will be better off, worse off, or just about the same as now? 45% better off 7 worse off 45 same 3 don't know 43. Turning to business conditions in the country as a whole, do you think that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially or bad times? 48% good times 45 bad times 7 don't know 44. Looking ahead, in the country as a whole, will we have continued good times during the next 5 years, or will we have periods of widespread unemployment or depression? 46% good times 45 periods of unemployment and depression 9 don't know 45. About the big things that people buy for their homes, such as furniture, a refrigerator, a stove, a television and things like that – generally speaking, do you think now is a good or a bad time for people to buy major household items? 63% good time 26 bad time 11 don't know 46. On another subject, do you yourself use a computer at home, at work, or at school? (if yes: Do you use it often or only sometimes?) 63% yes, often 17 yes, sometimes 20 no (skip to q. 48) 47. Do you ever go on line to access the Internet or World Wide Web or to send or receive e-mail? (if yes: Do you do this often or only sometimes?) 54% yes, often 17 yes, sometimes 9 no 20 don’t use a computer 48. Do you have any type of personal computer, including laptops, in your home? These do not include game machines such as Nintendo or Sega. (if yes: Do you use it often, only sometimes, or never?) 48% yes, often 19 yes, sometimes 5 yes, never 28 no 49. On another topic, some people are registered to vote and others are not. Are you absolutely certain you are registered to vote? (if yes: Are you registered as a Democrat, a Republican, another party, or as an independent?) 27% yes, Democrat 35 yes, Republican 3 yes, other party 12 yes, independent 23 no, not registered 50. Would you consider yourself to be politically very liberal, somewhat liberal, middle-of-the-road, somewhat conservative, or very conservative? 9% very liberal 20 somewhat liberal 28 middle-of-the-road 28 somewhat conservative 12 very conservative 3 don't know 51.On another topic, overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that George W. Bush is handling his job as President? 57% approve 36 disapprove 7 don't know 52. Do you approve or disapprove of the way that President Bush is handling economic issues? 56% approve 36 disapprove 8 don't know 53. Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Gray Davis is handling his job as governor of California? 40% approve 53 disapprove 7 don't know 54. Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Governor Davis is handling the issue of electricity in California? 31% approve 63 disapprove 6 don't know [Questions 55-61: demographic questions] - 26 - PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY Advisory Committee Angela Blackwell President Policy Link Paul Brest President The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Mollyann Brodie Vice President The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Bruce E. Cain Director Institute of Governmental Studies University of California, Berkeley Dennis A. Collins President The James Irvine Foundation Matt Fong Attorney Sheppard Mullin of Counsel William Hauck President California Business Roundtable Sherry Bebitch Jeffe Senior Scholar School of Policy, Planning, and Development University of Southern California Monica Lozano President and Chief Operating Officer La Opinión Donna Lucas CEO and President NCG Porter Novelli Max Neiman Director Center for Social and Behavioral Science Research University of California, Riverside Dan Rosenheim News Director KPIX-TV Richard Schlosberg President and CEO The David and Lucile Packard Foundation Carol Stogsdill Senior Vice President Foundation for American Communications (FACS) Cathy Taylor Vice President and Editorial Commentary Director Orange County Register Raymond L. Watson Vice Chairman The Irvine Company Carol Whiteside President Great Valley Center - 27 -" } ["___content":protected]=> string(102) "

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" ["_permalink":protected]=> string(111) "https://www.ppic.org/publication/ppic-statewide-survey-special-survey-of-orange-county-september-2001/s_901mbs/" ["_next":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_prev":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_css_class":protected]=> NULL ["id"]=> int(8148) ["ID"]=> int(8148) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_content"]=> string(0) "" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:35:15" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(3272) ["post_status"]=> string(7) "inherit" ["post_title"]=> string(8) "S 901MBS" ["post_type"]=> string(10) "attachment" ["slug"]=> string(8) "s_901mbs" ["__type":protected]=> NULL ["_wp_attached_file"]=> string(12) "S_901MBS.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(6) "495582" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(78650) "PPIC Statewide Survey: Special Survey of Orange County in collaboration with the University of California Irvine Mark Baldassare Senior Fellow and Survey Director September 2001 Public Policy Institute of California Preface The Orange County Survey – a collaborative effort of the Public Policy Institute of California and the School of Social Ecology at the University of California, Irvine – is a special edition of the PPIC Statewide Survey. This is the first of an annual series of PPIC surveys of Orange County. Mark Baldassare, the director of the PPIC Statewide Survey, is the founder and director of the Orange County Annual Survey at UCI and a former UCI professor. The UCI survey was conducted 19 times from 1982 to 2000, so the Orange County Survey collaboration between PPIC and UCI is an extension of earlier survey efforts. The current survey was co-sponsored by UCI, with local support from Deloitte and Touche, Pacific Life Foundation, Disneyland, Los Angeles Times, Orange County Business Council, Orange County Division of League of California Cities, Orange County Register, The Irvine Company, and United Way of Orange County. Orange County is the second most populous county in the state and one of California’s fastest growing and changing regions. The county is home to 2.8 million residents today, having gained nearly one million residents since 1980. Three in four residents were white and non-Hispanic in 1980; today, nearly half are Latinos and Asians. The county’s dynamic economy has become one of the leaders in the high-technology industry. The county is a bellwether county in politics and the site of many important governance issues, including a county-government bankruptcy, public controversy over a proposed airport at the closed El Toro Marine Corps Air Station, and the use and expansion of toll roads. There are also housing, transportation, and environmental concerns related to development. Public opinion findings are critical to informing discussions and resolving public debates on these key issues. The purpose of this study is to inform policymakers by providing timely, accurate, and objective information about policy preferences and economic, social, and political trends. To measure changes over time, this survey of 2,004 adult residents includes “benchmark” questions from earlier Orange County Annual Surveys. It also includes key indicators from the PPIC Statewide Survey for comparisons with the state and other major regions of California. We also consider how regional racial and ethnic differences affect political, social, and economic attitudes and policy preferences. The following issues are explored in this edition of the Orange County Survey: • Local perceptions – Have two decades of growth and change led to declining residential satisfaction and public service ratings? How do residents view growth and growth policies? • Regional issues – How does Orange County compare to the rest of the state in perceptions of traffic, growth, housing, and jobs? What do residents see as the causes of county problems, and do they think that there is enough local government funding to prepare for growth? • Orange County issues – What are the most important issues facing the county, and what are the perceptions of the county's economy, quality of life, growth, and county government? What are the transportation trends and preferences for the reuse of the El Toro Marine Air Base? • Economic and political trends – What are the recent trends in consumer confidence, computer and Internet use, and approval ratings for President Bush and Governor Davis? Copies of earlier survey reports or additional copies of this report may be ordered by e-mail (order@ppic.org) or phone (415-291-4400). The reports are also posted on the publications page of the PPIC web site (www.ppic.org). -i- - ii - Contents Preface Press Releases Local Perceptions County Regional Issues Orange County Issues Economic and Political Trends Survey Methodology Survey Questions and Results Survey Advisory Committee i v 1 5 9 15 21 23 27 - iii - - iv - Press Releases ANXIETY ABOUT GROWTH LOOMS LARGE IN ORANGE COUNTY Residents Say Development, Housing, Traffic Are Major Problems; But Overall Satisfaction Remains High SAN FRANCISCO, California, September 26, 2001 – In a significant shift from one year ago, Orange County residents cite growth-related issues – not crime or schools – as the most critical problems facing the region, according to a new survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) and UC Irvine. Despite their concern that growth-driven problems such as housing shortages and traffic congestion will negatively affect the area’s future, the overall mood remains positive: Most county residents are very satisfied with the local economy and their quality of life. When Orange County residents are asked to name the most important issue facing Orange County today, growth-related concerns top the list: Population growth and development (21%), the El Toro Airport controversy (14%), housing issues (13%), and traffic and transportation (12%) are mentioned most often. Only 5 percent think last year’s top issue – crime – is the county’s most important problem today. However, Latinos are significantly more likely than non-Hispanic whites to view crime as the most important issue. Two in three Orange County residents (65%) think their cities and communities have experienced rapid growth in the past few years. Such perceptions are notably stronger in the South County (73%) than in the North County (62%). Overall, residents are twice as likely to see population growth over the past decade as a bad thing (41%) rather than a good thing (22%). However, Latinos and Asians are less negative than non-Hispanic whites about growth. Interestingly, all racial and ethnic groups tend to be negative about future population growth in Orange County. Sixty-five percent of residents believe that population increases will make the county a less desirable place to live in the future. Non-Hispanic whites are more likely (73%) than Latinos and Asians (48% each) to feel this way. What negative consequences of population growth worry residents the most? High housing costs (37%) and traffic congestion (31%) are top concerns, while fewer than three in ten residents name any environmental issue as a serious downside to growth. When asked about the benefits of population growth, residents cite an improved job market and economy (41%), increased social diversity (21%), and more state and local tax revenue (15%) as most important. Public Services, Economy, Quality of Life Get High Marks “If people are anxious about future growth, it doesn’t appear to be affecting their satisfaction with Orange County today,” said PPIC Statewide Survey Director Mark Baldassare. “Residents find the county as agreeable a place to live as it was in the early 1980s, when there were about a million fewer people.” Indeed, 67 percent say they are very satisfied with their housing situation, an 11point increase over 10 years ago. Similarly high numbers (68%) say they are very satisfied with their neighborhoods. Although all racial and ethnic groups express satisfaction with their quality of life, non-Hispanic whites are more likely than Latinos and Asians to say they are very satisfied with their homes and neighborhoods. Despite the recent economic slowdown, the general outlook among Orange County residents remains positive, with nine out of ten reporting that things are going either very well or somewhat well, and -v- Press Releases only 10 percent saying things are going badly. Moreover, three in four residents say the county’s economy is in excellent or good shape. Consistent with this upbeat mood, residents give high marks to their county’s main public services – ratings as good as they were 20 years ago. Solid majorities rate as excellent or good their local police protection (82%), local parks and beaches (81%), local freeways, streets, and roads (68%), and local public schools (61%). The Great Divide? North and South County Perceptions among residents who live in the northern and southern areas of Orange County are similar when it comes to traffic, housing, and growth but diverge considerably over economic concerns. A majority of residents in the South County (55%) do not believe that a lack of opportunities for well-paying jobs is a problem, while only 39 percent of those in the North County agree. North-South differences also emerge when residents are asked about the causes of problems facing their area. South County residents are more likely to name rapid growth as a major cause of problems in the region (62% to 52%), while North County residents are more likely to say misguided government spending is a major cause of the region’s problems (55% to 44%). Attitudes about adequate funding for roads and other infrastructure needs do not differ between North and South County residents, nor do they differ across age, education, and income groups. Overall, nearly six in 10 Orange County residents believe that their local governments have adequate funding for infrastructure projects. Residents Rate Local Government, Davis, Bush The collective mood of satisfaction in Orange County appears to play out in significantly improved ratings of county government performance from one year ago. Forty-three percent of residents believe that their county government is doing an excellent or good job in solving problems, compared to just 29 percent a year ago. Despite this general endorsement, only one in 10 residents thinks that county government pays a lot of attention to what the people think when making policy decisions, while four in 10 believe that local officials pay very little or no attention. In another criticism of local government, 83 percent of residents believe that county officials waste at least some tax dollars, with a significant portion (37%) saying they waste a lot. While Orange County’s ratings of Governor Gray Davis may reflect the county’s GOP leanings, only a slim majority of Democrats are happy with Davis’ performance, and a majority of independents disapprove. Overall, 53 percent of the county’s residents disapprove of Davis’s performance in office, while 40 percent approve. An even harsher assessment of the governor emerges when residents are asked about his handling of the state’s electricity crisis: Sixty-three percent say they disapprove of his performance. Conversely, President Bush enjoys solid popular support in Orange County. A majority of county residents (57%) approve of his performance as president, while only 36 percent disapprove. Approval ratings of the president are higher in Orange County than in the nation as a whole, where 50 percent approve and 38 percent disapprove of his performance. Other Key Findings • Consumer Confidence (page 15) A decline in optimism about the national economy does not appear to have greatly influenced residents’ attitudes about spending: Sixty-three percent say it is a good time to make large purchases, down only seven points from 2000. Orange County’s score of 93 on the five-question - vi - Press Releases consumer confidence index – almost an exact match of the national rating – is down a substantial 19 points from last year but remains in positive territory. • Real Estate (page 17) Eighty-three percent of homeowners think that buying a home in Orange County is an excellent or good investment, likely a nod to lower interest rates. A surprisingly high number of renters (70%) also think buying a home in the county is a good investment. Like homeowners, renters rate housing as an investment significantly higher than last year. About the Survey The Orange County Survey – a collaborative effort of PPIC and the School of Social Ecology at UC Irvine – is a special edition of the PPIC Statewide Survey. Findings of the current survey are based on a telephone survey of 2,004 adult Orange County residents interviewed from August 20 to August 31, 2001. Interviews were conducted in English or Spanish. The sampling error for the total sample is +/- 2%. Dr. Mark Baldassare is a senior fellow and program director at PPIC, where he holds the Arjay and Francis Miller Chair in Public Policy. He is founder and director of the PPIC Statewide Survey, which he has conducted since 1998. From 1982 to 2000, Dr. Baldassare directed the Orange County Annual Survey for UC Irvine. He is the author of numerous books, including California in the New Millennium: The Changing Social and Political Landscape (University of California Press, 2000). PPIC is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to objective, nonpartisan research on economic, social, and political issues that affect the lives of Californians. The Institute was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. This report will appear on PPIC’s website (www.ppic.org) on September 26. ### - vii - Press Releases - viii - Press Releases ORANGE COUNTY RESIDENTS NOT SWAYED BY “EL TORO LITE” Big or Small, Airport Proposal Still Opposed by Majority of Residents; Broad Support for Limiting El Toro Use to Non-Aviation Purposes SAN FRANCISCO, California, September 12, 2001 – Orange County residents remain opposed to transforming the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station into an international airport, even if annual passenger limits are reduced, according to a new survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) and UC Irvine. As the Board of Supervisors readies itself for a vote on the new airport proposal, residents continue to express disappointment in county government’s handling of the issue and again appear ready to take matters into their own hands through the initiative process. The large-scale public opinion survey of the county found that residents feel the same now as they did a year ago about building an international airport at El Toro: Fifty-two percent oppose the proposal and 38 percent support it. Residents of the North County are equally divided on the issue (44% to 44%), but South County residents overwhelmingly oppose the airport plan (76% to 19%). Despite recent efforts to increase public support for the airport by developing a scaled-down plan, a similar number of residents also oppose the proposal to reduce the number of annual passengers at the airport from 28 million to 18 million. Fifty-four percent oppose the smaller airport plan, while 36 percent support it. Both North County residents (46% to 42%) and South County residents (76% to 19%) oppose this proposal. “Clearly, the county’s efforts to reach a compromise proposal are not supported by residents,” said PPIC Statewide Survey Director Mark Baldassare. “The airport plan has been a tough sell for local leaders from the start, but with this latest effort to find a middle ground, they have actually lost support from North County residents.” The survey reveals residents’ lingering unhappiness with county government’s handling of the El Toro conversion issue: Similar to last year, half disapprove (49%), while only 25 percent approve. On a related note, residents again appear ready to defy the will of the county by expressing strong support for an initiative that would allow only non-aviation uses, including a large park, for the El Toro Marine Air Base. Sixty-two percent of residents say they would vote yes and 31 percent would vote no. Supporters greatly outnumber opponents in both the North County (57% to 36%) and the South County (79% to 17%). Among voters, 61 percent would vote yes on the initiative and 34 percent would vote no if the election were held today. The Special Survey of Orange County – a collaborative effort of PPIC and the School of Social Ecology at UC Irvine – is a special edition of the PPIC Statewide Survey. Findings of the current survey are based on a telephone survey of 2,004 adult Orange County residents, interviewed from August 20 to August 31, 2001. Interviews were conducted in English or Spanish. The sampling error for the total sample is +/- 2%. Dr. Mark Baldassare is a senior fellow and program director at PPIC. He is founder and director of the PPIC Statewide Survey, which he has conducted since 1998. From 1982 to 2000, Baldassare directed the Orange County Annual Survey for UC Irvine. PPIC is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to objective, nonpartisan research on economic, social, and political issues that affect the lives of Californians. ### - ix - Press Releases -x- Local Perceptions Local Population Growth Orange County has grown rapidly since the early 1980s, and most of its residents are very aware of this. For the most part, however, they believe their local governments are doing enough to accommodate the growth. Sixty-five percent of residents think the population has grown rapidly in their cities and communities, and another 21 percent believe their local areas have experienced slow growth. Only 14 percent say the local population is unchanged, and no one thought it had declined. Perceptions of rapid growth were about the same as in the 1991 Orange County survey but were greater than in 1982, the year of the first Orange County Annual Survey at the University of California, Irvine. These perceptions did not vary across racial/ethnic groups or by age, income, or education. However, the perception of rapid population growth was higher in the South County (73%) than in the North County (62%). Given the high percentage of people who believe their areas are growing rapidly, it is rather surprising to find that two in three residents also believe that government regulations aimed at controlling growth are either about right (55%) or actually too strict (9%). Only about one-third think their local growth regulations are not strict enough. These attitudes mirror those in the 1982 survey but differ considerably from attitudes in 1991. At that time, residents were much less likely to believe that growth regulations were about right, and much more likely to believe they were not strict enough. There were no differences across regions or political party lines in the belief that local efforts to control growth are about right. Older, higher income, and college-educated residents were somewhat more likely than others to believe that local growth controls were not strict enough. Attitudes toward controls also differed by race and ethnicity: Non-Hispanic whites (40%) are much more likely than Latinos (25%) and Asians (26%) to believe that local growth controls are not strict enough. Even among those who perceive rapid growth, fewer than half (46%) say that local growth controls in their cities and communities are not strict enough. All Adults In the past few years, do you think the population of your city or community has been growing rapidly, growing slowly, staying about the same, or declining? Growing rapidly Growing slowly Staying about the same Declining Do you think that the government regulations aimed at controlling growth in your city or community are too strict, about right, or not strict enough? Too strict About right Not strict enough 1982 1991 2001 57% 23 19 1 64% 18 17 1 65% 21 14 0 9% 7% 9% 51 36 55 40 57 36 1982 and 1991 results are from the Orange County Annual Survey, UCI, by Mark Baldassare and Cheryl Katz. -1- Local Perceptions Residential Satisfaction How has Orange County held up under these two decades of rapid population growth? Very well, according to its residents. In terms of housing and neighborhoods, they find Orange County as satisfying a place to live today as it was for residents in the early 1980s. They are considerably more satisfied than residents were 10 years ago, during an economic downturn when county residents were in a pessimistic mood. More than nine in 10 residents say they are very satisfied (67%) or somewhat satisfied (26%) with their house or apartment. Only one in 12 is dissatisfied. The percentage of residents very satisfied with their housing is identical to the percentage in the 1982 survey and significantly higher than in 1991. More than nine in 10 also describe themselves as very satisfied (68%) or somewhat satisfied (25%) with the neighborhoods in which they live. Fewer than one in 12 express any degree of dissatisfaction with their neighborhoods. Again, these results are almost identical to 1982 survey results, and residents today are considerably more satisfied with their neighborhoods than residents were in 1991. The county’s major racial/ethnic groups vary in residential satisfaction, but a large percentage of all groups are highly satisfied. Non-Hispanic whites (71%) are more likely than Latinos (55%) and Asians (61%) to say they are very satisfied with their homes. Non-Hispanic whites (71%) are also more likely than Latinos (59%) and Asians (60%) to be very satisfied with their neighborhoods. Homeowners are more pleased than renters with their homes (78% to 45%) and neighborhoods (74% to 55%). Similarly, those living in detached homes are more satisfied with their residential conditions than those living in apartments. Residential satisfaction in Orange County also tends to increase with age, household income, and education. South County residents are more likely than North County residents to say they are very satisfied with their homes (74% to 64%) and very satisfied with their neighborhoods (80% to 63%). All Adults How satisfied are you with the house or apartment in which you live? Very satisfied Somewhat satisfied Somewhat dissatisfied Very dissatisfied How satisfied are you with the neighborhood in which you live? Very satisfied Somewhat satisfied Somewhat dissatisfied Very dissatisfied 1982 1991 2001 67% 30 2 1 56% 35 6 3 67% 26 4 3 64% 30 5 1 54% 35 7 4 68% 25 4 3 1982 and 1991 results are from the Orange County Annual Survey, UCI, by Mark Baldassare and Cheryl Katz. -2- Local Perceptions Local Public Service Ratings Residents of Orange County give their public services ratings as high as residents did in the early 1980s, indicating once again how little growth seems to have affected perceived quality of life. When the excellent and good rankings are combined, residents today are about as likely as they were in 1982 to give positive ratings to local roads (68% to 72%) and local parks and beaches (81% to 82%) and more likely to give positive ratings to local police protection (82% to 76%) and local public schools (61% to 45%). Moreover, positive ratings of local services have improved dramatically over the ratings in 1991: Excellent or good ratings are at least 10 points higher for local roads (68% to 58%), local parks and beaches (81% to 71%), local police (82% to 59%), and local public schools (61% to 28%). "How would you rate some of the public services in your local area – are they excellent, good, fair, or poor?" All Adults Local police protection Excellent/Good Fair Poor Don’t know Local parks, beaches, and other public recreational facilities Excellent/Good Fair Poor Don’t know Local freeways, streets, and roads Excellent/Good Fair Poor Don’t know Local public schools Excellent/Good Fair Poor Don’t know 1982 1991 2001 76% 16 4 4 59% 28 9 4 82% 11 3 4 82% 10 2 6 71% 18 8 3 81% 13 4 2 72% 21 6 1 58% 32 9 1 68% 22 10 0 45% 14 8 33 28% 28 27 17 61% 12 6 21 1982 and 1991 results are from the Orange County Annual Survey, UCI, by Mark Baldassare and Cheryl Katz. -3- Local Perceptions There are no differences across racial and ethnic groups in the proportion of excellent or good ratings given to local roads. However, non-Hispanic whites are more positive than others about local parks and local police, and Asians and Latinos are more positive than non-Hispanic whites about local public schools. The ratings of public services do vary across regions: South County residents are consistently more positive than North County residents about local roads (79% to 63%), local parks and beaches (89% to 78%), local police (87% to 80%), and local public schools (68% to 58%). Higher-income residents are more positive than others about local police, parks, and schools. Residents with children in the public schools give their local schools higher ratings than others do (78% to 52%). "How would you rate some of the public services in your local area – are they excellent, good, fair, or poor?" Local police protection Excellent/Good Fair Poor Don’t know Local parks, beaches, and other public recreational facilities Excellent/Good Fair Poor Don’t know Local freeways, streets, and roads Excellent/Good Fair Poor Don’t know Local public schools Excellent/Good Fair Poor Don’t know Race/Ethnicity Asian Latino White 76% 17 2 5 76% 17 4 3 86% 8 2 4 75% 18 5 2 76% 15 6 3 83% 11 3 3 68% 21 11 0 68% 20 12 0 67% 23 9 1 62% 13 4 21 69% 12 5 14 59% 12 5 24 -4- County Regional Issues County Regional Problems Despite the general satisfaction with neighborhoods, county residents do perceive problems in their regions of the county when asked about specific issues. Most residents think that traffic and housing are at least somewhat of a problem, and about half said that traffic congestion (54%) and affordable housing (48%) are big problems. In contrast, although seven in 10 see at least some problem with growth and development, only 29 percent saw this as a big problem. Similarly, although about half see lack of jobs as at least somewhat of a problem, only 19 percent see it as a big problem. Orange County residents give nearly identical ratings as residents statewide to problems with traffic, housing, and growth in their regions. However, 47 percent of Orange County residents think a lack of jobs is at least somewhat of a problem, compared to 61 percent of California residents. Orange County residents complain less than Los Angeles residents about traffic congestion and the lack of jobs, and they complain less than Bay Area residents about traffic, housing, and growth. "In your region, how much of a problem is ..." All Adults California SF Bay Area Los Angeles Orange County Traffic congestion on freeways and major roads Big problem 60% 82% 69% 54% Somewhat of a problem 23 14 20 35 Not a problem 17 4 11 10 Don’t know 00 0 1 Availability of housing you can afford Big problem Somewhat of a problem Not a problem 47% 26 25 74% 17 8 40% 34 24 48% 28 20 Don’t know 21 2 4 Population growth and development Big problem 29% 39% 28% 29% Somewhat of a problem 37 40 38 38 Not a problem 32 19 31 30 Don’t know 22 3 3 Lack of opportunities for well-paying jobs Big problem 29% 18% 31% 19% Somewhat of a problem 32 30 33 28 Not a problem 35 49 32 44 Don’t know 40 4 9 Source for California, Bay Area, and Los Angeles is the PPIC Statewide Survey, May 2001. The phrase “part of Orange County” replaced the word “region” in the series of questions asked in Orange County. -5- County Regional Issues As for differences within Orange County, 52 percent of North County residents think that lack of well-paying jobs is at least somewhat of a problem in their region, compared to 34 percent in the South County. However, the North County and South County have similar perceptions of traffic, housing, and growth. Problem perceptions differ across population groups. Non-Hispanic whites tend to be unhappier than other groups about traffic and growth issues, while Latinos are especially likely to say that the availability of well-paying jobs and affordable housing are problematic. People with higher incomes and college education are more likely than others to cite traffic and growth as major regional issues. Those with lower incomes and less education are more likely to mention jobs and affordable housing as big problems. Older residents are more likely to mention traffic and growth, and less likely to mention housing and jobs, as significant problems in their regions. "In your part of Orange County today, how much of a problem is ..." Region Race/Ethnicity Traffic congestion Big problem Somewhat of a problem Not a problem Don't know Availability of housing you can afford Big problem Somewhat of a problem Not a problem Don't know Population growth and development Big problem Somewhat of a problem Not a problem Don't know Lack of opportunities for well-paying jobs Big problem Somewhat of a problem Not a problem Don't know All Adults North 54% 35 10 1 56% 33 10 1 48% 28 20 4 49% 26 21 4 29% 38 30 3 28% 38 31 3 19% 28 44 9 23% 29 39 9 South White Latino Asian 49% 39 12 0 56% 36 8 0 48% 32 19 1 51% 39 10 0 47% 30 19 4 47% 28 21 4 52% 25 19 4 44% 29 23 4 32% 39 27 2 32% 39 27 2 23% 36 37 4 19% 32 42 7 9% 25 55 11 13% 28 48 11 39% 29 26 6 11% 31 49 9 -6- County Regional Issues Causes of County Regional Problems The survey asked Orange County residents to rate three possible causes of the problems in their part of the county. These three causes were also rated by residents of San Diego County in a July 2000 survey, one of the PPIC Statewide Survey's regional surveys. Half of Orange County residents believe that too-fast growth (55%) and the government spending money on the wrong things (52%) are major causes of the problems facing their regions. Lack of convenient public transportation was rated a major cause by less than half (39%) of the residents. Among those residents who cite traffic as a big problem, fewer than half (46%) say that a lack of public transit is a major cause of regional problems. Despite the county’s reputation for anti-tax and anti-government sentiments, Orange County residents are much less likely than San Diego County residents to say that government spending money on the wrong things is a major cause of the problems facing their regions (52% to 75%). Orange County residents are slightly less likely than San Diego County residents to rate too-fast growth as a major cause of problems in their part of the county (55% to 63%). Residents of the two counties are equally likely to see lack of convenient transportation as a cause of regional problems. Within Orange County, there are regional differences. Residents in the South County are more likely than North County residents to consider too-fast growth a major cause of their region’s problems (62% to 52%). People in the North County are more likely than people in the South County to cite government spending money on the wrong things (55% to 44%) as the major cause of regional problems. Across racial and ethnic groups, non-Hispanic whites (57%) and Latinos (52%) are more likely than Asians (42%) to say that too fast growth is a major cause of the problems in their part of the county. Latinos are at least 10 percent more likely than non-Hispanic whites or Asians to rate government spending money on the wrong things as a major cause of their region's problems. "Is ______________ a major cause or a minor cause of the problems facing your part of San Diego County / Orange County?" Too-fast growth Major cause Minor cause Don’t know Government spending money on the wrong things Major cause Minor cause Don’t know Lack of convenient public transportation Major cause Minor cause Don’t know All Adults San Diego County Orange County 63% 35 2 55% 41 4 75% 19 6 52% 37 11 40% 56 4 39% 53 8 * Source for San Diego County is the PPIC Statewide Survey of San Diego County, July 2000. -7- County Regional Issues "Is ______________ a major cause or a minor cause of the problems facing your part of Orange County?" Region Race/Ethnicity Too-fast growth Major cause Minor cause Don’t know Lack of convenient public transportation Major cause Minor cause Don’t know Government spending money on the wrong things Major cause Minor cause Don’t know All Adults 55% 41 4 39% 53 8 52% 37 11 North 52% 44 4 37% 55 8 55% 35 10 South 62% 34 4 45% 47 8 44% 43 13 White 57% 40 3 39% 53 8 49% 41 10 Latino 52% 41 7 38% 52 10 59% 29 12 Asian 42% 52 6 38% 54 8 47% 36 17 Preparing for Regional Growth Most Orange County residents apparently believe that their local government has enough money to cope with growth: 58 percent say that local governments have adequate funding for the roads and other infrastructure projects that are needed. They are more positive on this question than Californians were overall in a May 2001 PPIC Statewide Survey. On this fiscal issue, there is general agreement in the North and South County regions and across population groups. Most liberals, moderates, and conservatives and Republicans, Democrats, and independent voters believe that local governments do have adequate funding for the infrastructure projects needed to prepare for future growth. Agreement is also general across age, education, and income groups, and Latinos (65%) are even more optimistic than non-Hispanic whites (56%) that their local governments have funds for infrastructure. "Overall, do you think your local government does or does not have adequate funding for the roads, transit, and other infrastructure projects that are needed to prepare for future growth?" All Adults California Orange County Does 43% 58% Does not 48 31 Don’t know 9 11 Source for California is the PPIC Statewide Survey, May 2001. -8- Orange County Issues Most important Issue Overall, Orange County residents are most likely to name growth and development (21%) as the most important problem facing Orange County today, followed by the El Toro airport controversy (14%), housing issues (13%), and traffic issues (12%). Nearly half name three growth-related issues – traffic, housing, and growth and development as their top concerns. Other topics such as schools, crime, the economy, pollution, and immigration are each noted by less than 10 percent of residents. These figures mark a distinct shift in concerns from a year ago, when Orange County residents were most likely to mention crime (24%) and schools (17%) as their top issues. There are, however, regional and ethnic differences in concern. In the South County, the El Toro Airport controversy is the top issue this year, as it was in the 2000 Orange County Annual Survey. Non-Hispanic whites are more inclined than others to mention growth and the El Toro Airport controversy, while Latinos are more likely than others to mention crime and education, and Asians are more likely than others to name housing as their top county issue. Interestingly, only 1 percent of Orange County residents name the state’s electricity problems as the biggest issue facing the county. In the PPIC Statewide Survey in July 2001, 56 percent of California residents named the electricity problem as the top issue in the state. "What do you think is the most important issue facing Orange county today?" Population growth and development El Toro Airport controversy Housing issues Traffic and transportation Schools and education Crime and gangs Jobs and the economy Environment and pollution Immigration, legal and illegal Electricity problem Local government Poverty, the poor, the homeless, welfare Drugs and drug abuse Government regulations Other Don’t know All Adults 21% 14 13 12 7 5 4 4 3 1 1 1 1 1 2 10 Region Race/Ethnicity North South White Latino Asian 20% 23% 25% 10% 18% 7 30 18 2 11 14 11 12 14 20 12 10 11 12 14 9 4 6 11 7 6 2 3 12 3 5 2 2 11 4 344 1 3 323 2 0 111 3 2 111 1 0 111 1 1 100 2 0 101 01 433 3 2 12 6 9 15 14 -9- Orange County Issues The County’s Population Growth Many county residents see the county’s population growth revealed in the 2000 Census as a bad thing. In fact, they are twice as likely to see it as a bad thing than as a good thing (41% to 22%). People in the North and South County, overall, evaluate growth about the same. However, perceptions vary considerably by race and ethnicity: Non-Hispanic whites are much more likely to think that growth has been a bad thing than a good thing (47% to 18%). Latinos and Asians are more divided on the implications of county population growth, with the largest percentage saying it has made no difference. According to demographers, births to current residents are by far the greatest cause of population growth in the state's major regions, including Orange County. However, most Orange County residents think otherwise: 48 percent believe immigration is the single biggest factor in the growth, while 34 percent name migration from elsewhere in California or from other states. Only 7 percent point to births, and 3 percent say state and local policies. Across regions of the county and racial and ethnic groups, births to current residents are overlooked as a cause of county growth. North County and South County vary in their perceptions of the importance of immigration versus internal migration. Compared to Asians and non-Hispanic whites, Latinos are less likely to mention migration from within the United States as a cause of county population growth. "According to the 2000 census, Orange County’s population grew by 435,000 since 1990 – from about 2.4 million to 2.8 million. Do you think this is a good thing or a bad thing or does it make no difference?" Good thing Bad thing No difference, don’t know All Adults 22% 41 37 Region North 21% 40 39 South 23% 43 34 Race/Ethnicity White 18% 47 35 Latino 32% 27 41 Asian 29% 26 45 "Which of the following do you think is the single biggest factor that is causing the county’s population to grow?" All Adults Region North South Immigration from other countries 48% 56% 31% Migration from elsewhere in California and the U.S. 34 27 50 Children born to current residents 7 77 State and local policies 3 34 Other/Don't know 8 78 Race/Ethnicity White 49% 37 6 2 6 Latino Asian 52% 39% 19 45 10 6 74 12 6 - 10 - Orange County Issues The Consequences of Population Growth What are the most negative consequences of county population growth? For two in three residents, high housing costs (37%) and traffic congestion (31%) top the list. Fewer than three in 10 name environmental issues, specifically the loss of open space (16%) and pollution (11%). However, response varies slightly across regions: North County residents are more likely to mention high housing costs, while South County residents focus more on traffic and open space. Latinos and Asians are more likely to name housing, while non-Hispanic whites mention traffic and open space more often. What are the most positive consequences of county population growth? Residents most often named an improving job market and economy (41%), followed by increasing social diversity (21%), more state and local tax revenues (15%), and improvement of services and amenities (13%). For all racial and ethnic groups and in both regions, the economic benefits of growth outweigh all other issues. Most residents were not happy when told that Orange County is expected to gain about 650,000 people and reach the 3.5 million mark in population by 2020. Sixty-five percent believe this increase will make the county a less desirable place to live. Although this negative response was pervasive across regions and racial and ethnic groups, non-Hispanic whites (73%) were much more likely than Latinos and Asians (48% each) to say that growth would make the county a less desirable place to live. "Which of the following do you think is the most negative consequence of Orange County’s population growth?" High housing costs Traffic congestion Loss of open space Pollution Other/Don't know All Adults 37% 31 16 11 5 Region North 40% 29 15 11 5 South 31% 33 20 11 5 Race/Ethnicity White 32% 34 19 10 5 Latino 51% 19 9 14 7 Asian 44% 29 12 12 3 "By 2020, Orange County is predicted to reach a population of 3.5 million residents, gaining about 650,000 more people. Do you think this will make Orange County a more desirable place to live or a less desirable place to live or will it make no difference?" More desirable place to live Less desirable place to live No difference Other/Don't know All Adults 10% 65 23 2 Region North 9% 65 23 2 South 10% 65 23 2 Race/Ethnicity White 6% 73 20 1 Latino 21% 48 27 3 Asian 15% 48 33 4 - 11 - Orange County Issues El Toro Airport Orange County residents feel the same now as they did a year ago about the county government’s proposal to transform the closed El Toro Marine Corps Air Station into an international airport: Half oppose it and about four in 10 favor it. Residents of the North County are equally divided on the airport issue (44% to 44%), but South County residents overwhelmingly oppose an El Toro international arport (76% to 19%). Among the voters of Orange County, 56 percent oppose the airport plan, 36 percent favor it, and 8 percent are undecided. The county's residents also feel the same now as a year ago about how the Board of Supervisors is handling the airport issue: Half (49%) disapprove, while one in four approve. Disapproval is much higher than approval in the North County (42% to 27%) as well as in the South County ( 71% to 17%). Among voters, 55 percent disapprove and only 24 percent approve of the job the supervisors have done. The recent proposal to reduce the number of annual passengers from 28 million to 18 million does not generate more support for the proposed airport: 54 percent oppose and 36 percent would favor an El Toro airport if there were a reduction of 10-million passengers annually. Both North County residents (46% opposed and 42% in favor)and South County residents (76% opposed and 19% in favor) are as opposed to this idea as to the idea of the airport in general. Among voters, 34 percent are in favor and 58 percent are opposed to the reduced-passenger airport proposal. In contrast, there is considerable support for a citizens’ initiative that would authorize only nonaviation uses, including a large park, for the El Toro Marine Corps Air Base: 62 percent of residents would vote yes and 31 percent would vote no on this initiative. Supporters greatly outnumber opponents in both the North County (57% to 36%) and the South County (79% to 17%). Among voters, 61 percent would vote "yes" on the initiative and 34 percent would vote "no" if the election were held today. Do you favor or oppose the proposal to transform the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station into an international airport? Favor Oppose Don't know Do you approve or disapprove of the way that county government is handling the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station conversion issue? Approve Disapprove Don't know 1997 41% 48 11 23% 43 34 1998 41% 48 11 29% 43 28 All Adults 1999 2000 42% 46 12 35% 54 11 30% 42 28 23% 49 28 2001 38% 52 10 25% 49 26 - 12 - Orange County Issues The current proposal for an El Toro airport includes about 28 million annual passengers. Some have suggested an airport with fewer passengers. Do you favor or oppose the El Toro Airport if it includes a limit of 18 million passengers? Favor Oppose Don't know An initiative for the March 2002 ballot would authorize the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station to be used only for non-aviation purposes, including a multipurpose central park, open space, a nature preserve, school facilities, and other uses. If an election were held today, would you vote yes or no on this initiative? Yes No Don't know All Adults 36% 54 10 62% 31 7 North South 42% 46 12 19% 76 5 57% 36 7 79% 17 4 Voters 34% 58 8 61% 34 5 Traffic and Transportation Issues Orange County residents have not changed their commuting habits over the past 20 years: Eight in 10 still commute to work by driving alone. In the last 10 years, the perception of traffic problems also hasn't changed: Six in 10 still say traffic congestion is a problem and two in 10 say it is a great problem on their commute to work. When asked to name their favorite transportation projects for Orange County, residents were equally likely to say building a light rail system (36%) and widening freeways (33%), while fewer named more buses or more carpool lanes. The county’s toll roads are popular: 54 percent say they have been a good thing for Orange County, and 59 percent favor the construction of the Foothill Toll Road South. Do you think that the three toll roads – the Foothill, the San Joaquin Hills, and the Eastern Corridor – have been a good thing or a bad thing for the Orange County transportation system, or have they made no difference? Good thing Bad thing No difference Don't know Do you favor or oppose construction of the Foothill Toll Road South, which will run from the I-5 south of San Clemente to the existing Foothill Toll Road along Mission Viejo? Favor Oppose Don't know - 13 - All Adults 54% 12 25 9 59% 26 15 North South 49% 13 27 11 69% 8 19 4 56% 27 17 66% 23 11 Orange County Issues County Government Ratings of county government performance in solving problems have improved significantly from a year ago. However, ratings of the responsiveness and fiscal performance are unchanged. Forty-three percent of residents think the county government does an excellent or good job in solving problems in Orange County, compared with 29 percent a year ago. The current ratings are similar to perceptions in 1998 and 1999 and considerably higher than in the years immediately following the 1994 county-government bankruptcy. Nevertheless, only about one in 10 residents believe that county officials pay a lot of attention to what the people think when making policy decisions. About half think they pay some attention, and four in 10 think they pay very little or no attention to what the people think. This perception of county officials’ responsiveness has not changed over time. About four in 10 residents believe that the people who run county government waste a lot of the money paid in taxes. This perception has declined slightly from a year ago, but it has changed very little since we began asking this question in the 1996 Orange County Annual Survey. How would you rate the performance of county government in solving problems in Orange County? Excellent/Good Fair Poor Don’t know When deciding policies, how much attention do county officials pay to what the people think? A lot Some Very little No attention Don’t know How much do the people who run county government waste the money we pay in taxes? A lot Some Very little None Don’t know 1996 24% 52 20 4 7% 52 31 7 3 39% 45 9 2 5 1997 26% 50 20 4 6% 50 35 7 2 40% 44 9 2 5 All Adults 1998 1999 2000 2001 38% 46 10 6 40% 44 12 4 29% 50 17 4 43% 38 14 5 12% 51 28 5 4 12% 50 29 7 2 7% 47 36 7 3 9% 48 29 9 5 36% 47 10 2 5 35% 47 10 2 6 42% 40 11 2 5 37% 46 10 1 6 - 14 - Economic and Political Trends Consumer Confidence In Orange County, confidence in the economy has taken a strong turn for the worse, largely because of pessimism about the national economy. The five-question Orange County Consumer Confidence Index now registers 93. This represents a 19-point drop from the 2000 Orange County Annual survey and the largest annual decline since 1990 – the beginning of the last recession. The Orange County index is similar to the national index, which now stands at 92. The national index dropped 17 points from last year. The Consumer Confidence Index is calculated from a formula provided by the University of Michigan, which computes scores for each of 5 questions (better – worse + 100), then adjusts for the 1966 base period. The national index score was 100 in 1966. A score above 100 on the Consumer Confidence Index is considered very good, since 85 is the average national score over the 50 years the survey has been conducted. Orange County results for the individual items that make up the index: • There has been a dramatic decline in optimism about the national economy: 48 percent see good times in the next year, compared to 70 percent in 2000. Forty-five percent see bad times ahead compared to 14 percent in 2000. • The long-term outlook on the U.S. economy is now mixed: 46 percent see good economic times over the next five years, while 45 percent expect bad times. In 2000, 60 percent predicted good times and 21 percent predicted bad times. • Fifty-five percent say they are better off now than last year, and 21 percent say they are worse off. While the proportion who say they are better off is unchanged from last year, the number saying they are worse off has increased: In 2000, 13 percent said they were worse off. • The percent who say they will be better off next year is down six points from last year (45% vs. 51%); however, the percent saying they will be worse off is only slightly higher (7% vs. 5%). • Positive attitudes about making large purchases have declined seven points from a year ago. Sixty-three percent now call it a good time for such expenses, down from 70 percent in 2000. The percent calling it a bad time to buy big items increased from 10 percent to 26 percent. Less affluent Orange County residents show less consumer confidence: For instance, those making less than $40,000 per year have an index rating of 88, compared to 98 for those making more than $80,000. Despite their lower incomes, Latinos have a slightly better index score (96) than do non-Hispanic whites (93). Men (98) have higher consumer confidence scores than women (88). Five-Question Consumer Confidence Index All Adults ‘86 ‘87 ‘88 ‘89 ‘90 ‘91 ‘92 ‘93 ‘94 ‘95 ‘96 ‘97 ‘98 ‘99 ‘00 ‘01 Orange County United States 109 104 106 105 85 84 75 73 89 90 101 110 105 111 112 93 92 94 95 96 76 82 77 75 92 94 95 107 100 105 109 92 Source for Orange County from 1986 to 2000 is the Orange County Annual Survey at UCI by Mark Baldassare and Cheryl Katz. Source for the United States is the University of Michigan. - 15 - Economic and Political Trends Overall Mood Even as talk in the nation has turned to prospects of an economic recession, overall attitudes about Orange County remain very upbeat. Ratings of the county economy and quality of life are basically the same as in the past few years. Today, 74 percent of residents give the county economy an excellent or good rating; 21 percent say it is fair, and 4 percent say it is in poor condition. The bullish attitudes toward the economy have persisted since the 1998 survey. They stand in stark contrast to the trends of the early 1990s: When the state and nation were in a deep economic recession, only two in 10 residents gave positive ratings. As for quality of life, nine in 10 residents say that things are going very well (36%) or somewhat well (54%), and only 10 percent say things are going badly. Prior to 1998, Orange County’s quality of life ratings were never quite this high. During the early 1990s, at a low point, about 60 percent of residents said things were going well in the county. The positive ratings of the county’s economy and quality of life tend to increase with higher income. Non-Hispanic whites give higher ratings of the economy than do Latinos or Asians, but there are no differences across racial and ethnic groups in the county’s quality of life ratings. "In general, how would you rate the economy in Orange County today?" All Adults 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 Excellent/ Good 19% 20% 28% 19% 44% 63% 76% 78% 79% 74% Fair 52 49 54 50 45 32 20 19 17 21 Poor 28 30 17 30 10 4 3 2 2 4 Don't know 1111111121 Source for Orange County from 1987 to 2000 is the Orange County Annual Survey at UCI by Mark Baldassare and Cheryl Katz. "Thinking about the quality of life in Orange County, how do you think things are going – very well, somewhat well, somewhat badly, or very badly?" All Adults ‘87 ‘88 ‘89 ‘90 ‘91 ‘92 ‘93 ‘94 ‘95 ‘96 ‘97 ‘98 ‘99 ‘00 2001 Going well 88% 85% 77% 75% 66% 60% 60% 71% 68% 82% 88% 91% 92% 91% 90% Going badly 12 15 23 25 34 40 40 29 32 18 12 9 8 9 10 Source for Orange County from 1987 to 2000 is the Orange County Annual Survey at UCI by Mark Baldassare and Cheryl Katz. - 16 - Economic and Political Trends Real Estate Market In the face of a decline in the stock market and lower interest rates, Orange County residents seem to be expressing a more positive attitude toward housing as an investment. Among homeowners, 83 percent think that buying a home in Orange County is an excellent or good investment; 11 percent say it would be a fair investment; and only 5 percent think it would be a poor investment. Since 1997, at least seven in 10 homeowners have described owning a home in the county as an excellent or good investment. This year’s scores are significantly higher than in recent years and a marked improvement from the perceptions of housing as an investment in the early-to-mid 1990s. Among renters, 70 percent believe that buying a home in the county is an excellent or good investment; 17 percent consider it a fair investment; and 11 percent think it would be a poor investment. Since 1997, roughly six in 10 renters have described buying a home as an excellent or good investment. Once again, this year’s scores are much higher than in recent years and significantly higher than in the early-to-mid 1990s. For both homeowners and renters, the positive perceptions of home buying as an investment increase with income. There are no differences across racial and ethnic groups, age categories, or regions. In general, overwhelming numbers of residents in all demographic groups see buying a home in Orange County as an excellent or good investment. "Do you think that buying a home in Orange County is an excellent, good, fair, or poor investment?" All Adults 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 Homeowners Excellent/ Good 59% 57% 50% 60% 70% 75% 75% 75% 83% Fair 26 28 31 30 23 18 19 18 11 Poor 14 14 18 8 6 5 5 5 5 Don't know 111212121 Renters Excellent/ Good 53% 47% 41% 45% 56% 61% 56% 57% 70% Fair 25 30 32 34 29 25 27 25 17 Poor 20 20 25 17 9 12 13 15 11 Don't know 232462432 Source for Orange County from 1993 to 2000 is the Orange County Annual Survey at UCI by Mark Baldassare and Cheryl Katz. - 17 - Economic and Political Trends Governor’s Approval Ratings As Governor Gray Davis begins his bid for a second term, Orange County residents are not very happy with his overall job performance. Forty percent approve of his performance in office, while 53 percent disapprove. Davis’ low approval ratings partly reflect the strength of the GOP in the county: Only 25 percent of Republicans approve of his performance. However, his approval rating is only slightly higher among independent voters (38%) and rises to just a bare majority even among Democrats (52%). Reflecting the Democratic leanings of California, Davis has more support statewide: In the July PPIC Statewide Survey, 44 percent approved and 45 percent disapproved of his performance. What is noteworthy about Orange County is that residents from all political groups appear to be less happy with Davis than groups statewide: Disapproval was higher in the Orange County survey than in the July statewide survey among Democrats (42% to 34%), Republicans (71% to 66%), and independent voters (54% to 46%). Residents are also unhappy with the governor's response to the electricity crisis: 63 percent disapprove of his performance. His disapproval ratings are higher for his approach to the electricity problem than they are for his overall job performance among all political groups: 76 to 71 percent among Republicans, 68 to 54 percent among independent voters, and 55 to 42 percent among Democrats. In the July PPIC Statewide Survey, 51 percent of residents statewide said they disapproved of Davis’ handling of the crisis. Orange County residents outside of the GOP are more unhappy with Davis than we found statewide: Democrats (55% to 41%) and independents (68% to 50%) are more disapproving in our Orange County survey than in our statewide survey, while Republicans largely feel about the same (76% to 72%). There are important differences between demographic groups. Latinos are much more positive than non-Hispanic whites about Davis overall (55% to 34%) and on the electricity problem (47% to 24%). Similarly, there are variations across socioeconomic groups. For instance, high school graduates are much happier than those with a college degree with Davis overall (52% to 35%), and the difference is even larger for the issue of electricity (44% to 25%). Income has almost the same effect. Party Registration Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Gray Davis is handling his job as governor? Approve All Adults Democrat Republican Other Voters Not Registered to Vote 40% 52% 25% 38% 52% Disapprove 53 42 71 54 35 Don’t know Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Governor Davis is handling the issue of electricity in California? Approve 7 31% 6 40% 48 20% 27% 13 41% Disapprove 63 55 76 68 49 Don’t know 65 45 10 - 18 - Economic and Political Trends President’s Approval Ratings George W. Bush is popular in the GOP heartland. A majority of county residents (57%) approve of his performance as president, while 36 percent disapprove. The ratio of approval to disapproval in Orange County is higher than the ratio in the national survey by CBS/New York Times in late August (50% to 38%) and much higher than in the PPIC Statewide Survey in July (47% to 43%). Bush has the solid support of Republican voters, and a slim majority of independent voters like the job he is doing in office. Three in 10 Democrats approve of Bush. These results are similar to the ratings given by Democrats and Republicans in the July PPIC survey. Independent voters in Orange County, however, are more likely to support Bush than are independents in the state as a whole (51% to 42%). Despite the signs of weakness in the national economy, President Bush appears to be taking little blame, so far. Opinions of his performance with respect to the economy are virtually identical to his overall performance ratings. Fifty-six percent approve and 36 percent disapprove of his handling of the economy. Democrats are highly negative (62%), and Republicans are overwhelmingly positive (78%). A slim majority of independent voters (52%) approve of the job he is doing with the economy. There is little in the way of demographic differences for these presidential ratings: Even Latinos, who tend to be Democratic, were just as approving as non-Hispanic whites, both overall and in terms of the president's handling of economic issues. Do you approve or disapprove of the way that George W. Bush is handling his job as president? Approve Party Registration Not All Other Registered Adults Democrat Republican Voters to Vote 57% 32% 81% 51% 57% Disapprove 36 62 16 43 30 Don’t know 76 3 6 13 Do you approve or disapprove of the way that President Bush is handling economic issues? Approve 56% 30% 78% 52% 56% Disapprove 36 62 16 41 30 Don’t know 88 6 7 14 - 19 - Economic and Political Trends Computers and the Internet Orange County residents are “wired,” but no more so than a year ago, and no more so than the rest of California. Today, 80 percent of residents say they use a computer at least sometimes, compared to 77 percent last year. The same is true of Internet use: 71 percent say they use the Internet at least sometimes, compared to 67 percent last year. A “Digital Divide” persists in Orange County: 85 percent of non-Hispanic whites use computers and 78 percent use the Internet; the same numbers for Latinos are 62 percent and 45 percent, respectively. Asians by both measures are even more tech-savvy than either non-Hispanic whites or Latinos. Furthermore, although our statewide survey shows that the gap between non-Hispanic whites and Latinos statewide is shrinking, the gap in Orange County remains the same as last year. The wealthier and less ethnically-diverse South County differs from the less affluent and more ethnically diverse North County in having higher computer use (86% to 78%) and Internet use (82% to 67%). Interestingly, 18 to 34 year olds are less likely than those between the ages of 35 and 55 to use computers (82% to 88%) and the Internet (74% to 79%) – perhaps a reflection of a large number of younger Latinos – while those 55 and older are the least likely to use computers (67%) and the Internet (58%). Fewer Orange County residents use computers at home (67%) than use them overall (80%), a difference that is unchanged from last year (64% vs. 77%). The digital divide between Latinos and nonHispanic whites in home computer use also remains unchanged from last year and stands at 36 percentage points in the current survey (37% to 73%). Do you ever use a computer at home, at work or at school? Yes, often Yes, sometimes No Do you ever go on line to access the Internet or World Wide Web or to send or receive e-mail? Yes, often Yes, sometimes No Do not use computer Do you have a personal computer at home, and if so, how often do you use it? Yes, use it often Yes, use it sometimes Yes, never use it Don’t have a computer at home All Adults Region North South Race/Ethnicity White Latino Asian 63% 17 20 59% 19 22 73% 13 14 68% 17 15 39% 23 38 76% 17 7 54% 17 9 20 49% 18 11 22 66% 15 5 14 60% 18 7 15 28% 17 17 38 71% 16 6 7 48% 19 5 28 43% 18 6 33 59% 19 4 18 53% 20 5 22 24% 13 6 57 60% 23 1 16 - 20 - Survey Methodology The Orange County Survey is a special edition of the PPIC Statewide Survey, which is directed by Mark Baldassare, a senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, with research assistance from Lisa Cole and Eric McGhee. The survey was conducted in collaboration with the School of Social Ecology at the University of California, Irvine; however, the survey methodology and questions and the content of this report were solely determined by Mark Baldassare. The findings of this survey are based on a telephone survey of 2,004 Orange County adult residents interviewed from August 20 to August 31, 2001. Interviewing took place on weekend days and weekday nights, using a computer-generated random sample of telephone numbers, ensuring that both listed and unlisted telephone numbers were called. All telephone exchanges in Orange County were eligible for calling. Telephone numbers in the survey sample were called up to five times to increase the likelihood of reaching eligible households. Once a household was reached, an adult respondent (18 or older) was randomly chosen for interviewing by using the “last birthday method” to avoid biases in age and gender. Each interview took an average of 20 minutes to complete. Interviewing was conducted in English or Spanish. We used recent U.S. Census and state figures to compare the demographic characteristics of the survey sample with characteristics of Orange County's adult population. The survey sample was closely comparable to the census and state figures. The survey data in this report were statistically weighted to account for any demographic differences. The sampling error for the total sample of 2,004 adults is +/- 2 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. This means that 95 times out of 100, the results will be within 2 percentage points of what they would be if all Orange County adults were interviewed. The sampling error for subgroups is larger. Sampling error is just one type of error to which surveys are subject. Results may also be affected by factors such as question wording, question order, and survey timing. Throughout the report, we refer to two geographic regions. North County refers to cities and communities north of the 55 Freeway, including Anaheim, Orange, Villa Park, La Habra, Brea, Buena Park, Fullerton, Placentia, Yorba Linda, La Palma, Cypress, Los Alamitos, Rossmoor, Seal Beach, Westminster, Midway City, Stanton, Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach, Santa Ana, Garden Grove, Tustin, Tustin Foothills, and Costa Mesa. South County refers to cities and communities south of the 55 Freeway, including Newport Beach, Irvine, Lake Forest, Newport Coast, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Mission Viejo, Portola Hills, Rancho Santa Margarita, Foothill Ranch, Coto de Caza, Trabuco, Laguna Beach, Dana Point, San Clemente, Capistrano Beach, and San Juan Capistrano. In the analysis of questions on the proposed El Toro airport, we include Newport Beach in the North County. We also present results for non-Hispanic whites (referred to in the tables as “whites”), Latinos, and Asians because each group accounts for a substantial number of the county’s adult population. We also contrast the opinions of Democrats and Republicans with "other" or “independent” registered voters. This third category includes those who are registered to vote as “decline to state” as well as a fewer number who say they are members of other political parties. In some cases, we compare the Orange County Survey responses to responses in the 1982-2000 Orange County Annual Surveys at the University of California, Irvine, the PPIC Statewide Surveys, and national surveys by the University of Michigan and CBS/New York Times. - 21 - - 22 - PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY: SPECIAL SURVEY OF ORANGE COUNTY AUGUST 20-31, 2001 2,004 ORANGE COUNTY ADULT RESIDENTS; ENGLISH AND SPANISH MARGIN OF ERROR +/- 2% AT 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL FOR TOTAL SAMPLE 1. Is the place where you currently live a single family detached home, an attached home such as a condo or townhouse, an apartment, or a mobile home? 57% single family detached 18 attached 22 apartment 3 mobile home 2. Do you own or rent your present residence? 65% own 35 rent 3. How satisfied are you with the house or apartment in which you live – very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied? 67% very satisfied 26 somewhat satisfied 4 somewhat dissatisfied 3 very dissatisfied 4. How satisfied are you with the neighborhood in which you live? 68% very satisfied 25 somewhat satisfied 4 somewhat dissatisfied 3 very dissatisfied I’d like to ask how you would rate some of the public services in your local area. 5. How about local freeways, streets, and roads? Would you say they are excellent, good, fair, or poor? 19% excellent 49 good 22 fair 10 poor 6. How about local parks, beaches, and other public recreational facilities? Would you say they are excellent, good, fair, or poor? 34% excellent 47 good 13 fair 4 poor 2 don’t know 7. How about local police protection? Would you say this is excellent, good, fair, or poor? 36% excellent 46 good 11 fair 3 poor 4 don’t know 8. How about local public schools? Would you say they are excellent, good, fair, or poor? 24% excellent 37 good 12 fair 6 poor 21 don’t know 9. In the past few years, do you think the population of your city or community has been growing rapidly, growing slowly, staying about the same, or declining? 65% growing rapidly 21 growing slowly 14 staying about the same 0 declining 10. Do you think that government regulations aimed at controlling growth in your city or community are too strict, about right, or not strict enough? 9% too strict 55 about right 36 not strict enough I am going to read to you a list of problems other people have told us about. For each one, please tell me if you think it is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem in your part of Orange County. 11. How about traffic congestion on freeways and major roads? 54% big problem 35 somewhat of a problem 10 not a problem 1 don’t know 12. How about population growth and development? 29% big problem 38 somewhat of a problem 30 not a problem 3 don’t know 13. How about the availability of housing you can afford? 48% big problem 28 somewhat of a problem 20 not a problem 4 don’t know 14. How about the lack of opportunities for well-paying jobs? 19% big problem 28 somewhat of a problem 44 not a problem 9 don’t know - 23 - I am going to read some of the reasons people give for the problems in Orange County. For each, please tell me if you think this is a major cause or a minor cause of the problems facing your part of Orange County. 15. What about the government spending money on the wrong things? 52% major cause 37 minor cause 11 don’t know 16. What about too-fast growth? 55% major cause 41 minor cause 4 don’t know 17. What about a lack of convenient public transportation? 39% major cause 53 minor cause 8 don’t know 18. Overall, do you think that your local government does or does not have adequate funding for the roads, transit, and other infrastructure projects that are needed to prepare for future growth in your part of Orange County? 58% does 31 does not 11 don't know 19. Next, we are interested in your opinions about Orange County as a whole. First, what do you think is the most important issue facing Orange County today? (Code, don’t read) 21% population, growth and development 14 El Toro Marine Air Base controversy 13 housing issues 12 traffic and transportation 7 schools and education 5 crime and gangs 4 environment and pollution 4 jobs and the economy 3 immigration, legal and illegal 1 drugs and drug abuse 1 electricity problem 1 government regulations 1 local government 1 poverty, the poor, the homeless, welfare 2 other 10 don't know 20. In general, how would you rate the economy in Orange County today – excellent, good, fair, or poor? 21% excellent 53 good 21 fair 4 poor 1 don't know 21. Do you think that buying a home in Orange County today is an excellent, good, fair, or poor investment? 35% excellent 44 good 13 fair 7 poor 1 don’t know 22. Thinking about the quality of life in Orange County, how do you think things are going – very well, somewhat well, somewhat badly, or very badly? 36% very well 54 somewhat well 8 somewhat badly 2 very badly 23. How would you rate the performance of county government in solving problems in Orange County – excellent, good, fair, or poor? 4% excellent 39 good 38 fair 14 poor 5 don’t know 24. When your county government’s officials decide what policies to adopt, how much attention do you think they pay to what the people think – a lot, some, very little, or no attention? 9% a lot 48 some 29 very little 9 no attention 5 don’t know 25. In general, do you think the people who run the county government waste a lot, waste some, waste very little, or waste none of the money we pay in taxes? 37% waste a lot 46 waste some 10 waste very little 1 waste none 6 don't know 26. On another topic, do you approve or disapprove of the way that county government is handling the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station conversion issue? 25% approve 49 disapprove 26 don't know 27. Do you favor or oppose the proposal to transform the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station into an international airport? 38% favor 52 oppose 10 don't know - 24 - 28. The current proposal for an El Toro airport includes about 28 million annual passengers. Some have suggested an airport with fewer passengers. Do you favor or oppose the El Toro airport if it includes a limit of about 18 million passengers? 36% favor 54 oppose 10 don't know 29. An initiative for the March 2002 ballot would authorize the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station to be used only for non-aviation purposes, including a multipurpose central park, open space, a nature preserve, school facilities, and other uses. If an election were held today, would you vote yes or no on this initiative? 62% yes 31 no 7 don't know 30. What is your current work status – full-time employed, part-time employed, or not employed? 60% full-time employed 11 part-time employed 29 not employed (skip to question 33) 31. How do you usually commute to work – drive alone, carpool, employer vanpool, public bus or public transit, or some other means? 81% drive alone 8 carpool 1 employer vanpool 4 public bus or public transit 6 other 32. On a typical day, how much of a problem is traffic congestion when you travel to and from work? Would you say it is no problem, somewhat of a problem, or a great problem? 40% no problem 39 somewhat of a problem 21 great problem 33. Which of the following transportation projects do you consider to be the priority for Orange County if public funds become available? 36% building a light rail system 33 widening freeways 16 expanding the public bus system 13 adding carpool lanes to existing freeways 2 don’t know 34. Do you think that the three toll roads – the Foothill, the San Joaquin Hills, and the Eastern Corridor – have been a good thing or a bad thing for the Orange County transportation system, or have they made no difference? 54% good thing 12 bad thing 25 no difference 9 don’t know 35. Do you favor or oppose construction of the Foothill Toll Road South, which will run from the I-5 south of San Clemente to the existing Foothill Toll Road along Mission Viejo? 59% favor 26 oppose 15 don’t know 36. According to the 2000 census, Orange County’s population has grown by 435,000 residents since 1990 – from about 2.4 million to 2.8 million. Do you think this is a good thing or a bad thing or does it make no difference? 22% good thing 41 bad thing 37 no difference, don’t know 37. Which of the following do you think is the single biggest factor that is causing Orange County’s population to grow: (a) children born to current residents; (b) immigration from other countries; (c) migration from elsewhere in California and the United States; (d) state and local policies? 48% immigration from other countries 34 migration from elsewhere in California and the United States 7 children born to current residents 3 state and local policies 8 other (volunteered) / don’t know 38. Which of the following do you think is the most negative consequence of Orange County’s population growth: (a) traffic congestion; (b) high housing costs; (c) pollution; (d) the loss of open space? 37% high housing costs 31 traffic congestion 16 the loss of open space 11 pollution 5 other (volunteered) / don’t know 39. Which of the following do you think is the most positive consequence of Orange County’s population growth: improving the job market and economy; (b) increasing social diversity; (c) more services and amenities; (d) more state and local tax revenues? 41% improving the job market and economy 21 increasing social diversity 15 more state and local tax revenues 13 more services and amenities 10 other (volunteered) / don’t know 40. By 2020, Orange County is predicted to reach a population of about 3.5 million, gaining about 650,000 more people. Do you think this will make Orange County a more desirable or a less desirable place to live, or will it make no difference? 10% more desirable 65 less desirable 23 no difference 2 don't know - 25 - 41. Would you say that you and your family are financially better off or worse off than you were a year ago? 55% better off 21 worse off 21 same 3 don't know 42. Do you think that a year from now you and your family will be better off, worse off, or just about the same as now? 45% better off 7 worse off 45 same 3 don't know 43. Turning to business conditions in the country as a whole, do you think that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially or bad times? 48% good times 45 bad times 7 don't know 44. Looking ahead, in the country as a whole, will we have continued good times during the next 5 years, or will we have periods of widespread unemployment or depression? 46% good times 45 periods of unemployment and depression 9 don't know 45. About the big things that people buy for their homes, such as furniture, a refrigerator, a stove, a television and things like that – generally speaking, do you think now is a good or a bad time for people to buy major household items? 63% good time 26 bad time 11 don't know 46. On another subject, do you yourself use a computer at home, at work, or at school? (if yes: Do you use it often or only sometimes?) 63% yes, often 17 yes, sometimes 20 no (skip to q. 48) 47. Do you ever go on line to access the Internet or World Wide Web or to send or receive e-mail? (if yes: Do you do this often or only sometimes?) 54% yes, often 17 yes, sometimes 9 no 20 don’t use a computer 48. Do you have any type of personal computer, including laptops, in your home? These do not include game machines such as Nintendo or Sega. (if yes: Do you use it often, only sometimes, or never?) 48% yes, often 19 yes, sometimes 5 yes, never 28 no 49. On another topic, some people are registered to vote and others are not. Are you absolutely certain you are registered to vote? (if yes: Are you registered as a Democrat, a Republican, another party, or as an independent?) 27% yes, Democrat 35 yes, Republican 3 yes, other party 12 yes, independent 23 no, not registered 50. Would you consider yourself to be politically very liberal, somewhat liberal, middle-of-the-road, somewhat conservative, or very conservative? 9% very liberal 20 somewhat liberal 28 middle-of-the-road 28 somewhat conservative 12 very conservative 3 don't know 51.On another topic, overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that George W. Bush is handling his job as President? 57% approve 36 disapprove 7 don't know 52. Do you approve or disapprove of the way that President Bush is handling economic issues? 56% approve 36 disapprove 8 don't know 53. Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Gray Davis is handling his job as governor of California? 40% approve 53 disapprove 7 don't know 54. Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Governor Davis is handling the issue of electricity in California? 31% approve 63 disapprove 6 don't know [Questions 55-61: demographic questions] - 26 - PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY Advisory Committee Angela Blackwell President Policy Link Paul Brest President The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Mollyann Brodie Vice President The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Bruce E. Cain Director Institute of Governmental Studies University of California, Berkeley Dennis A. Collins President The James Irvine Foundation Matt Fong Attorney Sheppard Mullin of Counsel William Hauck President California Business Roundtable Sherry Bebitch Jeffe Senior Scholar School of Policy, Planning, and Development University of Southern California Monica Lozano President and Chief Operating Officer La Opinión Donna Lucas CEO and President NCG Porter Novelli Max Neiman Director Center for Social and Behavioral Science Research University of California, Riverside Dan Rosenheim News Director KPIX-TV Richard Schlosberg President and CEO The David and Lucile Packard Foundation Carol Stogsdill Senior Vice President Foundation for American Communications (FACS) Cathy Taylor Vice President and Editorial Commentary Director Orange County Register Raymond L. 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