2019 Portland Insight Survey to be presented to the City Council
The City Council will be briefed on the 2019 Portland Insights Survey on Wednesday, Sept. 18.
The survey, which was conducted by the City Budget Office, found that a majority of respondents are satisfied with Portland today as a place to live, raise children, work or go to school, or to be part of a community. But many are worried about the future, as expressed by these results:
• Residents are evenly split between those who feel positive about the city's future and those who do not, with 45% agreeing and disagreeing. Long-term and African American residents are more likely to be dissatisfied.
• Residents are evenly split between those who agreed they can find jobs sufficient to support themselves and their families, and those who disagreed. Those with disabilities report having more difficulty finding jobs that pay enough to support them and their families.
• Homelessness is perceived as the top challenge facing Portland. This perspective was shared across every race and age group. In all, 88% of respondents are dissatisfied with the city's response to homelessness, the highest level of dissatisfaction with any of the questions included in the survey.
• More than 40% of respondents in every race and residency length group identified the high cost of living as a top challenge facing Portland. They chose increasing housing affordability and addressing homelessness as a top budget priority.
• Residents are evenly split over whether Portland is making progress on becoming a city in which a person's outcomes are not based on their race; with 40% agreeing and disagreeing. African Americans were most likely to disagree, followed by those who identified as two or more races. Hispanic and white respondents gave similar responses, and Asians were more likely than others to agree.
The survey also found that a majority of Portlanders — 61% — feel they do not have the power to influence city decisions about issues important to them. Responses were consistent regardless of gender, educational attainment, household income and geography.
Responses were more negative among African American, Hispanic and white respondents compared to Asians. Those aged 45 to 74 and those who have lived longer in Portland were more likely to respond negatively as well.
The Office of Community & Civic Life is proposing a rewrite of the public engagement section of the City Code that is generating controversy. It would eliminate all references to neighborhood association in section 3.96 to not show favor to them. Many neighborhood activists oppose the change, while many community groups support it. The council is scheduled to consider the proposal on Nov. 14.
The survey also includes responses to questions about specific bureaus with the results broken down by areas of the city. Those in East Portland tend to be the least satisfied with city services.
The 2019 Portland Insights Survey was the first conducted by the City Budget Office. It replaced the annual Community Survey conducted by the City Auditor's Office for 26 years. The new survey was designed to better help city leaders understand Portlanders' priorities and recommendations for improvements to services. It also was the first to hire multilingual community members to solicit feedback by canvassing members of historically underrepresented communities.
You can find the survey at www.portlandoregon.gov/cbo/article/740406.
(It costs just a few cents a day.)