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The Metro Council is considering a homeless services measure for the May primary election and a transportation funding measure for the November general election

PMG FILE PHOTO - Support for Metro's proposed homeless services measures drops if it is on the same ballot as its transportation funding measure, but the transportation measure fafres even worse.A new poll helps explain why Metro is rushing to refer a measure to fund homeless services to the May 19 primary election ballot.

The DHM Research poll found that 62% of likely voters in the Metro region support a measure to reduce homelessness that focuses on expanding social services, like mental health and substance abuse treatment.

PMG GRAPHIC - This story is part of an ongoing series by the Portland Tribune.

But the poll also found that support drops to 54% if the measure appears on the same ballot as the regional transportation funding measure Metro is planning to refer to the Nov. 3 general election election ballot.

The transportation measures fares even worse, however. The poll found 59% of voters support a measure to reduce traffic, create additional transportation choices, fight climate change, and increase earthquake safety. But that support drops to 49% if it appears on the same ballot as the homeless services measure.

Complicating the picture is a measure to fund free pre-school for all children being considered by the Multnomah County Commission for the November ballot. The poll found that 66% of county voters support it. But that support dropped to 46% if it appears on the same ballot as the other two measures.

In other words, the chances of Metro passing both of its measures drop if they appear on the same ballot, with the transportation measure more likely to fail.

The Metro Council will hold a public hearing on the proposed homeless services measure from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, at its headquarters, 600 N.E. Grand Ave. The text of the measure has not yet been released.

The poll was commissioned by the Portland Business Alliance and posted on its website on Wednesday, Feb. 12. It was conducted in early January, before Metro decided to place the homeless services measure proposed by the HereTogether advocacy group on the May ballot.

The poll was designed to help PBA members better understand the attitudes of voters throughout the region about key concerns related to jobs and the economy. Key findings include:

• Despite the thriving economy and record low unemployment in the region, 1 in 4 voters are experiencing difficulties or feeling worse off than they were two years ago. The poll also found 27% of voters say that are just getting by or having difficulty getting by.

• 30% of voters consider homelessness to be their primary concern, followed by traffic congestion at 15%, affordable housing at 11%, roads and infrastructure at 9%, and politics and politicians at 4%.

A majority of voters, 64%, support replacing the I-5 Bridge over the Columbia River between Oregon and Washington.

You can find the DHM Research poll here.

You can find a previous Portland Tribune story on the Metro measure here.


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