Portland Business Alliance poll: Homelessness and crime remain among biggest issues

City of Portland
City of Portland(KPTV)
Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 8:29 AM PST
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PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - The Portland Business Alliance released the results of a recent poll Thursday revealing reduced rates of voter pessimism, but a consistent worry about homelessness, crime and trust in the government.

PBA conducts a poll every year to track the changes over time and understand the concerns of voters. The 2022 poll found that voters are concerned about affordable housing. About 40% rate their economic opportunities as poor or very poor.

Voters support multiple policies addressing public safety and affordable housing, but a majority of voters oppose funding a tenant resource program with a capital gains tax. 61% of voters said state taxes are already too high.

While Portland residents are split about continuing to fund affordable housing bond measures, the rest of the region is mostly opposed to future measures. Voters outside of Portland have a worse outlook toward downtown, saying they feel unsafe there, especially at night.

Although still overwhelmingly negative, pessimism has gone down since 2021. In 2022, 78% of voters said that quality of life is getting worse, compared to the 88% in 2021. About 52% of voters said the Portland region is headed on the wrong track, compared to 62% from the year before.

“For over a decade we have asked voters about their priorities. It is crystal clear what voters in the Portland region want to see elected leaders making progress on: Urgent and decisive improvements to our unsheltered homeless crisis through transitional sheltering and housing production; and second, immediate improvements to public safety based on an efficient and accountable criminal justice system,” says Andrew Hoan, President and CEO of the Portland Business Alliance. “Lastly, regional leaders will have to start focusing on addressing our tax structure in the region or risk the inability to fund critical services that depend on the renewal of dedicated revenue streams. Portland is at a crossroads, and we need our leaders to respond with the urgency that voters are demanding.”

To view the complete results of the survey, click here.