Nearly nine in 10 Portlanders are unhappy with how City Hall is handling homelessness.
Portlanders polled by City Hall remain clear on the top problem the city faces: homelessness. People in every racial and age demographic said the number of people experiencing homelessness is the top challenge facing the city.
Not only that: Eighty-eight percent of respondents said that they were “dissatisfied with the City’s response to homelessness.” The report notes that this is “the highest level of dissatisfaction with any of the questions included in the survey.”
Other major grievances included lack of affordable housing opportunities and transportation concerns.
Certain topics were of higher priority depending on race. White respondents showed an increased desire for police services, while the Asian, black and Latinx people surveyed showed a greater concern for a lack of economic opportunity, including support for small businesses and job creation.
When asked about potential shortcomings of law enforcement in the city, the black population expressed the need for more dialogue and understanding between residents and police, while the white population expressed the need for increased police presence in neighborhoods.
Older people, longtime residents, and black respondents were more likely to feel negative about the future of the city. Despite city efforts to represent all Portlanders by sending out bilingual canvassers to collect surveys, people with a higher education, white people, and people with a higher paycheck were more likely to respond.
When asked about the top three perks of living in Portland, respondents were most likely to choose access to outdoor and natural areas, amenities like restaurants, and access to public transit. Black and Latinx respondents were more likely to choose public transit as a top attraction than white respondents, whereas the white respondents were more likely to prioritize amenities.
When presented with the statement, “In Portland, we are making progress on becoming a city where a person’s outcomes are not based on their race,” responses starkly varied based on the respondent’s race.
About 12 percent of white respondents said they “strongly disagreed” with the statement, and roughly 30 percent of black respondents chose the same answer.
One possibly surprising finding: Preventing climate change was not a top concern for most Portlanders, across all demographics.