Public Opinion in California

Essay by glengem June 2004

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How do California residents feel about public housing? One indicator of

public opinion are the resluts of a survey reported to the Odum Institute between

the years of 1979 and 1991. The Odum Institute is the third largest archive in the

United States of social science data available in computer readable form.

Reviewing the results of this study can give us an idea of how (or even if) public

opinion changes over time. The survey examined whether adult residents of

California felt that tax money (at the state level) for public housing should be

increased, held the same, or decreased.

The results indicate that the residents of California were generally felt that

the amount of spending should either remain the same or be increased. In most

years that the survey was conducted the percentage of respondents who felt that

the amount should be increased was similar to the percentage of respond! ents

who felt that the amount of should remain the same.

Only one year, 1979,

reflected that the amount of funding should be reduced (however, the percentage

was almost equal to that of those responding that funding should either be

increased or held at the same level). Unfortunately, there is no current data

regarding this survey information.

Opinions Expressed by Individual Communities

An example of how policies have been affected by public opinion regarding

public housing took place in San Diego, California when citizens passed

proposition A in fall of 2002. This proposition authorizes the city of San Diego to

build 5,000 new units of public housing to serve the low- income and elderly

populations (Butler and Lowe, 2003). However, some city officials are concerned

that a social stigma still exists regarding public and low- income housing. These

city officials may be right. An article written regarding the recent...