OAKLAND, Calif. - The Bay Area Council has put out its latest survey of the sense and sensibilities of Bay Area residents on a wide variety of major economic and quality of life issues. While it's just a snapshot in time, it is one that is in sharp focus.
Given all that's happened in the last few years and with current conditions, the overall taste in mouths of Bay Area residents, is bitter," said Ruth Bernstein, who conducted the poll of a thousand scientifically-chosen Bay Area voters. "The mood is fairly pessimistic."
"We've got gas a $6. We've got a war in Europe and I think people are just feeling frustrated," said Bernstein.
Almost two out of three say, the Bay Area is off track overall; very negative. Just over half say the Bay region is unsafe. Just under half say the Bay Area is the best place to live. The same percentage say they are likely to move out of the area in the next few years with more than half strongly likely to leave. Only 32% think the economy will be better in six months.
Specifically, the top three things concerning voters is, first and foremost, at 24%, resolving the growing homeless issue.
"I think that quality of life issues is exactly peoples' concern right now and, it's not just in one neighborhood or not it one city. It's happening throughout the Bay Area," said Bernstein.
They want a tough love stance taken to get conservatorships for the mentally disabled or drug-addicted and for all homeless.
"What we're seeing is people saying if there's shelter available, they should not be allowed on the streets," said Berstein. Second, 21% say their top concern is housing; the cost and availability for everyone at every income level for themselves and others.
Third, at 15%, crime. "They're seeing it happen in their own homes or in their own communities, car and home break-ins, or they're hearing about it from their neighbors. A high percentage saying that they are avoiding going to downtown areas, because of crime," said the researcher.
All of this is and will continue to seriously affect the workplace. 33% say they're going to be "working at home permanently," said Bernstein.
Put in its proper perspective, this is just a snapshot of what people are saying now in the context of all the negative things going on now worldwide.