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June 5, 2002

New survey: Sacramento Region residents
fret about traffic, Gov. Davis, terrorism

Wide-ranging survey also looks at Sacramento Region attitudes on regionalism, economy, immigration and more

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More Sacramento Region residents say traffic is a major problem than residents of the Bay Area and Los Angeles. They're much less happy with Gov. Gray Davis than Californians as a whole. And with the events of Sept. 11 still fresh on their minds, half say the government should be able to monitor e-mails and telephone calls of residents who are not citizens.

Those are among the findings of an extensive new survey from the Institute for Social Research at California State University, Sacramento.

The first "Annual Survey of Public Opinion and Life Quality in the Sacramento Region" was carried out in March by CSUS sociology professor and researcher Amy Liu, along with more than 20 CSUS students. It surveyed residents of Sacramento, Yolo, Placer and El Dorado counties.

Liu based many of the survey questions on statewide surveys conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California so results could be compared with the rest of the state. The new survey, however, focuses on the Sacramento Region on its own rather than as part of the Central Valley.

"The Sacramento Region is often looked at simply as part of the Central Valley, but it is really much different," Liu says. "This is a major metropolitan area, a place much more like Los Angeles, the Bay Area and San Diego than other parts of the Central Valley."

Among the survey's other findings:

• More Sacramento Region residents are concerned the government will enact excessively restrictive anti-terrorist laws (55 percent) than that it will not enact strong anti-terrorist laws (30 percent).

• About half (49 percent) want to reduce immigration. Just 8 percent want to increase immigration, compared to 15 percent statewide.

• 89 percent say they are satisfied with their quality of life. They are more likely than residents statewide to believe things are going well (65 percent vs. 56 percent) and more positive about the economic future (72 percent vs. 46 percent).

• Residents rank affordable housing (47 percent) as the second most important problem facing the region, after traffic (73 percent).

• Half prefer to live in suburban, single-family housing, even with a long commute, compared to 48 percent in Los Angeles and 31 percent in the Bay Area.

• Of three funding proposals related to regional problem-solving, 70 percent favor fees to preserve open space or build affordable housing, 64 percent favor allowing local governments rather than the Legislature decide how to divide property taxes, and 51 percent support tax-sharing among local governments.

Media assistance is available at (916) 278-6156.

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