- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Portlanders are more negative than ever about their quality of life in the far-left Oregon burg, according to a newly released poll.

The Portland Business Alliance’s annual survey, released Friday, shows record-high dissatisfaction among registered voters in the tri-county area, with a whopping 88% saying their quality of life is declining, far higher than the 49% who said so in January 2020.

The poll conducted by DHM Research “reveals voter pessimism is at an all-time high, and approval of the city council at a historic low,” the business alliance said.

In addition, 76% of Portland voters said the region is headed on the wrong track. Among voters in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties, 62% agreed, more than double the 28% who said likewise two years ago.

“We have been conducting annual voter sentiment in the region for years, and never have we seen such unequivocal alignment in the priorities that our community is asking elected officials to execute,” said Andrew Hoan, the alliance’s president and CEO.

The survey found that voters’ biggest concerns were homelessness (45%), followed by crime (24%) and politics/politicians (13%).

“With absolute certainty we can see that addressing homelessness, public safety, and cost of living are priorities that cannot be dismissed by those with the ability to influence policy,” Mr. Hoan said. “And in this election year, every candidate running for local and state office must communicate their plans for addressing these challenges in their campaigns.”

When asked about public safety, 49% said they want more social services and housing for the homeless, and 49% said they want authorities to get tougher on crime. But a large majority supported hiring and training more officers (83%) and prosecutors to “investigate and prosecute violent criminals” (79%), as well as funding for police body cameras (90%).

“Within Portland, majorities want an increase in funding for community groups who provide programs to increase public safety (72%) and they also want increases in funding for police (58%), suggesting that most voters do not see these approaches as mutually exclusive,” the poll’s analysis states.

The Portland City Council received poor marks: 81% of residents said the council was “ineffective in providing public services,” up from 55% in December 2020.

City Commissioner Carmen Rubio, who took office in January 2021, issued a statement emphasizing “community-based public health violence prevention strategies,” police body cameras, and filling vacant officer positions.

“[W]hen I joined the Council a year ago, Portlanders had told us they wanted us to transform our public safety to be more community-centered and to work on houselessness with compassion and transparency. As a Council, we are doing exactly what we’ve been asked to do,” Ms. Rubio told Fox12.

Commissioner Mingus Mapps took a tougher stance, saying in a statement that the poll confirms that residents are “beyond frustrated with the lack of progress on tent camping, public safety, and trash.”

“We need to reduce the number of tents on the street, address rampant crime, and support our public safety officers. My office is actively pushing for progress on all of these efforts,” Mr. Mapps, who also took office in January 2021, told Fox12.

The DHM Research poll was conducted Dec. 9-15 among 500 registered voters in the tri-county area, including 250 in the city of Portland.

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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