Polls indicate strong support among Oregonians for controlling growth and environmental protection.
Slowing or Ending Population Growth
Statewide Poll - 95% say Oregon is either too big or just right.
A 1999 statewide survey found that 95% of respondents think Oregon's population is either too big or just right. Only 2% prefer it bigger.
(1999 Oregon Annual Social Indicators Survey, OASIS, by the University of Oregon Survey Research Laboratory.) The survey was conducted from the middle of November to early December 1999 and asked opinions from a random sample of 420 Oregonians residents over the age of 18. The survey results accurately represent the opinions of Oregonians with a maximum error of plus or minus 4.8%. Responses to the question "Oregon's population is." were: about the right size - 65.4%; too large - 29.3%; too small - 2.4%; don't know/no answer - 2.9%.
54% of Portland Metro area residents indicate they want local government to slow growth down.
(2001 Metro Public Opinion Study by Davis and Hibbitts, Inc. May 2001.) The survey showed that 54% of respondents think Metro and their local governments "ought to try to slow growth down."
Eugene Poll shows residents think their area is growing too quickly.
(City of Eugene Community Survey conducted Jan. 5-19, 1999, for the City of Eugene by Advanced Marketing Research.) Asked, "Do you believe population growth and development in Eugene during the past ten years has been too fast, too slow, or just about right?" Responses: Too fast - 56%; Just about right - 37%; Too slow - 3%; Don't know - 5%.
(For more information, call the City of Eugene, (541) 682-5010.)
Making Growth Pay Its Way
73% of Portland Metro Area residents want new growth to pay for all or more of its own way.
(2001 Metro Public Opinion Study by Davis and Hibbitts Inc., May 2001.) When asked who should pay the cost of growth, 40% felt new home buyers and developers should pay all costs associated with infrastructure, 33% felt new growth should pay a greater share, and 21% felt that the costs should be shared equally (6% don't know).
Key Findings from February 2002 Oregon League of Conservation Voters Education Fund Telephone Poll
- Clean air and clean water are a top issue of concern to Oregonians, ranked after education, the economy, and health care, but rated as more important than taxes, crime and drugs, and Medicare/Social Security. Twenty-nine percent (29%) of Oregonians rate "clean water, clean air, and open spaces" as "very important, they are a primary factor in deciding how to vote." Another fifty percent (50%) rate the issue as "somewhat important, they are one of several issues you consider."
- Three out of four Oregon voters reject the notion that the environment and economy are in conflict. Seventy-six percent (76%) agreed with the statement "we can have a clean environment and a strong economy at the same time without having to choose one over the other." Only twenty-two percent (22%) said, "sometimes a clean environment and a strong economy are in conflict and we must choose one over the other."
- An overwhelming majority opposes proposals to weaken Oregon's environmental laws. In all, sixty-two percent (62%) believe Oregon's environmental laws should either be strengthened or should have stronger enforcement. Another twenty percent (20%) believe they are about right. Just fourteen percent (14%) said they should be repealed or softened.
- An overwhelming majority of Oregonians supports a range of proposals that would strengthen enforcement of water quality safeguards. Eighty-four percent (84%) support a "three strikes and you're out" approach that would forbid repeat violators of their pollution permits from receiving future state contracts, tax credits, or public loans. Seventy-four percent (74%) support the creation of a "Willamette Legacy Fund" to clean up the Willamette River.
- A solid majority (68%) continues to support placing no-development buffer zones around streams in urban areas to protect salmon. Support statewide and in Multnomah County remains as strong or stronger than it was in 2000, despite a campaign that has attempted to provoke opposition to the city of Portland's Healthy Streams regulations.