2014 Dignity Health CityBeat Poll Unveiled by the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce at Annual Breakfast Event Reveals Concerns over Cost-of-Living in San Francisco
San Francisco voters are generally content with their city and the services it provides, but they are increasingly concerned about affordability and how expensive it is to live and work in San Francisco according to the 2014 Dignity Health CityBeat Poll unveiled today by the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce at its annual meeting and CityBeat Breakfast event attended by nearly 1,000 business and civic leaders at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis.
According to the poll, the cost of owning a home surpassed homelessness and street behavior for the first time in three years as the top concern facing San Francisco voters. Thirty-four percent of voters named the cost of home ownership as the top issue facing the city, followed by homelessness and street behavior (29 percent), MUNI and public transportation (19 percent), jobs and the economy (18 percent) and many other issues. The cost of rents/affordability also ranked among the top three concerns, with 21 percent of voters ranking it their top issue. Seventy-three percent of voters said controlling the cost-of-living has gotten worse over the past year.
“San Francisco has experienced remarkable economic success over the past few years, adding jobs across all industry sectors and spurring economic growth citywide,” said Peter Gruebele, Executive Vice President of Wells Fargo’s Regional Commercial Bank in San Francisco, who was installed as the Chamber’s 2014 Chair of the Board during the event. “In 2014, the Chamber will pursue an agenda for sustained prosperity that prioritizes affordability for both residents and job creators in our city.”
Unveiled during the annual event springboarding the Chamber’s advocacy agenda, the poll also shows an uphill battle for new taxes, especially for those measures requiring a two-thirds vote. The poll showed voter support for: a two-cent tax on sugar sweetened beverages (51 percent support); increasing the Vehicle License Fee from 0.65 to 2 percent (52 percent support); and a $500 million General Obligation Bond to fund MUNI capital improvement projects (54 percent support). The poll showed voter opposition to congestion pricing (72 percent opposed), and to government-sponsored electric power, with 55 percent of voters saying they prefer to stay with PG&E as the provider for their electric power.
“The message from voters is loud and clear,” said Wade Rose, co-chair of the Chamber’s Public Policy Committee. “Now that our city has recovered from the Great Recession, it’s time to manage our economic success. That is San Francisco’s priority and that is the Chamber’s political agenda in 2014.”
Also during the event, the Honorable Willie L. Brown Jr. provided a historical perspective of the city’s economic growth, and a panel of housing experts discussed opportunities for the accelerated growth of workforce housing in the city. Panelists included: San Francisco Planning Director John Rahaim; Emerald Fund Chairman Oz Erickson; Residential Builders Association President Sean Kieghran; and Housing Action Coalition Executive Director Tim Colen (moderator).
“The Chamber thanks Mayor Brown, our esteemed panelists and all the business and civic leaders who joined us today as we discuss the challenges ahead and set the course for sustained economic prosperity in San Francisco,” said Bob Linscheid, President & CEO, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. “We especially thank our CityBeat Breakfast sponsors, whose generous support made this important event possible, including: Sutter Health, AT&T, Cisco, Dignity Health, Kaiser Permanente, Marcum, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Wells Fargo and many others.”
The Dignity Health CityBeat Poll was conducted among 500 San Francisco voters in January 2014 by David Binder Research for the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce.