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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Ralph and Goldy Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies was established to promote the study, understanding and solution of regional policy issues, with special reference to Southern California. Areas of study include problems of the environment, urban design, housing, community and neighborhood dynamics, transportation and local economic development. The Center was founded in 1988 with a $5 million endowment from Ralph and Goldy Lewis. In addition to income from the Lewis Endowment, the Center is supported by private and corporate foundation gifts and grants, individual donors, and research grants from a variety of governmental agencies. The Center sponsors a lecture/seminar series, as well as workshops and conferences focusing on Southern California, in an effort to build bridges to the local community.

Some working papers are not available electronically but a link is provided to the Lewis Center website for ordering instructions. (http://lewis.sppsr.ucla.edu/WorkingPapers.html)

Cover page of Issue 1: Ratings of So Cal Local Government Lukewarm

Issue 1: Ratings of So Cal Local Government Lukewarm

(2006)

The 2006 survey found that a majority of Southern California residents have some degree of confidence in local government, although they have less confidence in local government’s ability to solve the problems that most affect them. Whites have more confidence than other ethnic groups do. Regionally, Inland empire residents have lost considerable confidence in local government since last year. Overall, ratings of local government performance vary by issue area, but most residents rate performance as neither adequate nor inadequate but somewhere in the middle. However there is greater polarization in opinion on government performance in 2006 than we found in 2005.

Cover page of Outsourcing Southern California Information Sheet

Outsourcing Southern California Information Sheet

(2005)

Public opinion surveys can play an important role in decision making as they gather information that complements data from standard sources such as the Decennial Census and Current Population Survey. This Information Sheet presents findings from a recently completed survey of Southern California residents (those living in the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura). The information from the survey can help better inform elected officials about the public’s concerns and priorities, such as the issue of job outsourcing. Our main finding is that only a minority of Southern Californians report working for a firm that practice outsourcing. The proportion varies with the characteristics of the firms but not with the socioeconomic characteristics of the respondents.

Cover page of Latinos and So Cal Local Government

Latinos and So Cal Local Government

(2005)

The information from the survey can help better inform elected officials about the public’s concerns and priorities, such as how Latino residents feel about the region and about local government. Latinos’ concerns about the region’s top problems are similar to those of other Southern California residents, although they rank some problems differently. A majority of Southern California Latinos do have some degree of confidence in their local government, and actually have more confidence in local government’s ability to solve problems that affect them personally than non-Latinos do. However Latinos are slightly more pessimistic about quality of life in the region.

Cover page of Issue 15: Ratings of So Cal Local Government Lukewarm

Issue 15: Ratings of So Cal Local Government Lukewarm

(2005)

According to a 2005 survey sponsored by the UCLA Ralph and Goldy Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies found that a majority of Southern California residents have some degree of confidence in their local government, although they have less confidence in local government’s ability to solve the problems that most affect them. Whites and Latinos have more confidence than other ethnic groups and Los Angeles County residents have less confidence in local government than residents of other areas of Southern California. Ratings of local government performance vary by issue area, but overall residents seem to rate performance as neither adequate nor inadequate but somewhere in the middle.

Cover page of Issue 10: Perceptions of Congestion Not Universal

Issue 10: Perceptions of Congestion Not Universal

(2005)

According to a 2005 survey sponsored by the UCLA Ralph and Goldy Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies, Southern California residents perceive traffic congestion as one of the most pressing daily inconveniences. Delays on freeways and streets impose a cost on residents in terms of lost time, higher fuel bills, and greater air pollution. The problem is not unique to this region, but Southern California has more than its share. Key findings from the survey are that a majority frequently encounter delays while driving. The perception of the problem varies with economic and demographic characteristics, and most find government action wanting in terms of improving transportation.

Cover page of Issue 12: Transportation, Economy, and Education Top So Cal Problems

Issue 12: Transportation, Economy, and Education Top So Cal Problems

(2005)

Southern California is in many ways an attractive place to live, with weather, quality of life, and amenities being the biggest draws. However, a 2005 survey sponsored by the UCLA Ralph and Goldy Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies found that despite these positive features, residents still do have some serious concerns. Residents indicated that transportation, the economy, education, crime, and housing were the most important problems in the region. Transportation was, by far, the most cited concern, both overall and across demographic groups.

Cover page of Issue 11: Barriers to Transit Use

Issue 11: Barriers to Transit Use

(2005)

A 2005 survey sponsored by the UCLA Ralph and Goldy Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies found that, in general, public transit is underutilized. Ridership on public transportation accounts for only a very small fraction of all trips, with utilization varying systematically with economic and demographic characteristics. People do not use mass transit more often because it offers only limited service and geographic coverage. Overcoming these barriers will be challenging.

Cover page of Issue 13: Southern California's Housing Problem

Issue 13: Southern California's Housing Problem

(2005)

Over the last five years, the housing market in Southern California has remained very dynamic with a significant number of households changing residence, but high and rapidly increasing housing prices have created barriers to home ownership. A 2005 survey sponsored by the UCLA Ralph and Goldy Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies found that nearly two-fifths of the residents in this region have encountered difficulties in finding affordable housing while actively looking for housing. Moreover, a majority of the residents do not believe that local government is doing enough to provide affordable housing.

Cover page of Issue 14: Transportation, Economy, and Crime Top Los Angeles County Residents’ Concerns About the Region

Issue 14: Transportation, Economy, and Crime Top Los Angeles County Residents’ Concerns About the Region

(2005)

According to a 2005 survey sponsored by the UCLA Ralph and Goldy Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies, Los Angeles County residents mention transportation, the economy, crime, education, and housing as the most important problems in the region. Transportation was by far the most cited concern, both overall and across demographic groups. Respondents who cited these top problems were more likely than others to indicate that local officials’ performance in improving the problem was inadequate.

Cover page of So Cal Survey 2005 Technical Paper

So Cal Survey 2005 Technical Paper

(2005)

The Lewis Center has partnered with several groups to develop the survey and to analyze and disseminate the results. Organizations on the UCLA campus include the Center for Communications and Community, the Institute for Transportation Studies, the UCLA Center for Civil Society, and the UCLA Anderson School. We have also partnered with two public agencies, the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), and the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC). UCLA faculty partners include Vickie Mays from the Psychology Department and Michael Stoll from the Department of Policy Studies. We also received helpful comments from several UCLA faculty members including Brian Taylor, Amy Zegart, Frank Gilliam, Helmut Anheier, Hagai Katz, Chris Thornberg and Ed Leamer.

The survey covers seven topics but is divided into two parts, Form A and Form B. The Public Opinion, Transportation, and Demographic modules are administered to all 1500 survey respondents. The remaining modules are only given to half of the survey respondents. Form A includes the questions on the Economy, Employment, and Housing. Form B includes questions on Social Capital and Terrorism and Disaster preparedness. The Transportation questions are also divided into two modules. Half of respondents are asked questions about their commute, while the other half are asked about their last trip in a car. However, if a respondent who is assigned the commute question is not employed or does not commute they are assigned to the last trip questions.