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News Releases
Oregon Values and Beliefs Center Poll: Greater Idaho - 07/19/21

Oregonians from all over the state share their thoughts about whether counties should be allowed to join Idaho if it’s what a majority of their voters want.

From June 8th through 14th, 2021, the Oregon Values and Beliefs Center conducted a statewide survey of Oregonians’ values and beliefs regarding the Greater Idaho movement. The questions were intended to gather preliminary data to inform more in-depth research in the months ahead.

This online survey consisted of 1400 Oregon residents ages 18+ and took approximately 15 minutes to complete. To ensure a representative sample, demographic quotas were set, and data weighted by the area of the state, gender, age, and education. Responses were analyzed and categorized to allow for a better understanding of trends in Oregonians’ values and beliefs. The survey’s margin of error, for the full sample, ranges from ±1.6% to ±2.6% depending on how the response category percentages split for any given question. Due to rounding, numbers may not add up to 100%.

This survey uses aggregated data to analyze the opinions of BIPOC residents in comparison to the opinions of residents who identify as white and not another race. BIPOC residents are not a monolith; the grouping represents a wide diversity of races and ethnicities. The findings included in this memo should not be construed such that all people of color are believed to share the same opinions. Disaggregated race data will be provided when sample size permits reliability.

Findings will include a citation of the relevant question, which can be referenced in the attached annotated questionnaire and tabs.

Should Counties be Allowed to Join Idaho if Voters Approve?

  • Statewide, more Oregonians say Oregon counties should not be able to leave the state and join Idaho, even if their voters show majority support for the move (42%), but only by a narrow margin. Over a third of Oregonians (38%) say counties should be able to join Idaho, while 20% say they are unsure (Q4).
  • In explaining their opposition to the counties leaving, Oregonians voice concerns about breaking up the state, citing their pride in being an Oregonian, and the value of a diversity of opinions.

“I don’t understand what they have to gain by switching. While they may feel they are more similar to the lifestyle and attitudes of Idaho, joining them actually reduces their influence since they’re joining a like-minded region compared to having some sort of influence on Oregon.”
- Male, age 45-54, Washington County, Asian or Pacific Islander

“I am an OREGONIAN. Born and raised; I do not wish to be an Idahoan. OREGON PROUD.”
- Female, age 45-54, Douglas County, white or Caucasian

“The shallow, mean-spirited side of me wants to say, “oh heck just let them go,” but then that side of me doesn’t want to face the fact that I live in Portland surrounded by people who look like me and see things exactly the way I do. Talking politics here is preaching to the choir. The few people who don’t agree with the liberal majority don’t speak up because they’ll get shouted down by the liberal majority, and we think we’re such nice people. We need to move toward a culture where we value all the voices and respect people as people regardless of their opinions. The divides in this country could be part of what brings it down someday and that would be tragic.”
- Female, age 65-74, Multnomah County, Native American or American Indian

  • One reason many people give for opposing the Greater Idaho movement is that another solution currently exists: People unsatisfied with Oregon’s government can move to Idaho if they wish (Q7).

“If you want to live in Idaho, you should move there.”
- Female, age 55-64, Columbia County, Black or African American

“I think most people are tired of the way Oregon is being run and are looking for a change, but moving boundaries isn't the way. If you really want to live in Idaho, then move.”
- Female, age 55-64, Douglas County, white or Caucasian

“If you don’t like living within Oregon…move! It doesn’t make sense to mess up our borders because of whiny conservatives.”
- Male, age 30-44, Multnomah County, Hispanic/Latino/a/x

  • Residents from outside the greater Portland and Willamette Valley regions support counties being allowed to join Idaho by a narrow margin (44% support vs. 40% oppose) (Q4). Even among those who do not support counties leaving Oregon, there is broad recognition of, and even sympathy for, the residents of these counties feeling that they are not represented in state government (Q7).

“This is a longed-for solution for these counties, decades old. They want Curry County to eventually get them coastal access, too. The USA is a mangled country now, changing borders may create regional areas where people are more like-minded, but I see it as a dangerous precedent.”
- Female, 65-74, Curry County, white or Caucasian

“Perhaps the movement will have some value in publicizing the frustration of rural areas whose needs and voices are ignored by the dominant urban vote. If it succeeded it would probably be at the cost of conservatives left behind in the area that did not secede, but at least some voters would get to experience a more representative government.”
- Male, age 75+, Clackamas County, Slavic, white or Caucasian

“I feel like those counties would get out from under the heel of the liberal policies that are choking the state of Oregon since the lawmakers have no idea what life is like in the rural areas, all they care about are their constituents in the major metropolitan areas such as Portland, Bend, and Salem.”
- Male, 30-44, Wasco County, Hispanic/Latino/a/x and white or Caucasian

Should Counties be Allowed to Join Idaho if Voters Approve?

  • Irrespective of opinions about whether voters should be allowed to determine their county’s state, two-thirds of Oregonians say it is unlikely that this move will take place (64%) (Q5).
  • Compared to older Oregonians, people ages 18-54 years old are more likely to say the move is very or somewhat likely (25%-31%), while those over 45 years old are more likely than younger Oregonians to say the move is not very or not at all likely (65%-79% vs. 53%-57%) (Q5).
  • Oregonians say the move is unlikely because it’s not a good deal for both states. While residents disagree about whether it makes financial sense for Oregon to lose these counties, seen as lower-income, there is some agreement that Idaho would be taking on lower-income counties, which could be expensive (Q7).

“Firstly, it promotes segregation instead of accepting different political viewpoints. Secondly, the main tax base comes from primarily Democrat counties. If the “red” counties became part of Idaho, those forming the new Idaho would have an increasingly high cost of living and limited access to state programs.”
- Female, age 55-64, Clackamas County, Multiple races/ethnicities

“The financial impact to have counties join Idaho for both states would be hard to work out. The counties wanting to join Idaho have much smaller populations & would not bring much financial ‘wealth’ with them.”
- Female, 75+, Multnomah County, white or Caucasian

We in these counties are rural, spread out, and low average incomes. The taxes required to maintain and improve the infrastructure required for such vast and lowly populated areas can’t be generated by the population in these counties alone. Where will Idaho get the additional resources? If from these counties, the tax rates will skyrocket.
- Female, 65-74, Baker County, white or Caucasian

Would Moving the Border be Positive or Negative?

  • While 38% of Oregonians say the state’s counties should be allowed to join Idaho if a majority of their voters agree, fewer believe such a move would be a positive thing (34%) (Q6).
    • The oldest residents are the most certain a move to Idaho would portend negative outcomes. More than half of Oregonians 75 and older say the move would be negative (55%), including 21% of these seniors who think it would be “very negative.”
    • Additionally, people with six-figure incomes are more likely than people with lower incomes to say the move to Idaho would be negative (54% vs. 39-43%). Nearly one-third of six-figure income Oregonians say the move would be “very negative” (32%).
       
  • Oregonians who think the move to Greater Idaho would be negative for residents point to increased state taxes, including vehicle registration fees and sales tax, as well as the fact that tax dollars from western Oregon currently subsidize some state operations in eastern Oregon. Some respondents also note that the cannabis industry has provided economic benefits in many of these counties but remains prohibited in Idaho.

“These counties benefit financially from tax revenues from the affluent I-5 corridor metropolitan areas. Without this, they cannot survive. The State of Idaho won’t raise taxes on their own people just so that they can service the greatly expanded territory that spans all the way down to Brookings. With supporters of this political stunt also being strongly anti-tax, there is no logical way how the “Greater Idaho” can be financially or economically sustainable. On the other hand, these people leaving Oregon will be a benefit to the rest of Oregon.”
- Non-binary or gender non-conforming, age 45-54, Columbia County, Asian or Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino/a/x, and white or Caucasian

“First of all, there will be an increase in taxes. Especially sales taxes, and I don’t think they realize that.”
- Male, age 18-29, Union County, white or Caucasian

“Oregon legalized marijuana in 2016 and has benefitted amazingly from the taxes collected from legal marijuana sales. Those counties wishing to secede risk finding themselves in tighter financial situations than they were in before marijuana was both decriminalized and legalized for medicinal and recreational use.”
- Female, age 18-29, Umatilla County, white or Caucasian

“Tax funds from the western half of the state help cover costs for all kinds of things in my county and the neighboring ones, from road repairs to social services to recreation opportunities. Idaho's legislature and government have also been terrible in their response to the pandemic and in ignoring public safety.”
- Male, age 30-44, Union County, white or Caucasian

Demographic Trends
Identifying What Unites Us and Understanding What Divides Us

  • Overall, Black, Indigenous, and other Oregonians of color seem to be more receptive to allowing counties to join Idaho with voter approval. BIPOC Oregonians are more likely to say counties should be allowed to join Idaho (42%), that it is likely to happen (32%), and that this move would be positive (36%) (Q4-6). They are also more likely to say they are undecided about all three questions (24%, 19%, and 27%, respectively). White Oregonians are more likely to say they oppose allowing counties to join Idaho (43%), that they think it is unlikely (66%), and that these counties joining Idaho would be negative (44%).
  • Not surprisingly, rural residents are among the most likely to say voters should be able to approve their county’s move to Idaho (43%) (Q4).
    • By a margin of more than 10 percentage points as compared to urbanites, rural residents are more likely to believe such a move is likely (32% rural; 19% urban) and would be a positive thing (40% rural; 30% urban) (Q5-6).

This research was completed as a community service by the Oregon Values and Beliefs Center, an independent and non-partisan organization. OVBC is an Oregon charitable nonprofit corporation (oregonvbc.org).

For more information, please see the OVBC June 2021 Survey Annotated Questionnaire and Crosstabs.

Oregon Values and Beliefs Center Poll: Recall of Elected Officials - 07/18/21

Are policy disagreements alone sufficient reason to recall elected officials at the state and local levels, or should recall be reserved for instances of misconduct?

From June 8th through 14th, 2021, the Oregon Values and Beliefs Center conducted a statewide survey of Oregonians’ values and beliefs, including how they feel about recalling state and local officials in Oregon. The questions were intended to gather preliminary data to inform more in-depth research in the months ahead.

This online survey consisted of 1400 Oregon residents ages 18+ and took approximately 15 minutes to complete. To ensure a representative sample, demographic quotas were set, and data weighted by the area of the state, gender, age, and education. Responses were analyzed and categorized to allow for a better understanding of trends in Oregonians’ values and beliefs. The survey’s margin of error, for the full sample, ranges from ±1.6% to ±2.6% depending on how the response category percentages split for any given question. Due to rounding, numbers may not add up to 100%.

This survey uses aggregated data to analyze the opinions of BIPOC residents in comparison to the opinions of residents who identify as white and not another race. BIPOC residents are not a monolith; the grouping represents a wide diversity of races and ethnicities. The findings included in this memo should not be construed such that all people of color are believed to share the same opinions. Disaggregated race data will be provided when sample size permits reliability.

Findings will include a citation of the relevant question, which can be referenced in the attached annotated questionnaire and tabs.

Policy Disagreements, but not Misconduct: Sufficient Reason for Recall?

  • Overall, Oregonians are split on whether policy disagreements alone are valid reasons to recall an elected official who has not been accused of misconduct, such as what has been attempted with Oregon Governor Kate Brown and discussed regarding Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler. Overall, 41% say they do not agree that policy disagreements alone are valid reasons for a recall and 43% say they do agree that policy disagreements are sufficient. 16% are unsure (Q8).
     
  • Men are more likely than women to agree that policy disagreements alone are valid reasons to recall an elected official who has not been accused of misconduct (50% vs. 36%) while women were more likely than men to say they were unsure (20%) (Q8).
     
  • Oregonians ages 55 and older were significantly more likely to oppose recall based on policy disagreements compared to those 54 and younger (49%-50% vs. 31%-38% respectively). Of all the demographic groups, Oregonians ages 18-29 are the most likely to be unsure (25%) (Q8).
  • Respondents were provided the open-ended opportunity to share their thoughts about recalling state and local officials in Oregon. Oregonians who believe that policy differences alone are an insufficient reason for a recall tended to cite elections as the preferred method for change. Those who say that policy differences alone are sufficient tended to cite concerns about politicians who have policies that may not be criminal, but are harmful in some way, as well as stressing that recalls are an appropriate way to make their voices heard in the political process. Below are some representative quotes from Oregonians who hold both positive and negative views of these recall efforts (Q9).

Policy Reasons Alone are Insufficient:

“I think the recall process should be used when an elected official has done or is believed to have done something that is illegal. Just because an official disagrees with you shouldn't be reason to recall them.”
- Female, age 65-74, Marion County, white or Caucasian

“I don't agree with the recalls. They were elected to lead the state and city, so people should wait for an election to decide who should replace Brown and Wheeler.”
- Female, age 30-44, Multnomah County, Black or African American

“People think with their feelings too often and it shows. If the state elected official isn’t engaging in criminal behavior but acting on what they think is in the best interest of the people, there is no reason to recall. It’s politics. There will be some losers and there will be a winner. Not everybody will be happy.”
- Female, age 18-29, Klamath County, Black or African American

“Whether or not you agree or disagree with someone doesn’t give anyone the authority to exercise “voter’s remorse.  As long as no laws (or moralities) have been breached, there’s no law that covers ‘He said/she said something that I didn’t like!’ Can you imagine removing the CEO of Burger King just because their restaurants keep getting your order wrong?”
- Male, age 45-54, Washington County, white or Caucasian

Policy Reasons are Sufficient:

“I think any politician could be recalled if enough folks are very unhappy with the direction that person is going.”
- Female, age 65-74, Klamath County, white or Caucasian

“If they govern differently than their positions when campaigning then okay to recall.”
- Female, age 55-64, Tillamook County, Asian or Pacific Islander

“You should be able to recall any officials for any reason - if the reason has no validity, then the recall will be defeated.”
- Male, age 75+, Washington County, white or Caucasian

“If our officials start making policies that are detrimental to our government's growth and stability, then they should be removed before too much damage is done.”
- Male, age 30-44, Lane County, other race or ethnicity

“Officials are voted in because people agree with their policies. If the official goes against what they ran for, then the people no longer agree with their policy then they should retract their vote and remove the official from office.”
- Female, age 18-29, Deschutes County, white or Caucasian

Demographic Trends
Identifying What Unites Us and Understanding What Divides Us

  • A plurality of Black, Indigenous, and other Oregonians of color say that policy disagreements alone are sufficient grounds for a recall (48%), while white Oregonians are split equally between whether policy disagreements are (42%) or are not (42%) sufficient grounds(Q8).
     
  • Oregonians who live in rural parts of the state are least likely to oppose recall based solely on policy disagreements (35%), while urban residents are most likely to oppose recall under these circumstances (47%). Rural residents are most likely to support recall without misconduct accusations (47%) (Q8).

This research was completed as a community service by the Oregon Values and Beliefs Center, an independent and non-partisan organization. OVBC is an Oregon charitable nonprofit corporation (oregonvbc.org).

For more information, please see the OVBC June 2021 Survey

Oregon Values and Beliefs Center Poll: Impact of Black Lives Matter - 07/17/21

Oregonians talk about the impact the Black Lives Matter movement has had in their communities, and whether impacts will last.

From June 8th through 14th, 2021, the Oregon Values and Beliefs Center conducted a statewide survey of Oregonians’ values and beliefs regarding the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. The questions were intended to gather preliminary data to inform more in-depth research in the months ahead.

This online survey consisted of 1400 Oregon residents ages 18+ and took approximately 15 minutes to complete. To ensure a representative sample, demographic quotas were set, and data weighted by the area of the state, gender, age, and education. Responses were analyzed and categorized to allow for a better understanding of trends in Oregonians’ values and beliefs. The survey’s margin of error, for the full sample, ranges from ±1.6% to ±2.6% depending on how the response category percentages split for any given question. Due to rounding, numbers may not add up to 100%.

This survey uses aggregated data to analyze the opinions of BIPOC residents in comparison to the opinions of residents who identify as white and not another race. BIPOC residents are not a monolith; the grouping represents a wide diversity of races and ethnicities. The findings included in this memo should not be construed such that all people of color are believed to share the same opinions. Disaggregated race data will be provided when sample size permits reliability.

Findings will include a citation of the relevant question, which can be referenced in the attached annotated questionnaire and tabs.

Warning: Some readers may find the reporting below, including the respondent comments, disturbing.

  • A year after George Floyd’s death—and eight after the birth of the Black Lives Matter movement—BLM protests remain a divisive issue for Oregonians. Yet the vast majority of Oregon residents agree that the protests had an impact—one that will be long-felt, not fleeting.
  • 70% of Oregonians say BLM protests have had a positive, negative, mixed impact, compared to 22% of residents who say the protests have had no impact, and 9% who aren’t sure (Q10).

Positive Impact

  • Nearly one in five Oregonians believe that impact has been at least somewhat positive (19%). They point to increased awareness of systemic racism and greater community collaboration and advocacy as positive effects of BLM protests (Q10-11):

“Even in this small Republican-leaning town, there have been more discussions about racial justice, and a couple of new activist groups have launched during the last year.”
- Non-binary, age 45-54, Columbia County, Asian or Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino/a/x, and white or Caucasian

“I don't think they've had a dramatic impact in my community, but I think shaking people out of comfortable blindness to the inequities in our systems and government is good. Union county is pretty white, not accidentally either if you look at the history, but I hope that it helps make the place slightly more tolerant and aware.”
- Male, age 30-44, Union County, white or Caucasian

“BLM feeds people at Street Feed events, has swap meets, and by their presence and attending, I know Eugene is the kind of place where I want to live.”
- Male, 30-44, Lane County, white or Caucasian

  • Among the demographic groups most likely to believe that BLM protests have had a positive impact are people under 30 (26%), college graduates (28%), and urban residents (27%) (Q10).
    • A plurality of people over 75 say the protests have had no impact (29%).
  • Nearly half of those who say the protests’ impact has been at least somewhat positive believe the effects will be long-lasting (47%), compared to 20% who think these effects will be fleeting (Q12).

“People are finally seeing how racial discrimination is dug into all our agencies, institutions, and systems. Now we are beginning to address the systems and make things more equal, fairer to more people.”
- Female, age 64-75, Josephine County, white or Caucasian

Negative Impact

  • Roughly the same proportion of residents say BLM’s impact has been at least somewhat negative (22%). Many of these respondents point to vandalism, which some believe is caused by BLM protestors, and others believe is caused by bad actors using the protests as cover (Q10, Q12).
    • Others say that the BLM protests themselves are responsible for the division between residents in Oregon.
    • The 22% of residents who believe BLM protests have had at least a somewhat negative impact include residents who characterize the grievances brought forth by the Black Lives Matter protests as unfounded.

“The Black Lives Matter has had a bad impact as it has only caused unneeded violence and aggressive protests for something that isn’t happening to anyone in our state.”
- Male, age 18-29, Klamath County, white or Caucasian

“Co-opting of the movement by rioters who have nothing to do with BLM.”
- Male, age 55-64, Multnomah County, Asian or Pacific Islander

“I believe the movement is a sham! This group has done nothing positive and, in my opinion, does not care about black lives at all! The killings are indiscriminate, black children’s lives are being taken away by gang bangers all over the country. When you point out that t42% of serious felonies are committed by blacks even though blacks only make up 13% of the country, you are presumed to be a racist!”
- Female, 75+, Washington County, white or Caucasian

  • Many Oregonians who think the Black Lives Matter protests have had a negative impact on their community express the belief that Black Lives Matter is itself racist and associated with Marxism (Q13).

“They are destroying our cities by burning and looting our cities and in some cases murdering people. People are in fear of their lives due to these racist terrorist groups.”
- Male, age 65-74, Marion County, white or Caucasian

“It’s not a big effect here, but any racism is negative, and BLM is racist and Marxist.”
- Male, age 65-74, Polk County, Native American or American Indian

“Marxist socialist hate group. Causes tensions, graffiti, and race hate in the neighborhood.”
- Female, age 45-64, Multnomah County, Native American or American Indian, Slavic, white or Caucasian, and other race or ethnicity

  • Among residents who believe the protests’ impact has been at least somewhat negative, 55% say the effects will be long-lasting, compared to 20% who think they will be fleeting (Q14).

Both Positive and Negative Impact

  • One-third of Oregonians believe the impact of BLM protests has been both positive and negative (29%). Some people say the BLM protests have had a mixed impact because it has had the effect of pushing some people to become more ardent in their beliefs (Q10, Q12).
    • Specifically, some people of color say they now have increased concerns about their personal safety, as white people have become angrier in public.

“More hate crimes, violence, and feeling nervous or scared around certain groups of people when I’m alone in a public setting because people who hate the changes are angry.”
- Female, age 18-29, Clackamas County, Hispanic/Latino/a/x

“In some, I have seen more visible expressions of fear to other races.”
- Male, age 65-74, Multnomah County, other race or ethnicity

“White supremacists have been emboldened, have become more threatening as they wield deadly weapons to intimidate. Potential mayhem is more likely to ensue.”
- Female, age 75+, Clatsop County, other race or ethnicity

Demographic Trends
Identifying What Unites Us and Understanding What Divides Us

  • BIPOC residents are significantly more likely than white residents to describe the impact of the BLM protests as positive (27% to 18%) (Q10).
    • BIPOC residents are also significantly more likely than white residents to say the protests had both a positive and a negative impact (36% to 28%).
  • BIPOC residents are more pessimistic than white residents when it comes to the lasting impact of these protests. Among BIPOC residents who believe the protests have been at least somewhat positive in effect, 27% say those positive effects will be fleeting, compared to 19% of white residents (Q12).
  • Given the geographic concentration of communities of color across Oregon, it is no surprise that urban dwellers are more likely to say the protests had a positive impact than rural residents (27% to 13%) (Q10).
    • This is not due to overwhelmingly negative perceptions of BLM protests in rural Oregon generally; instead, a plurality of rural residents say the protests had no impact (38%). 

This research was completed as a community service by the Oregon Values and Beliefs Center, an independent and non-partisan organization. OVBC is an Oregon charitable nonprofit corporation (www.oregonvbc.org).

For more information, please see the OVBC June 2021 Survey Annotated Questionnaire and Crosstabs.

Oregon Values and Beliefs Center Poll: Pandemic Impact on Employment - 07/16/21

We asked Oregonians about their jobs before the pandemic, how they feel about those jobs now, if they're still in the same jobs, and how their thinking about employment has changed.

From June 8th through 14th, 2021, the Oregon Values and Beliefs Center conducted a statewide survey of Oregonians’ values and beliefs, including their thoughts about housing density regulations. The questions were intended to gather preliminary data to inform more in-depth research in the months ahead.

This online survey consisted of 1400 Oregon residents ages 18+ and took approximately 15 minutes to complete. To ensure a representative sample, demographic quotas were set, and data weighted by the area of the state, gender, age, and education. Responses were analyzed and categorized to allow for a better understanding of trends in Oregonians’ values and beliefs. The survey’s margin of error, for the full sample, ranges from ±1.6% to ±2.6% depending on how the response category percentages split for any given question. Due to rounding, numbers may not add up to 100%.

This survey uses aggregated data to analyze the opinions of BIPOC residents in comparison to the opinions of residents who identify as white and not another race. BIPOC residents are not a monolith; the grouping represents a wide diversity of races and ethnicities. The findings included in this memo should not be construed such that all people of color are believed to share the same opinions. Disaggregated race data will be provided when sample size permits reliability.

Findings will include a citation of the relevant question, which can be referenced in the attached annotated questionnaire and tabs.

Employment and Satisfaction Before the Pandemic

  • Before the pandemic, slightly more than one-half of respondents (54%) were employed, either full-time (42%) or part-time (12%). Two in ten (21%) were retired and 11% were seeking employment opportunities. Men were more likely than women to have been employed full-time (50% vs. 34%) (Q15).
  • Among those who were employed prior to the pandemic, 88% said they were satisfied with their job (45% very and 43% somewhat). Overall job satisfaction was higher among those making more than $100K per year compared to those making less than $50K (93% vs. 83%) Job satisfaction also tended to increase with age (Q16).

Employment and Satisfaction Before the Pandemic

  • A plurality of respondents who were employed prior to the pandemic (47%) say that the pandemic has left them feeling no different about their job, regardless of whether they still hold the job they had pre-pandemic or have a new one. One-third (33%) say the pandemic has them feeling less satisfied about their job and 17% say they feel more satisfied. Nearly half of those ages 18-29 say they feel less satisfied (45%) about their job, by far the highest such response (Q17).
  • Respondents who said they are feeling more satisfied with their job cited the ability to work from home, a more flexible work schedule, and feeling fulfilled and able to contribute during a challenging time as reasons why. Below are several representative quotes (Q18):

I'm working from home full-time now, which has cut hours of commuting back and forth from my week and allows me more quality time with my family. I also have time and energy to do things that I enjoy now and have a better relationship with my family as a result.
Female, age 30-44, Benton County, white or Caucasian

I'm working for healthcare foundations helping raise funds for those in need. It's always been rewarding but being in a pandemic really showed me how hard we work to help, and it's made me incredibly proud of the work I do.
Male, age 30-44, Multnomah County, white or Caucasian

I love working from home and now my work is moving to work from home permanently.
Female, age 18-29, Washington County, African

I love working from home and now my work is moving to work from home permanently.
Male, age 65-74, Deschutes County, white or Caucasian

  • Respondents who said they are feeling less satisfied with their job cited lack of job security, dislike of remote working, and insufficient support from their employer as reasons why. Below are several representative quotes (Q19):

Before the pandemic started, I was up for a promotion that came with a pay increase but when we started working from home that was postponed and I was ultimately let go along with some other coworkers.
 Female, age 18-29, Coos County, white or Caucasian

The entire job changed. It became online work which just didn’t work with that specific position.
 Non-binary or gender non-conforming female, age 18-29, Clackamas County, Slavic and white or Caucasian

“They did not take care of their employees amidst so much change and uncertainty.”
 Male, age 30-44, Deschutes County, white or Caucasian

Current Employment

  • 44% of respondents say they are currently employed, either full-time (34%) or part-time (10%). That is down 10 points from the 54% who said they were employed before the pandemic. Additionally, 16% say they are currently seeking employment opportunities. Same as prior to the pandemic, men are more likely than women to be employed full-time (41% vs. 28%) (Q15, Q20).
  • Among those who are currently employed, nearly eight in ten (76%) are in the same job they worked before the pandemic and two in ten (19%) are in a different job. Younger and lower income Oregonians are the groups most likely to be in a different job (Q21).
  • Respondents who said they are no longer in the same job they worked before the pandemic were provided the open-ended opportunity to describe why. Responses varied, but key themes included: getting laid off due to the pandemic, insufficient support from their employer, and leaving for a better opportunity and/or more pay. Below are several representative quotes (Q22):

Covid caused my previous employer to close their doors.
 Male, age 18-29, Multnomah County, Hispanic/Latino/a/x

My old job was not considerate of family obligations due to pandemic.
 Female, age 30-44, Linn County, Black or African American

I was laid off at the beginning of pandemic lockdowns. While I am making more money now, I’m not using the skills I have honed and enjoyed for more than 45 years.
 Female, age 65-74, Deschutes County, white or Caucasian

“I left a bad company and found someone that values my employment.”
 Female, age 18-29, Deschutes County, white or Caucasian

How Thinking About Employment has been Influenced by the Pandemic

  • Among respondents who are currently seeking employment opportunities, six in ten (61%) say the pandemic has influenced their thinking about the kind of opportunities to look for, while four in ten (39%) say it has not (Q23).
     
  • When asked to describe, in an open-ended format, how the pandemic has changed their thinking, respondents frequently said they felt a sense of desperation, a willingness to reevaluate their career path, and a desire to work from home. Below are several representative quotes (Q24):

“At this point I am desperate enough for work that I am scraping together gas money by doing surveys and 3 months behind on paying my rent. The pandemic has vastly changed the way I look at what kinds of jobs I am willing to do. I will be a janitor if I have to, even though I am a highly skilled graphic designer with over 15 years of administrative experience. Times are desperate, and even finding cleaning jobs is next to impossible. Everyone is scared.”
 Female, age 45-54, Linn County, white or Caucasian

“I need to reevaluate my career choice and path in life for it has become somewhat of a difficult endeavor for me to find employment.”
 Male, age 30-44, Multnomah County, white or Caucasian

“The world has changed and so has my perspective about the future, now I'm looking for something that allows me to stay home as much as possible.”
 Male, age 30-44, Jackson County, Hispanic/Latino/a/x

“I think I need to focus on something long-term and also my education because I don't want to risk losing my job because of something like COVID happening again.”
 Female, age 18-29, Multnomah County, white or Caucasian

Demographic Trends
Identifying What Unites Us and Understanding What Divides Us

  • Oregonians of color and whites in this survey report similar employment situations and experiences. For example, 56% of Oregonians of color were employed before the pandemic compared to 54% of whites, with very little difference between full-time and part-time status (Q15).
  • Similarly, Oregonians of color and whites show identical levels of satisfaction with their jobs pre-pandemic, with 88% of both groups saying they were either very or somewhat satisfied (Q16).
  • However, there are some interesting differences between these groups. For example, when classifying their employment status now, whites are more likely to be retired than Oregonians of color (24% vs. 11%), and among those who are currently seeking employment opportunities, Oregonians of color are more likely than whites to say the pandemic has influenced their thinking about what kind of job opportunities to seek (70% vs. 59%) (Q20, Q23).
  • When it comes to geographic similarities, Urban and rural Oregonians report similar employment numbers before the pandemic (55% and 49%, respectively), however, urbanites were 10 points more likely to have been employed full-time (46% vs. 36%) (Q15).
  • Again, both groups showed similarly high levels of satisfaction with their pre-pandemic jobs (88% and 90% overall satisfaction, respectively) (Q16).
  • When it comes to those currently seeking employment opportunities, urbanites are significantly more likely than their rural counterparts to say the pandemic has influenced their thinking about what kind of job opportunities to seek (70% vs. 51%) (Q23).

This research was completed as a community service by the Oregon Values and Beliefs Center, an independent and non-partisan organization. OVBC is an Oregon charitable nonprofit corporation (www.oregonvbc.org).

For more information, please see the OVBC June 2021 Survey Annotated Questionnaire and Crosstabs.

Oregon Values and Beliefs Center Poll: Housing Density Increases - 07/15/21

The Oregon Legislature is requiring most cities to allow more housing to be built in single-family neighborhoods. What do Oregonians think about increasing density in these neighborhoods?

From June 8th through 14th, 2021, the Oregon Values and Beliefs Center conducted a statewide survey of Oregonians’ values and beliefs, including their thoughts about housing density regulations. The questions were intended to gather preliminary data to inform more in-depth research in the months ahead.

This online survey consisted of 1400 Oregon residents ages 18+ and took approximately 15 minutes to complete. Responses were analyzed and categorized to allow for a better understanding of trends in Oregonians’ values and beliefs. The survey’s margin of error, for the full sample, ranges from ±1.6% to ±2.6% depending on how the response category percentages split for any given question. Due to rounding, numbers may not add up to 100%.

This survey uses aggregated data to analyze the opinions of BIPOC residents in comparison to the opinions of residents who identify as white and not another race. BIPOC residents are not a monolith; the grouping represents a wide diversity of races and ethnicities. The findings included in this memo should not be construed such that all people of color are believed to share the same opinions. Disaggregated race data will be provided when sample size permits reliability.

Findings will include a citation of the relevant question, which can be referenced in the attached annotated questionnaire and tabs.

Support or Opposition to Zoning Changes

Oregonians were provided the following prompt about housing regulations in Oregon and were asked if they support such regulations: “The Oregon Legislature is requiring most cities to allow more housing to be built in single-family neighborhoods. Duplexes must be allowed on every lot, and up to four units must be permitted in some areas. The city of Portland is allowing up to six units on nearly every single-family lot” (Q1).The proportion of Oregonians who strongly support cutting funding for police (32%) is fairly on par with the proportion who strongly oppose cutting funding (27%) (Q25).

  • Overall, one-half of Oregonians (52%) support such housing increases in single-family neighborhoods, while 37% are opposed and 11% are unsure (Q1).
  • Oregonians ages 30-44 are more supportive of such housing increases than those ages 65 and older (58% vs. 40-50%). This may be a result of challenges Americans in this age group have faced on the path to homeownership, such as the Great Recession and student loan debt(Q1).
  • Oregonians making less than $50k per year are more supportive than higher earners (59% vs. 44-47%), which makes sense given the fact that one of the intended goals of changing the zoning regulations is to create more affordable housing options (Q1

Increasing Density: Why or Why Not

Respondents were provided the open-ended opportunity to explain why they support or oppose housing increases in single-family neighborhoods. The top reasons to support include lack of affordable housing in the area, addressing population growth, and helping to alleviate homelessness. In fact, the words “homeless” and “homelessness” showed up nearly 100 times in the responses in support of such housing increases. Reasons to oppose include concerns about changes to the neighborhood, increased traffic and crowds, and declining property values. Below are some representative quotes, categorized by whether the respondent supports regulations that allow for increased density, or is opposed to such regulations(Q2-3).

Support:

“Housing is so expensive in Oregon that many people aren’t able to buy in top school districts. This would help a number of people to be able to purchase a home. Also, in cities like West Linn and Oregon City, it is difficult for seniors to downsize to a home of a smaller size and still stay in the community. This would be of help to them, too.”
Female, age 65-74, Clackamas County, white or Caucasian

“Because there isn’t enough housing at the moment and there are a lot of homeless people out there that have good-paying jobs, yet no place to live.”
Female, age 65-74, Tillamook County, Native American or American Indian

“There is a housing crisis happening in our city. We have to build affordable housing for our community members.”
Male, age 18-29, Washington County, white or Caucasian

“Because I know personally how hard it is finding affordable decent housing. Especially in cities like Portland. It has become impossible to raise a family with just a single income. The cost of living is just too much. I truly believe having more affordable housing would help a lot of people and their families in more ways than one.”
Female, age 30-44, Gilliam County, white or Caucasian

Oppose:

“I agree that we desperately need more housing, but I don’t agree that it should come down to putting duplexes or apartments in single-family neighborhoods. It’s a bummer to see neighborhoods radically changed. It lessens the relaxed and homey feel of some areas. It would increase the foot traffic and vehicles as well.”
Female, age 30-44, Lane County, white or Caucasian

“This results in increased parking and traffic problems, which are already bad enough at current densities. It is also likely to have impacts on schools, that again are already stressed.”
Male, age 65-74, Marion County, other race or ethnicity

“I”ve seen what overcrowding does in my neighborhood and I wouldn’t support it in other neighborhoods. Overcrowded schools and too much traffic.”
Female, age 55-64, Lane County, white or Caucasian

“Don’t bring down the value of my home by bringing lower-income housing into my neighborhood. The goal of a neighborhood should not be to cram as many low-income people in there as possible.”
Male, age 30-44, Clackamas County, Hispanic/Latino/a/x

Demographic Trends
Identifying What Unites Us and Understanding What Divides Us

  • Black, Indigenous, and other Oregonians of color and whites have very similar views on housing increases in single-family neighborhoods, with a slim majority of both groups supporting them (52% and 51%, respectively). White Oregonians, however, are more likely to say they oppose these density increases (38% vs. 33%), and Black, Indigenous, and other Oregonians of color are more likely to say they are undecided (16% vs. 10%) (Q1).
     
  • Interestingly, Black, Indigenous, and other Oregonians of color particularly emphasize affordability and the idea that everyone needs a home as reasons for supporting increased housing density. These are issues that are intertwined with homelessness, but BIPOC Oregonians are less likely to explicitly call out homelessness as their reason for supporting increases in housing density (Q2).
     
  • Urban Oregonians are slightly more likely than their rural counterparts to support housing increases in single-family neighborhoods (58% vs. 52%). Suburban Oregonians are the least likely to support increasing density (49%), and the second most likely to oppose it (39%). Only Oregonians living in rural-changing-to-suburban areas are more opposed to increasing housing density (43%). This is likely reflective of the prevalence of single-family residences in suburban and rural-changing-to-suburban areas and, in the case of rural-changing-to-suburban, perhaps even reactionary to the changes already taking place in these areas (Q1).

This research was completed as a community service by the Oregon Values and Beliefs Center, an independent and non-partisan organization. OVBC is an Oregon charitable nonprofit corporation (www.oregonvbc.org).

For more information, please see the OVBC June 2021 Survey Annotated Questionnaire and Crosstabs.

Oregon Values and Beliefs Center Findings: Policing and Public Safety - 07/14/21

Funding for police departments has become a very controversial topic, but when it comes to accountability measures, Oregonians are largely on the same page.

From June 8th through 14th, 2021, the Oregon Values and Beliefs Center conducted a statewide survey of Oregonians’ values and beliefs, including their thoughts about policing and public safety. The questions were intended to gather preliminary data to inform more in-depth research in the months ahead.

This online survey consisted of 1400 Oregon residents ages 18+ and took approximately 15 minutes to complete. Responses were analyzed and categorized to allow for a better understanding of trends in Oregonians’ values and beliefs. The survey’s margin of error, for the full sample, ranges from ±1.6% to ±2.6% depending on how the response category percentages split for any given question. Due to rounding, numbers may not add up to 100%.

This survey uses aggregated data to analyze the opinions of BIPOC residents in comparison to the opinions of residents who identify as white and not another race. BIPOC residents are not a monolith; the grouping represents a wide diversity of races and ethnicities. The findings included in this memo should not be construed such that all people of color are believed to share the same opinions. Disaggregated race data will be provided when sample size permits reliability.

Findings will include a citation of the relevant question, which can be referenced in the attached annotated questionnaire and tabs.

Reducing vs. Increasing Funding

Police funding is about as divisive a topic as can be found among Oregonians: Just over half of residents want to see police funding cut in favor of social programs like counseling, education, and housing (53%), while nearly half say they support increasing funding so that local police departments may expand their presence (49%) (Q25, Q35).

  • The proportion of Oregonians who strongly support cutting funding for police (32%) is fairly on par with the proportion who strongly oppose cutting funding (27%) (Q25).
  • Support for cutting police budgets is highest among Oregonians 18 to 29 (61%) and declines consistently with age, down to 39% of Oregonians 75 and older (Q25).


Eliminating Police Departments, Funding Alternatives

In the wake of the George Floyd protests of 2020, calls for “abolition” of police departments increased, especially on social media. Among Oregonians broadly, this call represents a minority view today. More than one-quarter of Oregonians support the idea at least somewhat (27%), while 12% say they strongly support eliminating the police department and creating alternatives (12%) (Q26).

  • Oregonians under 30 demonstrate the strongest support for eliminating the police department and creating alternatives (45%) (Q26)

Broad Support for Accountability

Many proposed measures to improve accountability for police are much less divisive, and indeed garner broad support from Oregonians. The single most favored accountability measure is to ensure police officers hold each other accountable.

  • Nearly nine in ten Oregonians support requiring police to intervene and stop excessive force used by other officers and report these incidents immediately to their supervisor (88%). This figure includes 68% of Oregonians who strongly support eliminating this so-called thin blue line (Q31).
  • Similarly, 79% of Oregonians support requiring officers to report each time they use force or threaten to use force against a civilian. More than half of Oregonians strongly support this idea (56%) (Q33).

Other types of accountability measures earn majority support as well, particularly those which seek to regulate police behavior. More than eight in ten residents support recording interactions with the public to the greatest extent possible (82%), and three-quarters of Oregonians support banning chokeholds (75%) (Q34, Q27).

  • About three-quarters of Oregonians of every economic ideology (liberal, moderate, and conservative) support recording police interactions when feasible (75-92%) (Q34).
  • More than half of Oregonians of every economic ideology (liberal, moderate, and conservative) support eliminating the use of chokeholds (55-90%) (Q27).

Demographic Trends
Identifying What Unites Us and Understanding What Divides Us

  • As divisive as police funding is among Oregonians overall, support for cutting police funding in favor of social programs is very similar among Oregonians who identify as white and those who identify as people of color (aggregated) (52%, 56%). However, disaggregated race data could show differences between white people and other races (Q25).
     
  • Support for banning the use of chemical agents such as tear gas and pepper bullets is significantly higher in urban areas (54%) than in suburban, rural, or in-between areas (37-44%). Urban residents may be more familiar with the effects of tear gas and pepper bullets, or they are more attuned to the frequency with which it has been used (in urban areas) over the past year (Q28).
     
  • From Portland to Bend to Hillsboro to Burns, Oregonians are largely in agreement when they say they support requiring police to intervene and stop excessive force used by other officers and report these incidents immediately to their supervisor. Across urban, suburban, rural, and in-between areas 88-92% of residents support this accountability measure (Q31).
     
  • More than two-thirds of Oregonians from all areas also support requiring officers to report each time they use force or threaten to use force against a civilian, although the spread in support between urban residents (78%) and rural residents (66%) is larger (Q33).
  • White Oregonians and Black, Indigenous, and other Oregonians of color also present few differences in opinion when it comes to requiring police to interview and stop excessive use of force (89% and 85%) and requiring officers to report each time they use force (79% and 77%). Again, disaggregated data may present differences between white people and other races (Q31, Q33).

This research was completed as a community service by the Oregon Values and Beliefs Center, an independent and non-partisan organization. OVBC is an Oregon charitable nonprofit corporation (www.oregonvbc.org).

For more information, please see the OVBC June 2021 Survey Annotated Questionnaire and Crosstabs.