Sunshine State Survey Reveals Floridians Mixed Views on Economic Development, Housing and Crime

December 18, 2007
Sunshine State Survey Reveals Floridians Mixed Views on Economic Development, Housing and Crime

December 18, 2007

For more information on the survey results contact Brad Coker at 904-261-2444
For more information on Leadership Florida contact Wendy Abberger at 877-352-5323
Tallahassee – Perceptions among Floridians on issues related to affordable housing, crime and economic development vary, with a majority favoring incentives to businesses to encourage expansion or relocation to the state, according to an excerpt from the Sunshine State Survey released today.
Statewide, Floridians favor state economic development agencies putting greater emphasis on keeping existing businesses and jobs at a margin of 43% to 38% over encouraging new businesses and jobs to move into the state. However, an optimistic 14% volunteered that the state should do both.  Registered voters (57%) top the list of Floridians who continue to favor incentives to businesses as encouragement for them to expand or re-locate to Florida, along with Republicans (61%), Independents (60%) and those earning $75,000+ (63%).
Building on the sentiments of last year’s Sunshine State Survey, 62% of Floridians continue to feel that affordable housing is a serious problem facing current Florida residents, while only 14% think the issue is a more serious problem for those thinking about moving into the state.
”As local and state governments attempt to strike positive balances between economic development and quality of life issues like crime and affordable housing, these linkages will become even more evident, “ said Jim Murley, Leadership Florida’s survey chair and director of the Anthony James Catanese Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions at Florida Atlantic University. “Our challenge is to ensure that our approach is a systematic one that takes in account the variety of views that exist among Floridians.”
Locally, Floridians varied on their perception of the seriousness of crime. When asked to rate the seriousness of crime in their community, 48% described it as “very serious” or “somewhat serious”, while 51% said it was “not too serious” or “not a problem.”
The majority of Floridians report no change in crime in their community over the past year (55%), but a little over a third (36%) did report an increase. Those more likely to report an increase in crime in their community were African-Americans (52%) and those earning less than $75,000. Additionally, crime was reported as being relatively more serious in their community by African-Americans (61%) and those earning less than $50,000.
The Sunshine State Survey -- commissioned by Leadership Florida and its partners, the Florida Philanthropic Network and the Jessie Ball duPont Fund -- takes an unbiased, non-politically aligned look at the opinions of Floridians. A total of 1,200 Florida residents were interviewed statewide by phone as part of this 2nd annual survey, which will be released in topical segments over the course of this month.  The survey was conducted November 19 through November 30, 2007 by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, Inc. of Washington, D.C.

The attached file is also available for download on the Leadership Florida website,
Leadership Florida
Leadership Florida has developed a reputation for 25 years as a builder of a stronger, diverse statewide sense of community. A respected non-partisan convener, LF has taken the lead in training and developing leaders with a statewide, rather than parochial, view of our state’s needs.
Florida Philanthropic Network
The Florida Philanthropic Network strives for Florida to be successful in modeling and facilitating cooperation and collaboration among all sectors – business, government and nonprofit, to promote the best interest of all Floridians.
The Jessie Ball duPont Fund
The Jessie Ball duPont Fund, based in Jacksonville, Florida, invests in organizations and communities that were important to the founder, Mrs. duPont, making grants to more than 330 eligible organizations identified by her will.