Findings: Citywide Topics

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This section covers topics related to broad city concerns, including Portland’s greatest challenges, the most important city service, and where the city should invest its resources, and whether Portland is a City in which everyone can thrive in Portland regardless of identity.
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Greatest challenge Portland is facing

Homelessness, cost of living and community safety were identified as the biggest challenges

The Insights Survey asked respondents the biggest challenge the City is facing. Participants identified Homelessness as the biggest challenge, with Cost of Living and Community Safety coming in second and third respectively.

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Safety surpasses cost of living as a concern for East Portlanders

Although Homelessness was clearly the greatest challenge across the six geographic areas of Portland, the other challenges varied in prominence by area. For East Portland, Community Safety was the second greatest challenge, which represented a much larger proportion than in all five other areas.

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Cost of living exceeds homelessness as the top concern for Black or African American, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, and American Indian or Alaska Native Portlanders

Homelessness was endorsed as the greatest challenge for all other groups.

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City service funding priorities

Respondents identified affordable housing / homeless services; safety services; and streets, sidewalks, transportation as the most important to fund

Survey participants were asked to rate the importance of a variety of City services, selecting only one option to determine community values for City budget decisions. The importance of funding affordable housing / homelessness services and safety services corresponds respondents’ answers to the greatest challenge question. Although cost of living was identified as the second greatest challenge, respondents did no indicate that economic support for individuals/small businesses was a priority for funding.

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Over a third of East Portlanders chose safety services as the most important service to fund

Safety services was the second most important to fund for all Portlanders across all geographic areas, but East Portlanders were more likely to choose this as an important service over those in other areas.

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A larger proportion of Black/African American residents rated Affordable Housing/Homeless Services as most important to fund, compared to other groups

In comparison, residents who identified as Asian or Other were the only groups to rank safety services as or more important than affordable housing / homeless services.

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Distribution of resources

Most respondents favor investing resources where need is the greatest

The City asked if residents would prefer that City resources were distributed equally by zip code or in zip codes with greater need.

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Portland as a city where everyone can succeed and thrive regardless of their identity

Respondents generally think that identity influences one's ability to succeed and thrive in Portland

Respondents were asked if they thought that Portland is a city in which everyone can succeed and thrive regardless of their identity, such as race, ethnicity, disability, gender, language, religion, and sexual orientation.

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Black / African American respondents and White respondents were most likely to believe that identity determined one’s ability to succeed and thrive in Portland

In contrast, people who identify as American Indian or Alaska Native had the largest proportion of agreement that Portland was a city where everyone can succeed and thrive regardless of identity.

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Respondents who identified as men were more likely than those of other genders to agree that Portland is a city where everyone can succeed and thrive regardless of their identity

Majority Disagreement was reported by people who identify as transgender and as women, as well as people who are gender expansive, Two Spirit, undecided, or described their gender differently.

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Reasons for moving

Affordable housing and proximity to work, school, family, or friends were the primary reasons people moved out of the City

102 people respondents have lived in Portland but moved away within the last five years. They were asked to provide the top reasons for moving out of Portland. Caution needs to be taken with interpreting this result because the sample size is quite small and because this survey was not intended to capture a representative sample of movers. With these caveats in mind, cost of living appears to be the primary factor influencing those who moved. That is, despite affordable housing / homelessness and community safety being identified as the top citywide concerns, they were not often listed as reasons respondents moved.

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