Better Pensacola Forum
The Better Pensacola Forum is a non-profit organization created for the purpose of conducting independent, accurate and credible research that is designed to help local leaders develop practical strategies to improve the quality of life in the Pensacola area.
The Forum will coordinate and conduct an annual “Quality of Life” survey, making the results available to the public free of charge. It will sponsor independent research and coordinate special projects to promote best practices in education, economic advancement, leadership development and community governance.
The Forum does not endorse any political or community agenda, and will publish its research and data on this Web site for individuals and organizations to access, download and use. The Forum will use town hall meetings, conferences and seminars to stimulate public participation in the design of workable solutions to complex community challenges.
In 2008 the Forum conducted a phone survey of registered voters in Escambia County. A similar 2009 phone survey is in the works, and the Forum invites residents to take a "mini-survey" about living in Escambia County.
September 2008 results
The Quality of Life survey was conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research of Washington, D.C. The company surveyed 800 registered Escambia County voters during the week of July 22-27, 2008.
Escambia County and Pensacola on the Right Track or Wrong Track:
- 54% Escambia say headed in wrong direction; 52% Pensacola say headed in wrong direction.
- Only 20% say we are headed in the right direction in either jurisdiction.
- College graduates are the most pessimistic - 62% wrong direction
Most important issues
- Escambia: Economy/jobs 28%, Education 15%, Poor Leadership 14%
- Pensacola: Economy/jobs 28%, Education 8%, tie Poor Leadership, Taxes/Govt spending 9%
Quality of Life rating
- Excellent 7%; Good 44%; Just Fair 39%; Poor 10%…..split evenly 51%-49%.
- 62% African-Americans rate negatively compared to 46% of white voters.
Rate Escambia as a place to live for the following types of people:
- Only positive ratings: Retirees 72%; Families with children 52%
- Negative ratings: Recent college grads 90%; New businesses 65%; Young, singles 54%; Minorities 56%; Immigrants 54%
Rating Quality of Life Factors
- Quality of public schools 67%
- Public safety & crime 72%
- Availability of healthcare 44%
- Traffic 72%
- Public transportation 73%
Ratings across Demographic Differences
- Quality of public schools: Black 66%, White 67%; Male 71%, Female 63%
- Affordable Housing: Less than $40K 76%; more 59%
- Healthcare: Black 52%, White 38%; Less than $40K 60%; more 33%
Rating other Quality of Life factors
- Natural beauty: Positive 69%
- Parks, beaches: Positive 67%
- Cultural: Positive 40%; Just Fair 45%
- Vibrant nightlife: Positive 33%; Just Fair 33%
Compared to 5 years, are you visiting Downtown Pensacola for entertainment:
- Same: 49%
- Less: 39%
- More: 11%
- Not sure 1%
Rating: Economic Factors
- Economic development/job growth plan & vision: Negative 86%
- Job opportunities in your field: Negative 71%
- Affordable housing availability: Negative 65%
Over the next five years, do you think quality will:
- Stay Same: 53%
- Improve: 32%
- Deteriorate: 15%
- Not Sure: 1%
Rating of Economic Conditions in Escambia County:
- Negative Rating: 86%
- Five years from now: Same 40%; Improve 30%; Deteriorate 22%; Not Sure 8%
Concern over own or family job security:
- Concerned 58%
- By Race: White 57%; Black 72%
- By Income: More than $40K 49%; Less than $40K 69%
- By Education: College grad 53%; Non-grad 61%
Likelihood of Moving from areas within next 5 years
- Not Likely 69%; Likely 31%
- Why leave? Poor Economy 84%; Poor leadership 81%; Poor job opportunities 72%; Poor education 50%; No sense things will improve 68%; Lack of entertainment 41%
Out-migration of 18-25 year olds:
- Likely: 53%; Not Likely 46%, Note Sure 1%
- Why leave? Poor job opportunities 87%; Poor Economy 82%; Lack of entertainment 70%
Does Escambia County offer kind of advantages and opportunities to attract and keep young people and talented people to the area?
- Yes: 12%; No 88%
How serious do you think the loss of young people is for Escambia County?
- Serious 83%; Not serious 16%
Rate Elected Officials in success in addressing new challenges and in attacting economic opportunity and job growth
- Escambia County: Negative 93%
- Pensacola: Negative 90%
- State legislative delegation: Negative 81%
Confident leaders have vision, plans and leadership for economic development, revitalization:
- Escambia County: Agree 42%; Disagree/Not sure 58%
- Pensacola: Agree 42%; Disagree/Not sure 59%
- Support 59%; Oppose 22%; Not sure 19%
Support By Demographic:
- Pensacola resident: 55%; County 60%
- Democrat: 53%; Republican 61%; Independent 67%
- Black 60%; White 56%
- Male 70%; Female 48%
- Grad 66%; Non-grad 55%
- Less than $40K 51%; More 63%
If it meant a substantial savings to your tax bill, would you support consolidation?
- Support 85%; Oppose 8%; Not sure 7%
How important is Community Maritime Park:
- Important 72%; Not important 27%; Not sure 1%
Without leadership and a clear, shared vision there is little chance for coordinated, successful efforts to attract economic opportunity, jobs and to improve the overall quality of life
- Agree 91%; Disagree 8%