Quality of life in San Francisco is improving, poll says 

What a difference a year makes for San Franciscans, who rank quality of life better than in 2010 and who increasingly believe The City is headed in the right direction.

Those are just a couple of results of the latest CityBeat poll by the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, which surveyed 500 San Francisco voters in February and found a much rosier outlook on everything from jobs and the economy to city government than they did a year ago.

“People are feeling a little more confident that their financial situation has at least stabilized,” Chamber of Commerce President Steve Falk said.

While the economy was the No. 1 issue for voters in 2010, homelessness became the most daunting issue facing The City in 2011. That could be more the result of public campaigns such as the sit-lie ordinance, which passed in November, Falk said.

“There’s no argument that there’s more homeless on the streets than there was a year ago, Falk said. “But all the news last fall brought it to the forefront.”

The poll also queried voters on a growing number of mayoral candidates vying for the job in November.

Jim Lazarus, director of public policy for the chamber, said that if Mayor Ed Lee doesn’t run in November, then the race will be tough to call, especially with ranked-choice voting.

“What it’s saying is that it’s a wide-open race,” he said.

The results of the poll will be discussed today at a chamber event.


Overall ranking of quality of life

The 2011 CityBeat poll asked residents how they felt about The City and issues here:

2010 2011
Better 9 15
Worse 47 34
Stayed the same 42 49
Don't know 2 2

San Francisco is going ...

2010 2011
In the right direction 29 44
In the wrong direction 51 32
Don't know 20 24

Major issues facing San Francisco:

2010 2011
Homelessness and panhandling 28 32
Jobs and the economy 29 26
City budget 26 21
Education 25 21
Muni and public transportation 26 17
Cleanliness of streets and parks 14 13
Crime, drugs and gangs 15 12
Homeownership and cost of home 14 11

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Brent Begin

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