2002 MVOV Report

CLICK FOR MANY VOICES ONE VALLEY 2002

The study is a project of the Dyson Foundation and the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion to understand how members of the Hudson Valley community view the area in which they live. This comprehensive analysis represents a unique effort to examine in depth how people view the present and future directions of the region, measure the degree to which Hudson Valley residents and community leaders share perceptions, and understand if and how the views of residents and community leaders differ among the counties of the valley.

The report is divided into five sections. Section One, “How the Study Was Conducted,” is a guide to understanding the survey results and how to interpret the survey numbers. It details the study methodology, the sample design, and how the information was collected. This section provides an explanation of the comprehensive scope of the study. Two companion samples were selected for interviewing: a large group comprised of 3,882 residents drawn from the six counties in the Hudson Valley and a representative group of community leaders drawn from each county totaling 245. In this way, not only are comparisons able to be made between the views of Hudson Valley residents and community leaders, but analysis also treats the views of both groups of respondents in each individual county. In addition, because of the unusually large number of interviews conducted, analysis is made in this study of sub-groups within the population who are often not numerous enough in other studies to draw valid conclusions.

The second section, “Profile and Priorities,” addresses what the region looks like and what residents and community leaders view as the overall pressing priorities for the area. It also explores how various segments of the population differ in their priorities for the region. In addition, this section looks at each county of the region individually to identify how its residents and community leaders compare with each other and how the priorities of residents and community leaders in each county compare to the region as a whole.

Section Three, “Harmony or Discord?” discusses how residents and community leaders rate the community as a place to live, whether or not people feel they can have an impact on the quality of life here, and what they think is an effective way to make a difference. In addition, this section explores the quality of the relationship between citizens and those in leadership positions. Do Hudson Valley residents and community leaders think decision-makers see things the way the public does? Do they think the public’s view on issues count in decision-making? How much do Hudson Valley residents and community leaders think the public’s views on issues should count in decision-making? Do residents and community leaders feel their interests and views are reflected in community decisions?

Section Four, “The Issues,” reports on the views of Hudson Valley residents and community leaders on thirteen separate issue and service areas. This section identifies whether each item is considered by the public and community leaders to be a priority and how they think their community is currently handling the problem. In addition this section provides the views of residents and community leaders regarding whether or not more resources should be allocated to each of the issue and service areas. Analysis in this section involves treatment of how various groups within the community prioritize each issue and service area and how the views on each item vary across the counties of the valley.

Finally, Section Five, “Community Connection,” explores how connected Hudson Valley residents and community leaders are to their community and beyond. To what extent are residents and community leaders registered to vote, active as volunteers, or connected via the Internet. In addition, this section addresses employment patterns in the region in terms of who is working, where, how they get to work, and how long it takes them. Finally, this report looks at how area residents and community leaders get their news.

It is hoped that this study will provide an understanding of how Hudson Valley residents and community leaders perceive the region and enlighten the dialogue to chart future directions. It is the aim of the Dyson Foundation and the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion that this information will be valuable for residents and decision-makers who together will shape the quality of life for the region in the decades to come.