Clean Environment Key to Economy, Philadelphians Tell Pollster; Mayoral Candidates' Position on Environment Very Important to Residents and Business Owners

May 22, 2006, 01:00 ET from PennFuture

    PHILADELPHIA, May 22 /PRNewswire/ -- In a newly conducted poll,
 Philadelphia's business leaders and residents agreed that environmental
 damage is harming the city and that protecting the environment is vital to
 growing the region's economy. Participants in the poll also called the
 environment a crucial issue for the next mayor, and residents said they
 would be more likely to vote for a candidate who addresses the issue. The
 poll was performed by Terry Madonna Opinion Research for Citizens for
 Pennsylvania's Future (PennFuture), with support from the William Penn
 Foundation on behalf of a broad coalition of citizen groups working
 together as part of the Next Great City initiative.
     "Both business leaders and residents recognize that Philadelphia's
 damaged environment hurts the city's economy and that improving the natural
 and physical environment will yield positive economic benefits for the
 city," said G. Terry Madonna, who conducted the poll of 204 Philadelphia
 businesses and 604 residents. "Overwhelmingly, 92 percent of Philadelphians
 believe that environmental and infrastructure improvements are necessary to
 improve the area's economic competitiveness and growth."
     The poll highlights the various ways Philadelphia's residents and
 businesses are being harmed by environmental problems. For example, 17
 percent have had a family member miss work or school because of breathing
 related issues, and more than one in five have had a basement flood after a
 storm. Philadelphians also believe the city does too little to protect the
 air, water, parks and land; and both businesses and residents want stricter
 laws and better enforcement.
     "An astonishing 85 percent of voters reported that they are more likely
 to vote for a candidate for Mayor who made improving the city's environment
 and its sewer, water and transportation infrastructures a top priority,"
 continued Madonna, a noted expert in Pennsylvania politics and voting
 behavior. "The importance of this in the Mayor's race echoes in both the
 business community and voters -- 48 percent of business leaders and 56
 percent of voters think improving Philadelphia's environment should be the
 top or one of the most important issues for the next mayor."
     PennFuture commissioned the poll on behalf of organizations working
 together as Next Great City, which aims to create and implement a
 common-sense city environmental and public health action plan to attract
 investment, jobs and people. The Next Great City initiative has the support
 of Philadelphia's community, faith and business organizations, and
 political and civic leaders.
     Organizations participating in the Next Great City initiative include
 the Audubon Society, Clean Air Council, Clean Water Action, Delaware Valley
 Green Building Council, the Energy Coordinating Agency, Free the Schuylkill
 River Park, PennEnvironment, Pennsylvania Environmental Council,
 Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, PenTrans, Philadelphia Parks Alliance,
 Sierra Club of Southeastern Pennsylvania, and 10,000 Friends of
     The poll was conducted by Terry Madonna Opinion Research of Lancaster
 between late February and early March of 2006. The sample error for the
 residential survey is plus or minus 4.0 percent and the sample error for
 the business survey is plus or minus 6.9 percent. Final survey results were
 weighted to adjust for different selection probabilities and non-response.
 A copy of the poll is available at

SOURCE PennFuture