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 http://www.pennfuture.org