Los Angeles County’s Forecast

Supervisor Ridley-Thomas speaks at Loyola Marymount, February 25, 2014

[raw]Angelenos are optimistic people but know the county faces many challenges—at least according to a recent study done by researchers at Loyola Marymount University.

The results of Forecast LA, as the study is called, were shared with civic leaders and elected officials so that they can understand what residents want and how to create policies that make Los Angeles a better place.

“A clear understanding of the hopes, dreams and fears of LA County’s 10 million residents is essential to making policy decisions,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who spoke at the conference held at the university. “Whether you get that understanding from a survey, from a town hall or simply around the dinner table, community-based decision making has been a guiding principle of my career in public service.”

Led by Dr. Fernando Guerra, director of the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles at LMU, the Forecast LA report, included surveys from mayors of the 88 cities in Los Angeles County as well as results of 20-minute telephone interviews with 2,400 residents.

Fifty-nine percent of residents believe Los Angeles County is headed in the right direction. The leaders were even more optimistic, with 80 percent believing the economy, jobs and other essential lifestyle issues would continue to improve.

Not every aspect of life here, however, is positive. Residents voiced concern over the growing disparity between rich and poor; they see unemployment decreasing but not significantly; they see housing and healthcare costs continuing to rise. Many are worried they will never be able to afford buying a house. “Mayors show an amazing optimism and a strong belief in local action,” according to the report. “Combined with the positive economic indicators, residential optimism and leadership action, the region is poised to improve over the coming year.”

Click here to view the full report.