One thing is clear from this year’s annual Silicon Valley Poll – People are thinking twice about staying in the Bay Area and are looking for answers to perceived pressing problems. 44 percent of those polled in five counties say they are likely to move out of the Bay Area in the next few years, but only six percent say they have definite plans to leave in 2019.
Among those contemplating a move in the next few years, 77 percent say high housing costs and 76 percent say it’s the cost of living. Other factors feeding discontent include traffic congestion at 51 percent, with quality of life coming in at 45 percent and taxes not far behind at 41 percent.
The perceptions of what currently ails the Bay Area is fairly consistent across counties with 83 percent saying the cost of housing is the most serious problem, followed by cost of living at 81 percent and, perhaps surprisingly, homelessness comes in third at 79 percent, followed by traffic congestion at 76. In fifth place is increasing wildfires at 70 percent. However, voters are divided on if rapid growth in the Bay has been positive or negative, with a plurality of 33 percent viewing as positive.
Carl Guardino President and CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group believes that we need to take big, bold, transformative steps before we lose the talented people who keep the engine of Silicon Valley, and our innovation economy, running. With the leadership of Governor Newsom, and our own advocacy at The Leadership Group, we believe that voters in 2020, will have real, substantive choices to help solve some of the most pressing transportation and housing challenges facing our region and state today.
Editors Note: The poll of 1,568 registered voters in Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, San Mateo and San Francisco counties, was conducted by FM3 Research for the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and Bay Area News Group. The poll, conducted Feb. 14-24, has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent.
March 25, 2019