Comprehensive Oregon Values & Beliefs Project uncovers Oregonians’ opinions about issues across the state

10/04/13  Portland, Ore.

Results will be shared at today’s City Club luncheon and broadcast live on OPB’s “Think Out Loud” program at noon

The results are in from the Oregon Values & Beliefs Project, which gathered input from more than 9,000 Oregonians on topics such as education, healthcare, the environment and public transportation.

Study findings show that Oregonians may not be as divided on many issues as is commonly perceived. In general, Oregonians are optimistic about their state and their future, but that optimism weakens in the face of certain important policy issues such as K-12 education, health care, the tax system and environmental issues. The goal of the Oregon Values & Beliefs Project is to inform community leaders about how Oregonians feel about the most fundamental issues of the day.

Study results and their implications will be discussed at noon today at the Portland City Club’s weekly luncheon. In a special live broadcast, the City Club discussion will be aired on Oregon Public Broadcasting’s “Think Out Loud” program at noon.

The 2013 study, sponsored by Oregon Health & Science University, The Oregon Community Foundation, OPB and Oregon State University, is the third installment of this study, with similar opinion research conducted in 2002 and 1992. DHM Research in Portland led the project research; PolicyInteractive in Eugene contributed to project design and analysis of the results.

“Our hope is that these findings will assist leaders in the private, public and non-profit sectors in charting a course for Oregon that is informed by the shared values and beliefs of all Oregonians and not just the whims of special interests,” said Adam Davis, founding principal of DHM Research.

Today’s City Club event will feature a presentation on the study’s overarching findings by Davis. John McConnell, Ph.D., director of the Center for Health Systems Effectiveness at OHSU and Bobbie Regan, secretary-treasurer of the Oregon School Boards Association will discuss two key study areas: healthcare and education.

Study Methods

The study used two tracks to engage a broad and representative swath of Oregon’s adult population. The first track consisted of three statewide surveys. Responses were gathered via telephone (landline and mobile) and online to reduce any disadvantage in using one collection medium over the other. Enough surveys were completed to enable statistically reliable analysis at the regional level for eastern, central and southern Oregon as well as the Willamette Valley and Portland metropolitan regions.

The second track of the study invited Oregonians to become part of Oregon’s Kitchen Table and to complete one or more of the surveys online. Additionally, participants had the option of taking a shorter survey that asked a mix of questions from the three longer surveys and provided an opportunity for more open-ended questions, allowing Oregonians to offer their views in their own words.