How quickly we take for granted our city by the bay. Never mind the fact that we live with the beautiful backdrop of iconic places like the Golden Gate Bridge. Forget that we won the World Series last year, or that we enjoy sex more regularly than most other cities: San Franciscans are still a bunch of Debbie Downers.
In a new study conducted by the University of San Francisco McCarthy Center, researchers sampled nearly 1,200 people throughout San Francisco, Oakland, and the South Bay. Researchers gauged residents' overall mood by asking questions about pension reform, how they felt about their current mayor and board of supervisors, and whether they trusted the Chamber of Commerce, to name a few.
"San Franciscans have a slightly darker view of the public process," says David Latterman, a local political consultant who conducted the study.
There is good reason for that, Latterman explains. San Franciscans are also more involved in local issues and government generally, which means they are more enlightened. And with this deeper knowledge, comes the harsh understanding that things at City Hall don't always work so well.
Let's look at the survey results:
Roughly 52 percent of those surveyed in San Francisco said they thought things were "going in the right direction." That's compared to 67 percent in San Mateo, Marin, and Napa, and 55 percent in Santa Clara.
About 45 percent of San Franciscans said that
local government is "run by a few big interests," compared with 39 percent regionally. City dwellers also had a more negative view of the Chamber of Commerce.
But not surprisingly, when it came to the question of Mayor Ed Lee, residents turned that frown upside down. About 37 percent of those surveyed said they had a great deal of confidence in Lee, who was appointed as interim mayor in January. That's higher than the 31 percent in other Bay Area cities, where residents were not nearly as gushing over their respective mayors.
So how might these results play out come election day?
"I don't think they will," Latterman told SF Weekly.
Of course, the Run, Ed, Run campaign might disagree.