The Better Pensacola Forum is a non-profit organization created for the purpose of conducting independent, accurate, and credible research designed to help local leaders develop practical strategies to improve the quality of life in our area. Pensacola Young Professionals also continues to work in various ways to make Pensacola a better place to live, work, and play. In order to most effectively capitalize on their common goals and shared vision for Pensacola, the two organizations formed an alliance in 2011.
Since 2008, Better Pensacola Forum (BPF) has conducted annual surveys of Pensacola voters. This year saw the seventh annual Quality of Life Survey of Escambia County voters. The 2014 survey, commissioned by Pensacola Young Professionals, is now available.
The 2013 Quality of Life survey shows that for the first time in three years a majority of voters (59%) give a positive rating for the overall quality of life in Escambia County (51% good, 8% Excellent). This is a 12% increase over 2012.
Escambia County continues a positive trend with 58% of voters saying that the county is headed in the right direction. The City of Pensacola shows 71% of city voters feel things are headed in the right direction, but this is an 18% drop from 2012.
The top local concerns are the economy and jobs, followed by crime and drugs.
The voters are not as confident in our leadership as in 2012. The City sees a drop of 23% in voters who express familiarity and confidence in the vision, plans, and leadership of the City. The County, meanwhile, held steady with 61% of respondents expressing familiarity and confidence in the vision, plans, and leadership of the County; this is 1% lower than last year.
Our voters are overwhelmingly in favor of using Restore Act money on environmental restoration projects; there is also very strong support for infrastructure and economic development projects, as well as strong support for public investment in Downtown Pensacola.
PYP is optimistic about the future of the Pensacola Bay Area. We plan to continue to work hard to make a difference and we hope that our area leaders, businesses, and community members will also step up to make positive differences so that our community continues to blossom as a fantastic place to live, work, and play for citizens of all ages.