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Education Tops List of Concerns in Valley Survey

September 14, 2000

VAN NUYS — Echoing familiar themes, more than 100 San Fernando Valley community leaders ranked education, transportation, jobs and crime as the area's key quality of life issues, a new study shows.

The "San Fernando Valley Indicators 2000" report, which will be discussed at a news conference today, includes survey results from about 125 people who were asked to rank a dozen quality of life issues in order of importance.

The No. 1 issue in the report by the Van Nuys-based Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley was education and test scores, followed in order by transportation and commuting, employment and crime.

Bruce Ackerman, president and chief executive of the Alliance, said the survey did not take a scientific random sample, but that it will help his organization decide what issues it should focus on.

"For me, looking at leading an organization that's going to be aggressively involved as an agent for change, we needed to know what the issues were, and this helps to define those issues," he said.

Ackerman said the alliance plans to conduct a similar survey every year.

Most of those surveyed in the report attended an Alliance conference last February on the Valley economy and other issues. The alliance also surveyed additional business, government and community leaders.

One researcher questioned whether it was truly indicative of the community as a whole.

"My guess is that people who come to these conferences don't represent, proportionately, the communities in the Valley or the people who live in those communities," said Cal State Northridge economist Shirley Svorny. "It's more of an indicator of people who are active in the community."

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