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White People In The Valley Think L.A. County Is 'On The Wrong Track'

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The San Fernando Valley (Photo by Mark Luethi via the LAist Featured Photos pool)
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Most of the people in the San Fernando Valley aren't very optimistic on the direction that Los Angeles County is heading in—but at least they like their neighborhood.According to the results of a poll conducted by the L.A. Times, USC Dornsife, and the California Community Foundation, 55% of respondents from the Valley think that the county is on "the wrong track." Across the county, those surveyed were practically split in their feelings on what direction the county was going in, while 63% had a rosy outlook on their local neighborhood. However, white people tended to be more pessimistic overall.

"White people were less optimistic, less trusting, less engaged; those were our general findings throughout the county," Ben Winston, senior associate at Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, who conducted the poll, told Los Angeles Daily News. "Part of it might be partisanship. Minority communities are often more Democratic and liberal and therefore more optimistic about the direction of the county, which is run principally by Democrats. The Valley is a whiter region, a little more conservative than the county as a whole. That's another reason why it might be a little bit less optimistic about the county's direction."

In contrast, the South Bay was found to be the most optimistic region among poll respondents. Residents there were more likely to think that the county was heading in the right direction, and two-thirds thought the county had a "high quality of life" and more people there were directly engaged with their community. "They had more African-American residents and they were generally more optimistic," said Winston. "We also saw higher levels of engagement in the South Bay."

Despite the higher enthusiasm for community involvement in the South Bay, the survey found that most people were not terribly engaged. According to the press release from USC Dornsife, only 29% consider themselves at least "somewhat engaged" with their community. The main reason for the low numbers? Almost half say they simply don't have the time, reports the L.A. Times. Maybe it's because of all that traffic, which continues to be our top concern.