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For Immediate Release
Contact:  Brian Edwards

Greater Washington Survey Identifies an Optimistic, Determined Region in the Wake of September 11th

 Challenges for the Region’s Leaders are Clear

 WASHINGTON, D.C. – Greater Washington residents say the region is pulling together following the events of September 11 while at the same time challenging their leaders to do more to prepare for emergencies, according to a new Potomac Incorporated survey presented at the Potomac Conference today.

This comprehensive survey is the first to examine the impact of September 11 on people’s lives in the Nation’s Capital area including their thoughts about anthrax, personal safety and the region’s preparedness to deal with terrorist attacks.

“In big numbers, residents are feeling more connected to the region and to their neighbors, are giving the region’s leaders higher marks for solving problems, and are much more likely to be taking action to help address the problems they see in the community,” according to Keith Haller, President of the polling and strategic communications firm based in Bethesda.

Two-thirds of the public has donated money to an emergency fund like the Red Cross, and ratings for trust in elected leaders and one’s own neighbors have risen.  More than 75 percent say the region has pulled together as a result of this crisis.

“Naturally, a large share of the public is concerned about fallout from the events of the past couple of months,” Haller said, with one-third of the region’s residents expressing personal worries about anthrax, and one worker in ten worried about losing his or her job.  Significant numbers indicate that they are visiting downtown Washington less often and spending less money in general, factors which would obviously concern the region’s business leaders.

And residents are split in their opinions of whether the region is prepared to handle threats like anthrax and terrorist activities, with a near majority challenging leaders that they must do more.

 “If there is a challenge here, the public is saying leaders must reach across jurisdictional lines to solve the major problems that face us here in Washington,” Haller said.  As an example, he cited support for a regional transportation authority, which now commands a 57% majority, up eight percentage points since August.

These findings are drawn from a series of telephone surveys of Washington-area adults conducted by Potomac Incorporated of Bethesda, Maryland.  The most recent survey was conducted over the Thanksgiving weekend, with interviewing concluded November 26.  A total of 800 Washington-area adults were surveyed, yielding a margin of error of +/- 3.5%.

A complete summary of the survey results is available from Potomac Incorporated by calling 301-656-7900.

November 29, 2001


  Executive Summary

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