Skip to Content

The COVID-19 Resilience Poll (2020)

A project of Valley Vision and CapRadio, conducted by the Institute for Social Research at Sacramento State.

The COVID-19 Resilience Poll tracks the experiences, perceptions, concerns, and hopes of people in the Capital region through the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic including the health impacts and fears, the experiences through the shelter in place order, and the economic fallout from the pandemic. This public opinion poll was in the field May 12-27, 2020, and is demographically representative of the Capital region, encompassing eight counties, including Sacramento, Yolo, El Dorado, Placer, Yuba, Sutter, Solano and San Joaquin counties. The margin of error is plus or minus three percent.

This poll paints a picture of the many ways that COVID-19 is impacting our region. This is also the first in a series of polls that Valley Vision and CapRadio will field, in partnership with the Institute for Social Research at Sac State. These surveys will help us understand and navigate the challenges ahead as we aim to not just understand the impacts and recover from the setbacks of COVID-19, but also reimagine a more equitable, sustainable, and just future. You can also access CapRadio’s coverage of the poll at

We found that COVID-19 has severely impacted the people in our communities – including their mental, physical, and emotional health; their daily life and routines, and their economic security.

There are deep disparities of the intensity of concern and impact across different populations, with Black and Hispanic respondents feeling the impacts more severely.

Nearly half of respondents have lost income and about a third are struggling to afford basic needs including rent or mortgage, bills, and paying down debt.

Many respondents are working remotely as a result of COVID-19 – however those in higher incomes were more likely to go remote and were more likely to have already been working remotely.

There is also a significant political dimension in the region and many respondents are critical of leadership – whether it is because they think that leadership has failed to deliver an effective response or because they think the response is overblown and creating more harm.

Respondents’ most significant worries included continued illness, spread of disease and the impact on the economy.

Photo credit: Andrew Nixon/CapRadio

Regional Attitudes on Workforce and Education: The Future of Work (2020)

The acceleration of technology innovation is one of the most significant transformative forces of our time. Today’s innovations, such as digitalization, automation, artificial intelligence (AI) and other technologies, have changed the nature of our national and global economy and are changing the nature of work across all sectors of industry, impacting workers as skill and competency needs shift.

Valley Vision and the Institute for Social Research (ISR) at Sacramento State conducts public opinion polls, drawing from a regional panel that demographically represents the six county region (El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo, and Yuba counties) and reports at a margin of error of +/-3%. This survey seeks to better understand technology disruption, the gig economy, experiences at work, values towards work, and aspirations for the future.

We found that poll respondents are excited about the future, including changes to their own work life as a result of technology innovation, but still want and need security and protections in place to ensure their success.

Some key findings and conclusions for the future of work in the Capital Region include:

Respondents are optimistic about new technologies and 82% are excited or confident about the effect that technology innovation will have on their future job prospects. Despite this excitement, a major skill shift is underway and some workers are at risk of losing jobs.

The “gig” economy has a significant impact on our region’s people and economy. About one-third of respondents currently earn income through employment “gigs” and one-quarter report that income from the gig economy is their primary source of income.

Despite changes to the nature of work respondents still value job security and long-term service to an organization. Although younger generations tend to have shorter job tenure, workers of any age are looking for the same things – meaningful work, opportunities to grow, recognition for contributions, and high performing companies.

Entrepreneurship is a key aspect of the modern economy. 62% of respondents believe that they have entrepreneurial skills and abilities and 50% say that they’d take a chance and start their own business. Entrepreneurial networks across the region are key to inclusive economic growth.

Two-thirds of respondents have faced discrimination in the workforce, especially related to sex and race. Ensuring that there are opportunities for social mobility and well-being for all is critical for a thriving and inclusive region.

More than half of respondents are open to leaving the region for better opportunities elsewhere, if needed. Creating, retaining, and attracting talent is a shared responsibility across business, education, community, and individuals.

Valley Vision will present the findings of the workforce and education survey in a series of reports, focusing on how respondents are navigating work and their outlook for their future. Subsequent reports will focus on The Skills of the Future in the Capital region and The Future of Education in the Capital region.

Regional Attitudes In Focus: Gen Z and Millennials (2019)

Valley Vision and Sacramento State’s Institute for Social Research (ISR) have partnered to conduct four public opinion polls since 2017. Our polls have looked at Capital Region residents’ priorities, values, experiences, and preferences on Civic Amenities, Transportation, Quality of Life, and the Environment.

These polls give insight into Capital Region residents’ views on current issues and help inform decision-makers’ strategies and investments related to public infrastructure and community well-being. This report is part of a series of unique profiles that will zero in on subsets of our region’s population to see how our respective ages or other social, geographic, or demographic characteristics influence our experiences, providing a more in-depth view of our region.

Our first report looks at how Millennials and Gen Z (aged 18-38) collectively view the Sacramento region. How do these generations think about their communities and what are their preferences and priorities for the types of communities that they want to live in?

Regional Attitudes: The Environmental Poll (2019)

Valley Vision and Sacramento State’s Institute for Social Research (ISR) released The Environmental Poll in May 2019, the fourth study in a series that captures residents’ attitudes on important regional issues.

Valley Vision is excited to announce the results of a new scientific public opinion survey about environmental and climate priorities in the Sacramento region. Read on to uncover opinions about green jobs, climate action, preservation of open space, and other new data to help public policy leaders make informed decisions.

Click here to view an interactive website featuring data from The Environmental Poll.

Regional Attitudes: The Livability Poll (2018)

Valley Vision and Sacramento State’s Institute for Social Research (ISR) released The Livability Poll in November 2018, the third study in a series that captures residents’ attitudes on important regional issues. The Livability Poll will serve as a benchmark study that Valley Vision will gauge progress on annually.

While quality of life is rated high by most respondents, the study also uncovered underlying tensions. The data show that respondents’ have concerns about lack of affordable housing, growing homelessness, issues of safety, and food insecurity.

“There are many ways that the region shines,” says Valley Vision’s chief executive Bill Mueller. “Inclusion, engagement, diversity, high access to basic necessities, and overall community pride are given high marks by poll respondents. But issues like poverty and growing economic disparities are eroding quality of life for some and disagreement over how the region ought to grow illustrate divisions in our communities that regional leaders need to address.”

Ensuring a high quality of life by supporting economic prosperity, social equity, and environmental sustainability is Valley Vision’s core mission, and that makes the Livability Poll our most important one to date. Visit The Livability Poll for a quick glance at top level findings.

Regional Attitudes About Transportation (2018)

Valley Vision and Sacramento State’s Institute for Social Research (ISR) fielded a public opinion survey that captured regional attitudes on transportation priorities. The scientific survey uncovers opinions about mobility, what investments should be made in our transportation systems, and provides new data to help public policy makers make informed decisions.

  • 93% of respondents feel that transportation is of critical importance to business and job growth in the region
  • That respondents view transportation as central to their quality of life
  • That while 69% of respondents drive alone all or most of the time, they are willing to try other modes of transportation

Understanding local perspectives like these is critical to informed decision-making. That’s why Valley Vision and Sacramento State’s Institute for Social Research have teamed up to deliver scientific survey research of resident attitudes in our region.

Regional Attitudes About Civic Amenities (2017)

Valley Vision and Sacramento State’s Institute for Social Research (ISR) fielded a public opinion survey in April 2017 that captured regional attitudes on civic and cultural amenities.

Teaming together, we are using a proven, scientific method scaled to California’s Capital Region to capture the views and opinions of local residents on critical issues and share them with local policy makers. This findings report on civic amenities has uncovered a range of insights from residents that can inform upcoming public and private investment decisions for our parks and trails, museums, art galleries, and sports and entertainment venues.