For the first time in the ten-year Quality of Life series, negative views of life in New Orleans declined, and positive evaluations increased, although the majority still believes that the City is in decline. The surge of optimism we observed two years ago in response to the mayoral and city council elections has disappeared. As predicted, it was a temporary effect of the election. There has been a recent increase in optimism about the future in Jefferson Parish, probably in reaction to their new government and the economic growth in that area. Residents in both parishes agree that their biggest problem is crime. However, for the first time in ten years the proportion believing crime is increasing declined in New Orleans. Evaluations of police protection in New Orleans have reached a low point and stabilized. The popularity of the new police superintendent has prevented further decline in evaluations of police. The public sees improvement in the public parks in New Orleans. There are many more specific areas of dissatisfaction with services in New Orleans than in Jefferson. We suspect that, because their needs are greater, residents in New Orleans expect more from their local government than do residents in Jefferson. This makes government more visible and salient in New Orleans, which is partly responsible for the lower overall rating of services in the City. The economic outlook has improved dramatically in Jefferson and slightly in New Orleans. Jefferson residents are more optimistic about employment prospects than they have been at any time in the past ten years. Since 1986 Jefferson parish residents have become more favorable in their evaluation of the quality of their public schools, while evaluations of public schools in New Orleans have slightly declined. In mock referenda on the three types of gambling, residents of both parishes expressed the desire to keep the casino and riverboats, and to get rid of video poker. The casino, despite its difficulties, is still viewed as a positive for the City.
Howell, Susan E., "1998 Quality of Life Survey - Orleans and Jefferson Parishes" (1998). Survey Research Center Publications. Paper 21.