Diverse Viewpoints? Race and Ethnicity in the Hudson Valley

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 19, 2003

CONTACT
Lee Miringoff
Marist College Institute for Public Opinion
845.575.5050

Diana Gurieva
The Dyson Foundation
845.677.0644

POUGHKEEPSIE- Like most residents in the Hudson Valley, African-American and Latino residents rate living in the region positively. However, there are differences in perceptions among racial and ethnic groups when it comes to improving the public schools, access to health care, and the quality of jobs. According to a follow-up report of “Many Voices, One Valley” on race and ethnicity in the region by the Dyson Foundation and the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, there is a good deal of agreement among white, African-American, and Latino residents on issues that face the region’s future, but there are differences as well. Among the study’s central findings:

  • Residents of the Hudson Valley, regardless of their racial or ethnic background, rate the community where they live positively. 89% of white residents, 86% of Latino residents, and 77% of African-American residents rate the community where they live as excellent, very good, or good.
  • African-American and Latino residents rate improving the quality of the public schools as the number one priority for the region, whereas keeping businesses in the area ranks highest among residents of the Hudson Valley as a whole.
  • African-American and Latino residents are concerned about the quality of jobs in the Hudson Valley. 69% of African-American residents and 72% of Latino residents rate the quality of jobs as fair or poor. 55% of white residents share this opinion. In contrast, 51% of community leaders in the Hudson Valley rate the quality of jobs in the region positively.
  • Although the affordability of health care and accessibility of health insurance are priorities that resonate with Hudson Valley residents regardless of their racial or ethnic background, African-American and Latino residents are less likely to have continuous health insurance coverage throughout the year. 24% of Hudson Valley households either are currently without health insurance or have had at least one member of their household go without health insurance within the past year. This compares with 39% of Latino households, and 30% of African-American households that do not currently have health insurance or have experienced a gap in health insurance in the past year.
  • African-American residents are more likely to rate the health care services in their community as fair or poor than are other residents. 57% of African-American residents do not rate health care services positively compared with 37% of white or Latino residents in the Hudson Valley who rate the health care services available in their community as fair or poor.
  • Residents of the Hudson Valley may not always see eye-to-eye with community leaders. 72% of African-American residents and 60% of Latino residents see a difference between the views of decision-makers and the views of the public. 48% of white residents share this opinion. In contrast, only 42% of decision-makers believe that they see things differently than the public.
  • Hudson Valley residents and decision-makers agree that the public should be a part of the decisions made for a community. 98% of community leaders, 93% of African-American residents, 94% of Latino residents, and 97% of white residents have this opinion.
  • Hudson Valley residents believe that the best way to make a difference is through volunteerism. 50% of African-American residents and 48% of Latino residents in the region are more likely to mention getting involved as an effective way to have an impact in the community compared with 36% of white residents. 72% of African-American residents in the Hudson Valley regularly volunteer or are active in a civic organization, a church, or a club compared with 57% of Hudson Valley residents as a whole.
The project “Many Voices, One Valley” is based on two companion surveys that were conducted by telephone throughout the six counties of the Hudson Valley. The first survey interviewed residents of the Hudson Valley from October 5th through December 10th, 2001. The second survey interviewed community leaders within the same six counties from November 25th through December 19th, 2001. The sampling error for the results is:

Count Column % Margin of Error +/-
Hudson Valley Residents 3882 100% 2.0%
White 3233 85% 2.0%
African-American 249 7% 6.5%
Latino 307 8% 5.5%

The report “Diverse Viewpoints? Race and Ethnicity in the Hudson Valley” is available on the Internet at www.dysonfoundation.org/manyvoices.html. It can be accessed from the Dyson Foundation website (www.dysonfoundation.org) or the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion website (www.maristpoll.marist.edu). The full study, “Many Voices, One Valley,” along with summaries for Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam, and Ulster counties may be accessed from the site as well. Copies are also available from the Dyson Foundation's offices. An additional report on families and children in the Hudson Valley will be released on January 26th.

For more information about this press release, contact:
Lee Miringoff, Marist College Institute for Public Opinion
(845) 575-5050
Diana Gurieva,
The Dyson Foundation
(845) 677-0644 ext. 12