JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Duval county residents have ranked what they think shoudl be the top priorities for Jacksonville in the coming year and the issue that polled number one should surprise no one.
Of adult residents polled, 37 percent say the economy needs to be the top issue. UNF associate poly sci professor Michael Binder says while Jacksonville is similar to the rest of the country in its economic worries, the area is also changing.
"Historically, North Florida has been this bastion of conservatism, but you know we're becoming a more cosmopolitan city," said Binder.
Binder says that is evidenced by things like the election of Jacksonville's first black Mayor and 58 percent of those polled saying they want sexual orientation added to the list of groups protected from workplace discrimination. The mayor's approval rating was good too, with 70 percent of the 917 people polled saying they like what he's doing.
As for education, Binder says it's an issue that is slowly becoming more prominent in Jacksonville, especially with some of the media attention new superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti has been getting since his hiring. 43 percent said they approved of the job Dr. Vitti is doing while 10 percent said they didn't. 40 percent say they didn't have an opinion.
Tuesday night, education got face time on national TV as well as President Obama made it a key part of his State of the Union speech.
"President Obama was talking about the importance of education and creating a workforce that's ready for the 21st century."
Binder noted that 64 percent of those polled said they'd be willing to pay more in property taxes if that money was going toward public education.