What issues most concern Alabamians? What options do policy makers have to address these issues? These are the questions behind Alabama Priorities – a new initiative of the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama. We unveiled the initiative at PARCA’s 2018 Annual Meeting last Friday. The presentation can be viewed here.
Step 1: Identify Alabama Issues
In partnership with Samford University, PARCA conducted an open-ended survey of Alabama-based academics, journalists, and civic, business, and nonprofit leaders to create a list of the most serious issues facing Alabama in 2018. More than 150 experts participated, producing a list of 17 issues.
|Civil Rights||Healthcare||K-12 Education|
|Constitutional Reform||Higher Education||Mental Health and Substance Abuse|
|Crime and Public Safety||Improving the State's Image||Poverty and Homelessness|
|Environmental Protection||Infrastructure and Transportation||Prison and Sentencing Reform|
|Funding State Government||Job Training and Workforce Development||Tax Reform|
|Government Corruption and Ethics||Jobs and the Economy|
Step 2: Rank Alabama Issues
With issues identified, PARCA again collaborated with Samford University to design a random digit dial telephone (50% landline and 50% mobile) survey of registered voters. The poll was conducted by the USA Polling Group at the University of South Alabama in December 2017. The survey collected 468 responses with a margin of error of 4.5%. Responses were weighted for race, gender, education, and age. Below are the top ten issue determined by Alabama voters.
|1. K-12 Education|
|3. Government Corruption and Ethics|
|4. Mental Health and Substance Abuse|
|5. Poverty and Homelessness|
|6. Jobs and the Economy|
|7. Crime and Public Safety|
|8. Job Training and Workforce Development|
|9. Improving the State's Image|
|10. Tax Reform|
Step 3: Reveal Alabama Priorities
PARCA revealed the 10 priorities, as ranked by Alabama voters, at its 2018 Annual Meeting: The 21st Century Governor, on February 2, 2018. A full report and analysis of the data is forthcoming.
Step 4: Share Alabama Priorities
PARCA will publish a series of policy briefs on each of the top ten priorities in the weeks leading to the general election in November 2018. The briefs will be short, easy-to-understand, nonpartisan descriptions of the priority and will answer four questions.
What is the issue?
Why does it matter?
How does Alabama compare?
What options does Alabama have?