Annual survey participants define what’s best about region


Lately, news stories about San Bernardino paint a grim picture of a city reeling from local government’s deteriorating finances.

Economy_illustrationBut is that an accurate portrayal of San Bernardino and possibly of the inland Southern California region? Is that what residents think?

And is that the perception businesses, public agencies and other groups will consider when making decisions on the products they offer, the services they render or the directions they will take?

The Institute of Applied Research at Cal State San Bernardino offers a more direct approach to uncovering what area residents really think about their quality of life, as it prepares to launch its 16th annual Inland Empire Survey.

The annual telephone survey asks questions of 1,000 residents of San Bernardino County and 1,000 residents of Riverside County on a variety of topics, which include lifestyle, transportation, business and conservation.

“The survey gives residents in the inland region a “voice” on a variety of quality-of-life issues, such as how and where they spend their money, on their modes of transportation and county services,” said Shel Bockman, co-director of the institute.

Co-director Barbara Sirotnik said the results of the annual survey answers can help participating businesses, local agencies and other organizations in their decision-making processes.

“Residents’ insights can help our sponsoring businesses, local agencies and public organizations make informed decisions on their products, the services they offer and what directions they should take,” Sirotnik said. “The institute can help craft survey questions to get the most accurate and specific information for sponsors’ specific needs.”

Sponsors in previous surveys have included:

  • Charter Cable, which has used the survey to determine residents’ awareness of Charter’s services and reasons for selecting cable TV over satellite.

The Community Foundation, which has surveyed people about their motivations for donating to non-profit organizations.

  • The city of Victorville, which polled its residents about their use of the Internet to keep abreast of city events.
  • Mojave Water District, which used the survey to learn about citizens’ water use habits and willingness to conserve.

Pricing for including questions on the survey is determined by the number of questions asked, Sirotnik said.

For more information on the Institute of Applied Research at Cal State San Bernardino, contact co-director Barbara Sirotnik at (909) 537-5729 or by e-mail at, or Shel Bockman at (909) 537-5925 or by e-mail at

For more information about Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university’s Office of Public Affairs at (909) 537-5007 and visit