CMU joins in effort to survey Colorado citizenry

Justin Gollob
Justin Gollob

While Colorado residents are most satisfied with the government entities closest to where they live, they’re less satisfied with the state and federal government, according to the results of a survey conducted in part by Colorado Mesa University.

“The survey results highlight areas of agreement and disagreement among Coloradans on policy issues. My hope is that this data is useful to citizens and policy makers alike as we tackle old policy issues and confront new ones,” said Justin Gollob, director of the Social Research Center at CMU in Grand Junction.

The center and Vitale & Associates conducted a survey for the 2018 Colorado Community Report Card on behalf of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce as well as Colorado Counties Inc., the Colorado Municipal League, Colorado Association of School Boards and Special District Association of Colorado. Telephone surveys of 500 Colorado adults were conducted in April.

Participants were asked about a number of topics, including their satisfaction with government entities at the municipal, county, state and federal levels. They also were asked about a variety of issues, among them crime, housing, health care, infrastructure, open space and tax policy.

While 86 percent of those who answered the surveys said they were satisfied with local special districts, 39 percent said they were satisfied with the federal government.

Issues identified as being of the greatest concern varied according to where survey participants lived. Lack of affordable housing was cited as a top issue in the Denver metro area, but less so in rural areas.

CMU President Tim Foster said the university remains eager to join in efforts that advance civic discourse. “Through our Social Research Center, we’ve been able to develop yet another project to inform leaders across Colorado about complex policy issues and how our fellow Coloradans feel about them.”

Kelly Brough, president of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, said she was glad her organization was involved. “It’s exciting to be involved in a project with so many partners committed to uncovering the key factors that impact how we work, play and live across our state. It reminds us how much our values, needs, concerns and even hopes for the future align as Coloradans, regardless of if we’re in the city, on the plains or in our mountain communities.”

Sam Mamet, executive director of the Colorado Municipal League, said the survey results are valuable. “First, it is an excellent partnership between Colorado Mesa University and local officials across the state. We are pleased to be a part of it. Secondly, the survey is a wonderful snapshot of the mood of Colorado’s citizens on key issues. Finally, it will help to better inform policy makers at both the state and local level.”

Ann Terry, executive director of the Special District Association of Colorado, said she was excited about the survey and its results. “We were thrilled to work with Colorado Mesa University and the local officials from around the state on this important project. The data and results from the survey are very helpful as we look to the future, and they reflect that local government is an integral part of communities across Colorado.”