While the growing divide between “coastal elites” and Middle America has been a hot topic in recent months, many mayors from red and blue states have strikingly similar policy priorities, according to a survey released Tuesday by the Boston University Initiative on Cities.
The 2016 Menino Survey of Mayors, now in its third year (see the 2015 results here and the 2014 results here ), checks in with over 100 mayors in 41 states about everything from their own career ambitions to tackling poverty and federal agencies. While last year’s survey focused on topics like infrastructure, finance and housing, this year’s was more heavily skewed toward what the researchers called “people priorities” — things like poverty and immigration.
Some key findings: Compared to two years ago, mayors more often say socioeconomic issues like affordability and income disparities are top policy priorities. They also rank outright poverty — not income inequality or the “shrinking middle class” — as their most pressing economic concern.