Chicago Index: Survey Shows Residents Worried About City’s Economic Future


Members of the continuous panel were selected through various means and interviewed by a survey hosted by Polco, an online civic engagement platform, from March 8 to 31. More than 2,500 randomly selected households received postcards inviting them to participate, along with other awareness-raising actions through media and contact with community groups.

A total of 2,174 surveys were completed, with responses statistically weighted to be representative of the region by age, race, length of residence and geography (Far North Side, North Side, Central, West Side, Southwest Side, South Side, Far Southwest Side, Far Southeast Side and suburbs) based on American Community Survey data collected by the US Census Bureau. With census data delayed this year, the ACS could become the basis for an upcoming redistribution of Illinois congressional and legislative districts and city wards.

The Chicago Index survey is not a traditional survey with a scientifically determined margin of error, but rather a more recent technique that uses a continuous self-selected but demographically balanced group of respondents to assess changes in public opinion in the world. over time. Such a method is used here by the Federal Reserve Bank for its Monthly Survey of Economic Conditions, the Wisconsin Newspaper Association and its Members, and the Dallas Morning News. (See the full methodology below.)

Chicago-specific questions were only answered by residents of the city, not from the suburbs.

Other key findings include:

• 76 percent of respondents said Chicago is a good or a great place to visit, with 61% of them saying the same about Chicago as a place of employment. Significantly, only 14 percent said the city is a bad place to work.

• A whopping 92 percent said it was at least important enough for the city to finally get its skyrocketing pension costs under control. Reducing racism was almost as high a priority at 88 percent.

• Chicagoans are happy with their fire department and park district, which score 94 percent and 81 percent positive, respectively. But police ratings are 47% positive and CPS 24% positive, with an almost invisible 1% saying they are “very satisfied” with the schools. State lawmakers like Pritzker got decent job ratings, but only 28% of Chicagoans gave their city councilor a positive rating.

• As upset as voters are with Lightfoot, they are even more unhappy with the city council as a whole, with 93% giving negative marks to the body against 84% for the mayor. But they are a little warmer towards their own alderman, with “only” 72% negative.

The next series of The Chicago Index will be released this summer.


The Lightfoot team pushed back the results, questioning the methodology of the investigation, but in her only comments so far, the mayor said she was “not surprised” by the results.

“Listen, we live in a time where people are really uncertain and there is a lot of anger. We see it played out in the toxic swamp of social media, ”Lightfoot said when an ABC-7 reporter asked him to respond to the main findings of the investigation this morning ahead of its official release. “What I do know is we need to stay focused to make sure we are saving people’s lives, we are educating people on what they can do to protect themselves from the pandemic and continue to work on a strong recovery. . This is what I am focusing on.

Lightfoot said the polls conducted by his political organization “are different.” His team refused to release them, but the mayor added, “The point is, these are very uncertain times. . . it is not surprising that people feel this weight on them. . . We just need to keep doing everything we can to protect people from the pandemic, make sure we create job opportunities in a very robust recovery, and the rest will take care of themselves. “

AD Quig contributed.


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