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Survey: 56% of Milwaukee residents feel the city is 'off on the wrong track'

Downtown Milwaukee
Posted at 3:45 PM, Mar 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-21 23:09:49-04

MILWAUKEE — A survey of 400 registered Milwaukee voters explored issues important to area residents ahead of April's election of a new mayor.

The survey was conducted March 10-14 by the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors (GMAR) and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

According to GMAR, Milwaukee voters are in a sour mood heading into the 2022 mayoral elections.

A majority of voters, 56%, say that Milwaukee is off on the wrong track. Only 31% feel the city is headed in the right direction.

The survey found 38% of voters rate the quality of life in Milwaukee fair, and 22% rate it as poor. Just 29% of voters feel the quality of life will get better over the next three years.

Crime is a dominant issue for Milwaukee voters with nearly half (48%) saying crime is the most important issue for the mayor and city government to focus on. Three quarters say that Milwaukee crime is either an extremely serious (39%) or very serious (36%) problem.

GMAR also says that many voters have little confidence in the ability of Milwaukee police to protect them from crime. The survey found 42% have "quite a lot or a great deal" of confidence in the poll, 44% do not have very much confidence, and 12% have no confidence at all.

However, 60% said they would like to see city spending on policing increased by either a little (26%) or a lot (33%).

When asked to grade public education in Milwaukee, most gave a low grade. Thirty-seven percent of Milwaukee voters gave a grade C, 18% gave a grade D, and 18% gave a grade F. GMAR said just one-in-five give the schools a B (18%) or an A (4%).

GMAR also says 70% of Milwaukee voters favor making marijuana use legal in the city. Half "strongly" favor the idea and only 28% opposed.

As for the economy, GMAR says Milwaukee voters believe the following:

  • Fair economic conditions in Milwaukee: 54%
  • Poor economic conditions in Milwaukee: 25%
  • Positive economic conditions in Milwaukee: 20%
  • 1/2 say their family's incoming falls behind the cost of living
  • Cost of living is a very big or fairly big problem: 50%
  • Cost of housing is a moderate problem: 28%
  • There are plenty jobs available: 60%
  • Lack of public transit options is a big reason why some people can't find/keep a job: 37%
  • Lack of public transit options is a small reason why some people can't find/keep a job: : 14%

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