In Solving Region’s Problems, New York Area Residents See a Role for Government, and for Themselves

October 13, 2015

New York area residents see a place for both the government and for themselves in solutions to the regions problems.

Listen to the related story on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show.

Residents of the New York metro area say our region is facing some serious problems: the gap between the wealthy and everyone else is growing, costs are increasingly unaffordable, wages are stagnating and opportunity is diminishing. Moreover, they say the government is not doing a good job addressing their concerns.

But they don’t view these problems as unsolvable. And they see a role for both the government and for themselves in solutions.

We asked local residents about a number of policy approaches for addressing the issues they view as serious problems. In general, residents favor policies that will make education and housing more affordable and that will bring good jobs to the area, even if those policies include tax increases.

A majority of residents (59 percent) also feel a higher minimum wage would mostly help instead of hurt workers in the region. Black and Hispanic residents are much more likely to support a higher minimum wage (74 percent and 72 percent, respectively) than white residents (53 percent).

When it comes to taxes, we uncovered some tension. While most area residents favor providing tax breaks to new companies who bring jobs to the area, they also favor raising taxes on large corporations and the wealthiest people. We’ll dig into that tension more on The Brian Lehrer Show tomorrow—be sure to tune in at 93.9 FM or listen online.

Residents are also quite open to collaborating with their neighbors on solutions to the problems they identify. Typically 2 in 3 people who see a problem say they are willing to work with other residents to advocate or find solutions. Those that perceive the issue to be very serious are even more likely to say they are willing to actively participate.


Allison Rizzolo

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