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CMU, Denver Metro Chamber, other partners take pulse of Colorado citizenry

Colorado Mesa University, the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, Colorado Counties Inc., the Colorado Municipal League, the Colorado Association of School Boards and the Special District Association of Colorado joined forces to start a new annual study. Colorado adults were surveyed on a variety of topics intended to help better understand the mindset of Coloradans.

“Colorado Mesa University is always looking for creative partnerships that advance civic discourse,” said Colorado Mesa University President Tim Foster. “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.”

"This highlights how important it is that we consider quality of life for all Coloradans as we make policy decisions. 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,” said Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce President Kelly Brough. “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."

“This is a very valuable survey,” said Sam Mamet, Colorado Municipal League Executive Director. “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, was excited not only about the survey, but also about the information contained within the 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,” she said.  

Among a number of topics, the survey queried Coloradans about their satisfaction with governmental entities at the federal, state, county and municipal levels. They were asked their thoughts about a variety of issues facing Colorado ranging from affordable housing and healthcare to infrastructure, tax policy, crime and even open space.

Not surprisingly, issues identified as being of greatest concern varied depending on the part of the state in which the respondent lives. For example, the poll shows affordable housing as the top issue across the state though those in the Denver Metro, Denver and south Denver suburbs view it as a much greater problem than those in areas that are more rural.

Overall, Coloradans across the state appear most satisfied with the governmental entities closest to them such as special districts, local law enforcement and their city and county governments. They appear a little less satisfied the state and federal governments. For example, the survey showed 86 percent were satisfied with their local special districts while 39 percent said they were satisfied with the federal government.

Director of CMU’s Social Research Center Justin Gollob, PhD, said he was pleased to be involved in a partnership with governmental experts across Colorado.

“While much of the nation is focused on national politics, our work is a reminder about the importance of state and local politics,” Gollob said. “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.”

The 2018 Community Report Card survey was conducted by the Colorado Mesa University Social Research Center and Vitale & Associates on behalf of the Denver Metro chamber and the other organizations representing local governments and special districts. Telephone surveys of 500 adult Coloradans were conducted in April. The final report is now available at