San Francisco More Negative Than Other Bay Area Cities

By: Victoria Holliday

A new survey shows San Francisco is the most negative Bay Area city when it comes to city residents’ outlook on local government.

No Confidence in San Francisco City HallAre San Franciscans unhappy?

A telephone survey by the Leo T. McCarthy Center at the University of San Francisco measured the public’s attitude about the economy, government, schools and other institutions, and found that San Francisco respondents generally held a more negative opinion about these topics than other Bay Area residents. San Franciscans were 6% more likely than other Bay Area residents to assert that our local government is “run by a few big interests.”

According to survey conductors, San Franciscans tend to be more involved in local issues and government, which means they are generally more informed. The downside is that with this knowledge, comes the realization that things at City Hall aren’t always so great. San Franciscans also had more negative views of the local Chamber of Commerce, county supervisors and religious organizations than other Bay Area residents.

[Why are San Franciscans so negative about their city? Learn how we can Reset San Francisco.]

Could Gov 2.0 Cheer Up San Francisco?

Perhaps San Franciscans outlook wouldn’t be so gloomy if San Francisco had more Gov 2.0 practices that allowed residents to be engaged- not just informed in local politics. Gov 2.0 policies, like allowing residents to submit YouTube testimony to city government would increase the ability of San Franciscans to engage our government and have their voices heard.

Are San Franciscans unhappy?

Our campaign to Reset San Francisco is about using online tools to engage and to encourage San Franciscans to make their voices heard at City Hall. By crowdsourcing ideas, we can have more voices, more ideas and more choices in city government – and that’s a good thing.

And by opening up City Hall, by listening more, and by engaging San Franciscans, maybe we can change the notion that City Hall is run by the usual suspects and the “city family” – and maybe put a smile back on San Franciscans’ faces.

What do you think? Would you have more confidence in City Hall if you felt like your voice was heard? Take our poll.


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Valery Nechay's picture

What will it take?

It is true that there is a burden of truth that San Franciscans experience moreso then other populations that are more oblivious to politics and the structures that dictate local outcomes and keep power in the hands of those "usual suspects" that you speak of. It would probably take more to cheer us San Franciscans up then just knowing that we are being heard by our governments- I believe it would take much more to instill a sense of confidence and trust in City Hall. I think our gloomy spirits will be lifted when we see evidence of citizen's collaberative planning and insight being implemented into the policies and procedures that operate SF- if we see this truly open and trustworthy form of government making this leap of faith in its citizens, I'm sure we will all feel more content and optimistic with our city gov in return. 

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