Public Policy Forum Blog

People Speak Poll: Budget Debate Trumps Jobs

The latest People Speak Poll, conducted by the Public Policy Forum and the Center for Urban Initiatives and Research at UWM in partnership with The Business Journal Serving Greater Milwaukee, finds that the state budget ranks as the most important issue in the minds of southeast Wisconsin residents. The poll of 400 residents of Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee, and Washington Counties was conducted in late February and early March, at the peak of the debate over the budget repair bill. Four previous polls over the past two years had found jobs were the issue of most concern.

Analysis and full results of the latest poll, along with those of previous polls, are available at

Other findings:
  • The region's citizens are less optimistic about the nation's economic future and Milwaukee's eocnomic future than they were in September 2009.
  • No major change in opinion has occurred since September 2009 with regard to state government--40% of residents feel the state is on the right track.
  • Crime in the City of Milwaukee is not perceived by most to have declined over the past year, despite the actual drop in crime.
  • Half of respondents consider the north side of Milwaukee to be an unsafe place to be in the middle of the afternoon.
  • One in five respondents feel unsafe in the middle of the afternoon at Mayfair and Grand Avenue Malls.
Anneliese Dickman