Poll: The mood of Salt Lake City voters toward their city is mostly positive

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Salt Lake City residents love their city, a new UtahPolicy.com survey finds.

But almost a third say they are pessimistic about what lies ahead for their city, the Y2 Analytics poll shows.

UtahPolicy.com polled in the city mainly to see how the two mayoral finalists — Erin Mendenhall and Luz Escamilla — were doing before the Nov. 5 election.

Y2 got that one right, showing Mendenhall with a double-digit lead, one she slightly increased in the actual vote count.

But we also asked some questions about living in the city and how you liked doing so.

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The new poll finds:

— 90 percent of city voters said the city is “a great place to live.” You can’t get much better than that in voter satisfaction.

— Only 4 percent disagreed with that statement, and 5 percent neither agreed nor disagreed.

— 85 percent said they are “proud to call the city home.” Again, very good numbers there.

— 48 percent disagreed with the statement that they are pessimistic about the city’s future — or on the other hand they feel good about where the city is going in the near future.

— But 30 percent — almost a third — are worried about where the city is headed.

Like other areas along the Wasatch Front, city dwellers still face serious air quality issues during parts of the year — winter inversions and summer smog.

The city’s population is growing again, and there is not enough low-income housing for many residents.

And the population is changing, fewer very active Mormons and increasing numbers of Democrats and progressives, troubling to some long-time city residents.

And those changes may be seen in a final question Y2 put to city respondents: “The city government is concerned about people like me?”

— 47 percent of the respondents agree that the government does care about them.

— But 29 percent the government doesn’t care about them, more than one-fourth of residents.

— And 25 percent neither agreed nor disagreed with that statement.

To some extent, Escamilla, who represents the city’s west side in her state Senate district, ran on the issue that too many poorer and disadvantaged residents aren’t included in the city’s good economic or social improvements.

As noted above, the city is changing — it is now a majority Democratic and progressive enclave compared to very Republican Utah outside of the city.

The city is no longer mostly faithful LDS, an irony since The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint’s international headquarters is in the city.

And those changes are reflected in this:

— 30 percent of those who said they are “strong” Republicans said the city government doesn’t care about them — likely a reflection that all city elected officers are Democrats.

— Only 22 percent of “strong” Democrats said the city government doesn’t care about them.

— And a quarter of those who said they are “very active” in their LDS faith also believe the city government doesn’t care about them, even though, of course, the government doesn’t discriminate on the basis of religion.

Mayor-elect Mendenhall realizes some of these issues.

She says she will reach out to those who may feel disenfranchised in an effort to make them feel included in city government decisions and policies.

Mendenhall says she hopes she and Escamilla — who keeps her Senate seat, and so will continue representing the city’s west side — can work closely together on a number of concerns, as well.