Election 2023: Overview of Residents’ Policy Preferences

Election 2023

This study surveyed Houston residents about their views on a variety of policy and budgetary solutions related to crime, infrastructure and housing challenges.

City of Houston residents will elect their 63rd mayor in November 2023. According to an earlier study by the Kinder Institute for Urban Research, residents' top priorities are: 1) creating a safer city, 2) improving physical infrastructure, and 3) addressing the area's housing challenges. This follow-up study surveyed city residents about their views on a variety of policy and budgetary solutions in these priority areas.

Key Findings

  • Over 80% of Houston residents support policies aimed at curbing gun deaths and injuries. These include mandatory training to carry a gun and education on proper gun storage. Residents also supported funding community violence interruption programs and increasing employment opportunities in neighborhoods experiencing higher rates of gun violence.
  • Houston residents would like to see more spent on first responders. About 55% would like to see the police department’s budget increased, and 54% would like to see the fire department’s budget increased.
  • Over 80% of Houston residents are willing to pay a higher “drainage fee” each month to increase the amount of money going to improve and repair water drainage systems and roadways. Two-thirds of residents are willing to pay a nominal “garbage fee.”
  • Houston residents support policies to address the area's housing challenges, including the establishment of a permanent emergency rental assistance fund and universal basic income for low-income, working adults.
  • While the city of Houston is currently limited by law in how much it can raise property taxes, a majority of residents said they were open to changing these rules to increase funding toward essential services.

This study was conducted through generous support from the Kinder Foundation and the Jacob and Terese Hershey Foundation and in collaboration with the Houston Landing and the Houston Chronicle.

Houston City Hall
Election 2023: Priorities and Concerns of Houston Residents
Sep. 5, 2023

This report identifies the city's current challenges and opportunities and what issues residents would like to see the next mayor address.

Firearm safe storage
Houstonians support policies to reduce firearm violence and injury at the local level
RESEARCH :  Nov. 15, 2023

A Texas gun control case is now in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court, which could either clear the way for more regulations or close the door to further restrictions on Second Amendment rights. The decision could take months, but no matter the outcome, our surveys show that most Houstonians would embrace a wide range of policies aimed at bolstering responsible gun ownership and public safety.

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