Press Release City Budget

Citizens Budget Commission Launches City Resident Survey

January 09, 2017
Contact: Carol Kellermann Maria Doulis
  212-279-2605, ext. 322 212-279-2605, ext. 316


Citizens Budget Commission Launches City Resident Survey To Gauge New Yorkers’ Views Of Municipal Services and Quality Of Life In Their Neighborhoods

CBC Has Long Called For Such Surveys as a Performance Management Tool, Yet None Has Been Conducted Since 2008

The Citizens Budget Commission (CBC) today launched a survey to gauge New York City residents’ satisfaction with municipal services and the quality of life in their neighborhoods. New York City conducted a similar comprehensive survey in 2008, but it has not been repeated.

CBC has long maintained that regular citywide surveys should be used as a performance management tool, recommending more than a decade ago, “Public perception of City services should not just be measured by complaints but also by satisfaction survey measures.”

CBC believes that a broad survey about New York City’s quality of life and services builds a foundation of open government and, done every two to four years, permits residents and leaders to monitor what is working and what needs improvement. With the start of a mayoral election year, the public is particularly focused on City government’s performance.

CBC has contracted with the expert survey research firm that conducted the 2008 survey, National Research Center, to benefit from its independence and experience. By using the same methods and fielding many of the same questions, the survey will track changes in residents’ views since that time.

The survey will elicit feedback from about 72,000 households selected at random to yield meaningful results for all five boroughs and each community district. Households in the survey will be sent a postcard today informing them that they have been selected to participate. On January 12, the survey itself will be mailed. Reminders will be issued later in the month.

The survey will be sent by U.S. mail, and recipients can answer its questions in hard copy or online. They can also request the survey in one of three languages other than English – Chinese (traditional and simplified), Spanish, or Russian – or can go online and complete the survey in any of those languages.

The questions focus on the quality of life citywide and in the resident’s neighborhood and the quality of specific municipal services. The questions do not mention any government official by name or office.  Based on the perspectives of the people New York City serves, survey results offer public leaders a unique read on the city that can be gotten no other way.

The survey results will be made public by June at the latest.

“Resident surveys perform an important public service,” said CBC President Carol Kellermann. “They provide vital insights that can guide City administrators in improving government performance.”

“City services and quality of life are an important part of New York’s competitiveness,” said CBC Vice President Maria Doulis. “Understanding public perception is important to maintaining New York’s competitive advantage in attracting businesses and talent.”

For further information, or a copy of the survey, contact Maria Doulis at or 212-279-2605 ext. 316.

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