Among Long-Term Impacts Of Pandemic, US Mayors Most Concerned About Residents’ Mental Health And Loss Of Learning, Says US Mayors Survey | Business


BOSTON – (BUSINESS WIRE) – November 22, 2021–

Despite the misconception that rising violent crime rates, the shift to remote work and the emigration of residents will have long-term effects on U.S. cities, mayors find these risks the least of concern, according to one survey of 126 mayors across the United States. Instead, mayors say they are much more concerned about the long-term effects of the pandemic on the mental health of their residents and the loss of learning among young people. These are some of the findings related to the COVID-19 recovery from the Menino Survey of Mayors, the only nationally representative survey of U.S. mayors conducted annually by Boston University’s on Cities Initiative. A full report on the attitudes of mayors regarding their cities’ COVID-19 recovery can be found here.

More than half of mayors (52%) believe mental health issues and trauma are one of the main long-term consequences of the pandemic. Learning loss among young people was in second place (37%), followed closely by a third of mayors expressing concern about the financial insecurity of low-income residents. Only about a quarter (26%) said they are very concerned about increasing crime and violence rates, and strikingly only a handful (7%) of mayors cite the shift to remote work as a significant concern. and only 2% are concerned about emigration.

“Earlier in the pandemic, mayors were concerned about the immediate threats to their residents, cities and budgets,” said David Glick, co-author of Menino Survey and associate professor of political science at Boston University. “Now, as the pandemic and the government’s response evolved, we are seeing mayors focus on the potential long-term and lingering impacts, and on how the pandemic has changed their residents, and at the same time, we let’s also focus on making long-term investments. “

While recovery efforts at the start of the pandemic focused on critical stopgaps, mayors have big plans for US bailout funds, seeing direct and flexible support as an opportune time to continue significant investments for the future of their cities. Almost four in five mayors (78%) believe that ARPA’s resources will enable them to achieve transformative goals, including housing and homelessness, infrastructure and equity, while most of the remaining mayors (18%) plan to use these federal funds to fill gaps in normal spending.

“The US bailout will help shape the future of our cities,” said Jackson Chokwe Mayor Antar Lumumba. “These much-needed dollars provide the opportunity to address long-standing issues we face in Jackson, such as modernizing our city’s infrastructure and investing in an economy of dignity with programs like Guaranteed Income. While the pandemic has highlighted the depth of our challenges, these resources will help us come out stronger. “

The Menino Survey of Mayors, named after the late Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and supported by Citi and the Rockefeller Foundation, is an annual project to understand the most pressing needs and policy priorities of large and medium-sized U.S. mayors (more of 75,000 inhabitants) cities. A total of 126 mayors from 39 states were surveyed throughout the summer of 2021, providing a representative sample of mayors and cities nationwide.

“While we don’t know what the long-term impact of remote working will be on cities, it is clear that mayors are not waiting to find out,” said Ed Skyler, Head of Global Public Affairs at Citi and Former Deputy Mayor of New York City. “They are taking action and investing in the future of their cities by spending federal funds from the American Rescue Plan to address major and long overdue issues for the future of their cities, like housing and other projects.” infrastructure. These significant investments will create more inclusive, livable and affordable cities for generations. “

“While the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed deep racial injustices, the possibility of small businesses being a lever for BIPOC’s wealth creation is still very promising,” said Otis Rolley, Senior Vice President of Equity and Economic Opportunities at the Rockefeller Foundation. “We are encouraged to see direct opinions from mayors and municipalities on how they plan to help small businesses achieve a fair recovery, which fits perfectly with the vision of the Equity and Economic Opportunity team at the Rockefeller Foundation to reduce the racial wealth gap through asset ownership. and the quality of the work.

Additional findings related to the COVID-19 recovery from this year’s Menino investigation include:

  • The pandemic has exacerbated a severe housing crisis in U.S. cities, with dramatically increased costs and a looming eviction crisis. However, mayors disagreed on the best way forward to deal with this crisis, perhaps reflecting the complexity of the challenge. At least half of mayors believe housing programs should focus on homeownership rather than renting (including 73% of Republicans and 55% of Democrats). for homeowners, it was the least popular of the housing priorities studied. This was also the policy with the biggest partisan divide: 69% of Democratic mayors support strong eviction protections for tenants, compared to just 36% of Republicans.
  • An overwhelming majority of mayors (71%) agree that the pandemic reveals the need for significant changes in the way their cities support small businesses. They mentioned changes ranging from reducing barriers, such as those in the licensing process, to better data collection, increased communication and increased focus on minority-owned stocks and businesses. But while six in 10 mayors believe they are held accountable by their residents for the state of small businesses in their cities, only two in 10 believe they have a strong influence on the fate of small businesses.
  • In addition, when it comes to small businesses, mayors predict looming labor shortages. Seventy percent cite accessing the workforce they need as one of the two biggest challenges their small business community will face over the next two years. Notably, mayors express far more concerns about access to workers than labor costs (less than a quarter cite labor costs as a major challenge). The second most cited challenge, by 43% of mayors, is access to capital and credit. – an area which, according to 81%, weighs disproportionately on small businesses belonging to minorities.

Additional results from the 2021 survey – related to homelessness and narrowing the racial wealth gap – will be released as separate reports in the coming months.

About the Cities Initiative

Boston University’s Cities Initiative conducts research in, on and with cities in the pursuit of sustainable, just and inclusive urban transformation. We bring together the talents and resources of wide-ranging disciplines across Boston University spanning the social, natural, computational, and health sciences. The Menino Survey is named after the late Mayor Tom Menino, who co-founded the on Cities Initiative in 2014 after 20 years as mayor of Boston. Additional information can be found at and to

About Citi

Citi, the world’s largest bank, has approximately 200 million accounts receivable and operates in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, businesses, governments and institutions with a wide range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, business and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services and wealth management.

Additional information can be found at | Twitter: @Citi | Youtube: | Blog: | Facebook: | LinkedIn:

About the Rockefeller Foundation

The Rockefeller Foundation is a pioneering philanthropy founded on collaborative partnerships at the frontiers of science, technology and innovation to enable individuals, families and communities to thrive. We work to promote the well-being of humanity and make opportunities universal. Our goal is to develop renewable energies for all, stimulate economic mobility and ensure equitable access to healthy and nutritious food. For more information, subscribe to our newsletter on and follow us on Twitter @RockefellerFdn.

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Stacy Fox, [email protected] (617) 358-8086

Stéphanie Hyon, stephanie.hyon @ citi.comet (212) 816-3397




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PUB: 11/22/2021 6:00 a.m. / DISC: 11/22/2021 6:02 a.m.


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