Some of their concerns, such as housing costs and homelessness, track with those of their constituents. But elected leaders should pay more attention to crime, inflation and other issues increasingly on the minds of residents.
We ask regular Americans what’s on their minds, so why not our elected officials? Thanks to Boston University, we can do just that for mayors, and what’s on their minds is our minds — more precisely, our mental health and learning loss for kids. These concerns far outweigh worries that typically rise to the top in surveys of their constituents, such as rising violent crime or cost of living. It turns out that mayors are not always of one mind with their residents or with experts on important issues, let alone agree among themselves on what to do about them.
This year’s Menino Survey of Mayors, named after the late Boston mayor Thomas Menino and conducted annually since 2014, asked 126 leaders of large and midsize cities about the long-term impacts of COVID-19. More than half of the mayors said mental health challenges and trauma resulting from the pandemic were their top concern.
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