Menino Survey of Mayors

Our team has interviewed mayors from across the country to examine the leadership and management challenges facing modern-day mayors today and over time, through a first of its kind mayoral leadership research initiative.

Mayoral Views on Racism and Discrimination

In September of 2018, the Initiative published Mayoral Views on Racism and Discrimination, co-written with the National League of Cities. This report, which draws on data from the 2017 Menino Survey, explores how mayors of medium-sized and large cities understand race, discrimination and equity in their communities and on a national level. The report also highlights several successful initiatives that cities, including Anaheim, Boston, Louisville and New Orleans, have undertaken in combating discrimination.

Supported by The Rockefeller Foundation.


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Cities Joining Ranks – Policy Networks on the Rise

In April of 2018, we published a corollary report to the 2017 Menino Survey, Cities Joining Ranks—Policy Networks on the Rise. The report offers the first systematic review of US city-to-city policy network activities, their media visibility, perceived value in the eyes of mayors, and membership composition. The report also provides novel insights into city peer groups based on an evaluation of network joining behavior.

Supported by Citi Community Development and The Rockefeller Foundation.


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2017 Menino Survey of Mayors

The 2017 Menino Survey of Mayors represents the fourth nationally representative survey of American mayors and is based on our widest sample to date—115 sitting mayors from 39 states. The 2017 Survey delves into the ways in which mayors are tackling critical urban issues of both local and global import—from housing young families and aging residents to mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change—while confronting federal and state funding gaps. The research also offers insight into how mayors are rallying individually and as a collective to affect positive change.

Supported by Citi Community Development and The Rockefeller Foundation.

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2016 Menino Survey of Mayors

The 2016 Menino Survey of Mayors encompassed insights and perspectives shared by a representative sample of 102 mayors from 41 states. While prior years of the Survey have delved more deeply into infrastructure needs and fiscal priorities, the 2016 Survey focused on “people priorities,” including immigration, inclusion, and poverty. Mayors also discussed the impact of the 2016 presidential election on their cities and their hopes for the Trump administration. 

Supported by Citi Community Development.


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2015 Menino Survey of Mayors

The 2015 Menino Survey of Mayors was built on interviews with a representative sample of 89 mayors from 31 states. The objective was to take mayors’ pulses on key contemporary challenges and policy issues—including infrastructure, public safety, and municipal finance—and identify where mayors turn for help in tackling them. A significant portion of the 2015 Menino Survey is devoted to mayoral leadership, including areas of mayoral control and constituent approval, as well as constraints they confront under increasingly politicized and polarized state legislatures.

Supported by Citi Community Development.

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2014 Menino Survey of Mayors

In October of 2014, the Initiative on Cities released a ground-breaking survey of American Mayors, which has since been dedicated as the annual Menino Survey of Mayors. Based on interviews with over 70 mayors, the 2014 Survey offered the first-ever nationally representative review of mayoral priorities and yields fresh insight into the issues mayors care about. The Survey highlights the importance mayors place on the physical, fiscal and social infrastructure of their cities, and—contrary to prior research—suggests that party affiliation has a significant influence on mayoral priority-setting.

Supported by Citi Community Development.