A new survey finds Houstonians want crime, flooding and road conditions to be the top priorities of Houston's next mayor.
The poll conducted by researchers at the Hobby School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston found that 83 percent of likely voters said crime should be a top priority, followed by 72 percent of respondents saying they hope the city's next leader will address flooding issues in the city. Meanwhile, 65 percent of respondents said the condition of Houston's streets as well as the city's economy should be foremost priorities.
While most voters agreed on the importance of these issues, the survey showed marked differences according to demographics.
"We saw more than nine out of 10 African-Americans, nine out of 10 white Republicans, and close to eight out of 10 Latino Democrats list crime as a top priority, but only six out of 10 white Democrats," said Mark P. Jones, political fellow at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy and senior research fellow at the Hobby School. "That was the biggest split we saw there."
Fewer respondents overall indicated other issues, such as illegal dumping, open ditches, air quality and lack of street lighting, as priorities. However, such issues were significantly more important to communities of color.
"While those things are lower priorities or seen as having a lower impact across the board, they are significantly more likely to be a problem in African-American and Latino neighborhoods than white neighborhoods," said Jones.
In the crowded field of candidates for November's mayoral election, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and State Senator John Whitmire currently have a substantial lead, according to recent polling from the Hobby School.
The full report can be read here.