5 things Dallas residents do and don’t care about, according to new poll

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As far as Katherine Dyer is concerned, Dallas is a great place to live, especially for young professionals like her.

Dyer didn’t always believe that before she moved to Dallas. She had plenty of preconceived notions about the city and its culture while growing up in Galveston. Now, she says, those ideas have proved to be untrue.

Dallas, she said, has many things going for it: “It’s affordable. There’s lots of jobs. There’s a lot of other young professionals to connect with. I really like the different neighborhoods, especially around Dallas proper. You can sort of decide which kind of vibe works well for you.”

Dyer does have some concerns about the city, such as homelessness and public education. She also worries that too few people take public transit and too little bike infrastructure is in place.

Many other Dallas residents share Dyer’s thoughts about the city, according to a recent poll commissioned by The Dallas Morning News. The survey, conducted by Austin-based Baselice & Associates, gauged Dallas residents’ voting habits, opinions on city issues and their feelings about where they live.

Baselice & Associates conducted the interviews Jan. 23-25. About 54 percent of survey-takers answered on landlines, and 46 percent used their cellphones. Baselice & Associates weighted the data slightly to more closely mirror the age, racial and ethnic makeup of registered voters residing in each region of the city. Half the respondents in the poll had voted in at least one election since 2010. The margin of error was plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

Other than the fact that many don’t vote — even if they say they do — here are five things the poll says about what Dallas residents think.

1. People who live in Dallas are optimistic

Dallas is a city of optimism: 79 percent of respondents in the poll considered themselves somewhat or very optimistic — roughly half and half — about the city’s future. Another 10 percent are somewhat pessimistic, and 6 percent said they were very pessimistic.

A 2016 city-sponsored survey also said city residents are largely satisfied, and half approve of the direction the city is headed. And Mayor Mike Rawlings said he already knew that people are optimistic.

“We feel great about our city, and we believe that any issues we are facing, that we can surmount them,” he said. “As mayor, I feel that every day in talking to people. And I’m the one people complain to the most.”

Established neighborhoods, new homes and homes under construction are seen in McKinney in 2016.

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