Since 1996, the City and County of San Francisco Controller’s Office has periodically surveyed residents to assess their use of and satisfaction with various city services. This year’s survey is the first since 2019, as staff and resources were redeployed to support the COVID-19 emergency. For the 2023 City Survey, data was collected from a representative sampling of residents between October and December of 2022 through a combination of telephone, online, and in-person interviewing.
Residents answered questions about how frequently they use city services and infrastructure and evaluated their satisfaction with those services. This year residents also responded to questions about the City’s response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. For all service areas, respondents were asked to give services a letter grade from A (Excellent) through F (Failing), and to elaborate in some areas about why they graded services the way they did.
Key takeaways include:
- Resident ratings of most city services decreased from 2019 to 2023, and overall ranking of government services declined to a “C".
- Survey respondents reported feeling less safe in neighborhoods across the city this year, with public safety cited as a top concern more often than in 2019.
- Low-income groups use key city services more and rate them higher; however, low-income respondents also tended to report the lowest feelings of public safety.
- Muni ratings partially recovered from declines reported in 2019, with COVID-19 having different and often surprising impacts on public transportation usage and preferences.
- Parks and Library ratings both dropped slightly in 2023 but remain the top-rated City services.
- Residents generally approved of the City’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our office measures how the City is performing in a number of different ways — tracking and reporting on established performance goals, benchmarking our services to other governments, and inspecting the condition of city streets and parks. One of the key ways we can find out how we’re doing, though, is simply asking residents for their opinions,” said Controller Ben Rosenfield. “These survey results provide important insights into where we’re doing well as a government, and where we need to do better.”
Interactive dashboards of 2023 survey results can be viewed at sf.gov/citysurvey, along with surveys from past years. The Controller’s Office will be releasing another data product later this spring that provides a more in-depth assessment of the city’s streets and sidewalks.