As we head into spring, the season of rebirth, it sure feels like we can look to the future with optimism: vaccinations are up, restrictions are expected to ease and consistently warm weather can’t be too far away…can it?
It’s 2021 and the City of Chicago is due for a new map of its 50 wards. The mayor and aldermen have historically set the map after the census, but CHANGE Illinois and a coalition of civic organizations have formed a commission of residents to draw a separate map to avoid the political considerations of elected officials. Aldermen appear to be split on the issue, with some criticizing the gerrymandering of previous maps and others countering that aldermen know their communities best and will ensure equity in the new ward map.
Nearly 74% of Serafin Power Pollers want want choice and to vote between a map drawn by aldermen and a map drawn by CHANGE Illinois’ independent commission. Only 12% think aldermen should continue to draw the map and more than 14% are unsure on the best path forward.
A recent credit report from Moody’s pegged Illinois’ pension liability at $300 billion – reportedly the highest of any state. Perhaps that’s why Illinois House Speaker Welch proposed taking another run at a graduated income tax, tied to paying down this massive pension debt. Voters roundly rejected a graduated income tax in November, so we asked if the Speakers’ proposal to allocate the new tax dollars to eliminate the pension debt would impact how Power Pollers felt about a graduated income tax.
The majority (58%) said they were more likely to support the graduated income tax if tied to reducing the pension debt, while more than 21% said it made them less likely to support and almost 13% didn’t feel it would impact their vote. 7% were unsure.
Earlier this week, it was announced that more than 4 million doses of COVID vaccines have been administered in Illinois and that all Illinois adults will soon be eligible for a vaccine. Reopening plans are reportedly being developed and there are rumors that Chicago’s summer festivals may be able to go ahead as normal. With all these developments, we once again asked Serafin Power Pollers when they expect to return to what they think of as normal life.
The majority (52%) think normal is still six months away, with relatively even divisions among those who feel it will be another nine months (16%), three months (16%) or one year (12%) until normal. The last time we asked, 61% of respondents thought normal was a year away and only 24% thought it was six months away.
Health experts across the world are cautioning that, while vaccines are making a tremendous difference in the fight against COVID, the virus is likely to become an endemic disease, like the flu or measles. With this in mind, we asked Serafin Power Pollers which of a few pandemic practices we were most likely to be doing in a year.
A majority of respondents (52%) said the remote working trend won’t end anytime soon, while 27% are expecting to still be wearing masks in a year’s time. Another 10% think we will still be limiting large gatherings and an optimistic 7% believe we will have abandoned all of these pandemic practices in a year.
After the 2020 Major League Baseball season was reduced by more than half, players and fans alike are gearing up for what is expected to be a full, 162-game 2021 season. With vaccinations increasing and COVID cases trending in the right direction, Mayor Lightfoot announced that fans will be allowed back at the ballpark this spring. But with capacity restrictions, social distancing and masking, the season still won’t feel like normal, so we asked Serafin Power Pollers if they’d be heading to the ballpark this April or May.
Almost 39% are looking forward to hearing the crack of Luis Robert’s bat in person, while 28% are perfectly fine watching Javy Baez’s lightning-fast glovework from the comfort of their couch. Another 9% weren’t sure if they’d attend a game or not and almost 24% are not interested the national pastime. We won’t hold it against them.
Thanks to all who shared their valuable insight and happy spring from the Serafin Team!
A total of 546 Serafin Power Poll members were surveyed and the participation rate was 17.03%. The Serafin Power Poll is not a scientific poll, but rather a fascinating and non-partisan glimpse into the attitudes and opinions of the decision-makers and thought leaders in the Chicago region.