State of Government Innovation Survey Results

First, a big thank you to everyone who responded to the State of Government Innovation survey! We appreciate your time and input on important issues.

The survey results provide some interesting insight into how people view and engage with government.

One key result from the survey was that trust in government is strongest at the local level with 38% of respondents saying that they have the greatest trust in city government compared to state (23%), county (20%), and federal (19%) government.


A respondent stated, “Government is most responsive to local issues -- roads, parks, etc. It gets harder to connect the dots the higher up in government you go, but there are pockets of good government at all levels.”

Regarding State government, one survey respondent said, “I think that state government is still controlled by special interests, but not to the same extent as it has been in the past 20 years. I think that there is a response to the growing voices finding new avenues to participation.”

Another interesting finding was that over 80% of respondents think that the federal government is not operating well. "Government corruption especially federal," and "the inability of the federal government (Congress) to govern due to stubborn commitments to dogmatic ideology," were issues of concern highlighted by survey respondents. 

When it comes to participation in government, respondents were equally likely to prefer to engage in issues by voting their voice and engaging online. 12% said they would rather volunteer with a group and 17% said they would prefer to engage in other ways.


Key issues mentioned that we are facing in 2016 included - environment and water issues, the economy (jobs, widening inequality), need for more regional authority and planning, and the effect of money in politics.

Many potential aspects of government could benefit from innovation according to those surveyed including:

  • Helping government become more “agile” and user friendly

  • Finding ways to use technology to improve government’s ability to respond to Californians (government service delivery)

  • Voter education and engagement

  • Engaging with Civic and Gov tech companies to open up their budgets, payroll and other things to the public to increase transparency

A majority of respondents believe that the economy is headed in the wrong direction and over three quarters of the respondents said they planned to vote in the June primary.




Innovate Your State is involved in projects relevant to the issues we heard including helping county governments in California improve transparency and accountability through OpenGov grants, researching county modernization and showcasing civic and gov tech entrepreneurs to connect them to government leaders and potential investors. You can learn more about these projects here.

Innovate Your State has also relaunched the Fix California Challenge and is the best way to pitch your idea to transform and improve California. We encourage you to submit your idea today at

We look forward to working on many of the issues raised and encourage you to add your voice and opinions if you have not already. If you haven't already signed up for updates from Innovate Your State please do so here.

A great source for additional information on Californian’s views is PPIC’s Californians & Their Government and a reminder to make sure you are registered to vote at your current address to make sure your voice is heard in the upcoming elections.




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