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The American West saw more protests against state and local coronavirus restrictions than other regions, a new survey finds

Kylie Gordon
Oct 21 2020

With the Bill Lane Center, CivicPulse has published a new report on patterns of local protest against coronavirus restrictions across the United States.

covid protest sign

In partnership with CivicPulse, an organization that generates and shares insights about local government through national surveys of local officials, the Bill Lane Center is proud to co-release this new report on protests related to COVID-19 restrictions. A recent survey by CivicPulse shows that local protests against coronavirus safety measures in the spring of 2020 were more than three times as likely in western states than in other regions. As a research center dedicated to advancing scholarly and public understanding of the American West, including local governance issues, the Lane Center coordinated with CivicPulse to produce this policy paper, based on original survey data of over 350 top law enforcement officials in June of 2020. Those surveyed represented agencies in municipal, township, and county governments across the country.

In addition to a concentration of COVID-related civil unrest in the western United States, two other salient findings emerge in the report, called “Patterns of Local Protest against COVID-19 Restrictions across America”: Twelve percent of law enforcement agencies nationwide reported protests against COVID-19 restrictions in the spring of 2020, and protests were similarly prevalent across Democrat- and Republican-leaning communities.

“We see this work as important because it’s quite possible that in the fall, with flu season and increased cases, we could potentially see another round of various coronavirus restrictions. So knowing how people responded in the spring could help us get a better sense of what to expect going forward,” said Jonathan Chu, director of operations at CivicPulse and a contributor to the report.

CivicPulse researchers Nathan Lee, Matthew Kugler and Mariana Oliver also contributed to the paper, with support from the Bill Lane Center’s director and associate director, Bruce Cain and Preeti Hehmeyer, and senior researcher Iris Hui. The Bill Lane Center looks forward to co-producing two future policy papers with CivicPulse, with the shared goal of promoting information-sharing among local governments, and elevating local matters in national civic discourse.

Follow us on Twitter for more updates on this work:

CivicPulse: @Civic_Pulse

Jonathan Chu: @whoisjonchu

Bill Lane Center: @WestCenter





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