Kent citizens give insight on trust in government

DKS Staff, RPA Class

In the wake of last month’s shut down, public trust in the government is reported to be at an all-time low. In a study conducted last month, Pew Research Center found only 19% of Americans trust the government in 2013.


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Video by Reporting Public Affairs Class

Portage County residents hit the polls Tuesday to vote on several issues, including issues 1 and 2 (Portage County Board of Developmental Disabilities), 3 (Portage County Board of Mental Health) and 4 (Kent Police Department), as well as electing three city-council-at-large members. Kent residents have differing opinions on the state of the federal government, as well as issues on the city ballot Tuesday.


The Kent network administrator said the federal government isn’t working very well, and there is a disconnect between state and federal government.

“I don’t know whether [the government] is working or not, they might be lounging in bed right now,” he said. He says problems arise from the divide between people who voted for President Barack Obama and those who didn’t.”

“There’s some crossover people that voted for him, thought he was going to do this, that and something else and find out no, that’s not going to work,” he said.


The senior finance major at Kent State said, “I don’t think the government is doing a good job. Locally, I think they’re good and trustworthy, but when you start talking about the state and federal government, I don’t trust them.”

Curtis thinks the bigger the government (state and federal), the less he can trust them because most of them are “career politicians.”

“One thing I would like to change is the thinking in government concerning gun-control,” he said. “There should be a solid background check on everyone who wants a gun.”


The senior middle childhood education major at Kent State said she trusts the government, particularly on the local end.

“I think a lot of politicians are actually quite honest,” she said. “I just think that the system that they’re put through sways their opinion, one way or another, and things just get kind of convoluted. But since things at the local level are not as bureaucratic … people’s honest intentions (can) get done through voting.”


The Kent resident said her husband is an employee for the federal government, and although he was not furloughed during the shut down, she noticed the struggles of government employees around her.

“Policy makers have selfish goals in our country,” Park said. “During the shut down, there was a lot of stress involved for local employees and people across the country. I’m not impressed with the government right now, and I think cooperation will be a good start.”

On Tuesday’s ballot, Park voted to support the city’s safety personnel.

“We’ve got a really big city now, with lots of people coming and going,” she said. “We have an increase of partying and drinking, and we need facilities to deal with the emerging nightlife.”


The Kent resident expressed concerns with women’s rights and global climate change, as well as a lack of convergence between parties.

“I think government is essential, but its hogtied right now by partisan issues. A lot of large corporations have taken over the political process,” she said.

In terms of the local ballot, Willmott is willing to pay to help the community.

“I don’t oppose taxes as long as they’re used for good services.”


The Kent resident said he feels the opposing parties must work together before the country’s trust can be regained.

“Everything (in the shut down) was done to stop Obamacare. The shut down was the only way the Republicans felt they could make an impact, but it was like going into a bad bet. It wasn’t smartest thing to do, although I don’t totally agree with the health care act.”

On local issues, Pritt voted to support Issue 4.

“It’s our duty to vote. If you don’t participate in government, you shouldn’t have the right to talk about it,” Pritt said. “I voted for the tax for the new police building. The current state of the building is unacceptable for our city.”