Hosting the Democratic National Convention was a boost for the city, according to a survey of Philadelphians released Wednesday, but distrust in government remains high.
The survey, conducted by the Committee of Seventy, the good-government group, and Temple University's Institute for Survey Research found that 82 percent of respondents thought the convention was a good thing for the city.
About one-third said they were more likely to vote because the convention occurred in Philadelphia.
The survey, which has a margin of error of 5.63 percent, also looked at how trusting people are of government coming off two years in which at least nine public officials were convicted on corruption charges in Southeastern Pennsylvania.
"Every time a conviction occurs, the prosecutor will say this person has abused the people's trust, and that's why they ought to be convicted and sentenced," said David Thornburgh, CEO of the Committee of Seventy.
"We want to try to track in a more rigorous way exactly what difference that makes in hopes that this ultimately is something we can use to hold public officials accountable."
Survey participants answered questions related to trust in July, before Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane's perjury conviction and FBI raids in connection with politically connected union leader John "Johnny Doc" Dougherty. District Attorney Seth Williams also has since been embroiled in a controversy over accepting $160,000 worth of gifts he belatedly reported receiving.
Half of those surveyed said recent convictions of public officials decreased their trust in government.
Fourteen percent said convictions increased their trust in government.
"If you think about that, it's probably because people got caught and prosecuted, which says that prosecuting public officials and pursuing the evidence that arises in particular cases actually does make a difference," Thornburgh said.
Respondents said they trusted the federal government 44 percent of the time, the state government 43 percent of the time, and City Hall 44 percent of the time.
Participants found Gov. Wolf trustworthy 55 percent of the time and Mayor Kenney trustworthy 53 percent of the time.
"There are no absolute standards by which to compare, but generally speaking, when people say I trust the governor or the mayor only about half the time - that doesn't sound like a ringing endorsement," Thornburgh said.
Temple and the Committee of Seventy will continue to track trust in government through periodic surveys. The 986 respondents to this survey are part of Temple's BeHeardPhilly project, a group of community members who have agreed to participate in local research initiatives.