The American Municipal Official Survey is a biennial, nonpartisan, confidential survey jointly administered by political scientists at Yale University and Washington University in St. Louis.

The purpose of the survey is to better understand the perceptions of the men and women who are at the heart of the “Great American Experiment” — local democracy.

Unfortunately, scholarly work on American politics overlooks municipal officials even though they form the vast majority of elected policymakers in the U.S. and their decisions have the greatest impact on the daily lives of most Americans. One reason for this oversight is the difficulty of gathering quantitative data about local officials.

The American Municipal Official Survey, which was first conducted in 2012, is an attempt to fill this void and help bring the study of local politics — whether it occurs in a large urban center or a small rural town — to the forefront of political science research.

The success of this endeavor depends on the willingness of local policymakers to take the survey. If you are (or have been) an elected municipal official and would like to participate in the 2016 American Municipal Official Survey (or have questions about participating), please email Adam Dynes, one of the principal investigators. In addition, please see our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Thank you in advance for your interest in the survey and for all that you do to help your community and the “Great American Experiment” continue to move forward.

Daniel Butler (Washington University of St. Louis) and Adam Dynes (Yale University)

About the Principal Investigators

The American Municipal Official Survey is administered by political scientists at Yale University and Washington University in St. Louis, both top programs in the study of American politics.

butler-daniel_95x142Daniel Butler is an associate professor at Washington University in St. Louis. He is also the director of the Laboratories of Democracy, a non-profit organization that collaborates with academics, non-profits, and public officials in the U.S. to evaluate the effectiveness of government policies, programs, and practices to improve America’s communities. Previously, Daniel Butler was a professor at Yale University and received his Ph.D. (2007) in political science from Stanford University. His research on legislative politics and representation has appeared in the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of PoliticsPolitical Analysis, the Quarterly Journal of Political ScienceLegislative Studies Quarterly, and other journals.

dynes-adam_95x142Adam Dynes is an assistant professor at Brigham Young University and received his Ph.D. from Yale University.  Adam’s research on legislative and distributive politics has appeared in the American Political Science Review and the American Journal of Political Science. Prior to graduate school, he worked in state politics for 4 years.