We are the Massachusetts Institute for a New Commonwealth

Our mission is to promote the growth of a vibrant middle class.
We achieve impact by moving ideas to public policy through civic engagement.

Non-partisan
Policy center

The nonprofit Massinc Policy Center produces rigorous, nonpartisan research and collaborates with civic leaders to find solutions to complex social and economic challenges.

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Non-profit
Civic journal

CommonWealth publishes in-depth, balanced, and independent journalism. As both a daily web publication and a quarterly journal, it covers politics, policy, ideas, and civic life, with an emphasis on investigative reporting, in-depth analysis, and political mapping.

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Independent
Polling group

The MassINC Polling Group is a full-service survey opinion research company offering public opinion research to public, private, and social sector clients.

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Featured

Latest articles

Uncovering the economic growth/criminal justice reform link

Forum on criminal records

MassINC, the Massachusetts Bar Association, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston co-hosted a forum on criminal records policy last week at the John Adams Courthouse. The forum featured new research by the bank examining the impact of criminal records and criminal records reform legislation on employment. Bob Triest, a labor market economist who leads

The Art of Repeal

The Topline

Health care bills moves votes. They cost seats. They start waves. The Democrats’ two runs at health care reform ended with Republican gains of 54 seats in 1994 and 63 seats in 2010. In the latter case, Massachusetts was the canary in the coal mine, as health care helped propel Scott Brown past Martha Coakley

Increasing access to high-quality summer learning

The Gateway Cities Journal

Next week, Rep. Alice Peisch will host a briefing on her new bill, An Act to Increase Access to High-Quality Summer Learning Opportunities. This legislation will give more students the chance to participate in high-quality summer learning programs all across our Commonwealth. Mayors and school leaders from Worcester, New Bedford, and Salem supported an earlier

MassINC issues public comments on state’s proposed ESSA plan

For the past 12 months, MassINC has been focused on the potential the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) offers to further educational excellence in our Gateway Cities. This work builds on over a decade of MassINC research on education accountability, including the seminal report Incomplete Grade: Education Reform at 15. Our efforts to

Profiles in Courage

The MassCJRC Journal

Last month, Governor Baker introduced much anticipated legislation to address recommendations made by the Council of State Governments (CSG) on backend criminal justice reform. In public remarks given on the same day the CSG legislative package was unveiled, Chief Justice Gants called this work a “first down, not a touchdown.” Calling attention to the State

The National Day of Empathy

Event Recap

On March 1, MassINC joined with the national bipartisan initiative #cut50 along with organizations across the country for a single day of action to highlight the strength of the bipartisan criminal justice reform movement. The Day of Empathy united groups from Boston to Oakland in solidarity, as a way to generate compassion and understanding on

Massachusetts is #1, but not for everyone

The Topline

We’re the best. Number one. The greatest of all time. That’s what the US News and World Report told Bay State residents last week, naming Massachusetts the  best state in the union in their first annual Best States rankings. The news prompted Gronk-level football spiking up on Beacon Hill this week, as well as scattered

State leaders unveil bill aimed at cutting recidivism

Officials divided on further changes, Gants urges repeal of most mandatory minimums

STATE LEADERS UNVEILED long-awaited legislation Tuesday aimed at reducing recidivism rates in the criminal justice system. But whether the bill tackles the most pressing issue facing the system or simply marks a good first step in what should be a more sweeping reform process depends on which leader is speaking. That divide is likely to

Talking workforce development innovation at the State House

The Gateway Cities Journal

The topic was workforce development at the Gateway Cities Legislative Caucus last week. MassINC shared recent research findings showing one in five Gateway City residents is struggling in the labor market, working in very low-wage employment, unemployed, or no longer actively seeking a job. A slightly larger share of the young adult Gateway City population,

Next Generation Education Accountability in Pittsfield

Recapping Our Sixth (and Final) Community Conversation

Tuesday, MassINC joined with the Berkshire Compact for our final community forum on the possibilities the Every Student Succeeds Act presents to improve teaching and learning in inclusive urban school districts. A coalition of community partners, including the K-12 schools, college leaders, and local businesses and business-led organizations, the compact works to strengthen the regional economy by raising

Did you know?

  • More than two-thirds of defendants sentenced to state and county prisons in Massachusetts have had prior incarcerations, according to new analysis presented in this policy brief. Comprehensive change is necessary to reduce this elevated level of repeat offending and improve public safety.

Coming up

Why support massinc?

  • We enjoy what we do.

    Whether it’s planning events, conducting research, or analyzing the news, our team works on projects that we’re passionate about.
  • We develop leaders.

    Former MassINC employees have gone on to work at reputable organizations like Harvard University, Boston University, City Year, EnerNOC, and Governor Baker’s office.  
  • We stick with it.

    Our work on transformative development, which uses public and private funding for projects to revitalize an entire downtown or urban neighbor­hood, began as Policy Center research report in 2013. A year later, the state legislature passed a bill funding transformative development projects across Massachusetts.
  • We are nonpartisan.

    Our Board of Directors includes prominent Massachusetts Democrats and Republicans. We are interested people’s ideas, not which side of the aisle they sit on.
  • We have a complete toolbox.

    We aren’t just a think tank. We bring nonpartisan research, civic engagement, journalism, and independent polling together under one roof.
  • We have state-wide reach.

    We know that Beacon Hill isn’t the only place to make progress. We’re on the ground in cities across the state working with local leaders.
  • We have unique networks.

    We use our connections to bring together a cross-section of diverse leaders to solve problems. Our networks include mayors, economic development directors, superintendents, business people, newspaper editors, arts leaders, and regional transit officials.  

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@MassINC

  • MassINC is a key partner to the Boston Foundation, and all of us who are seeking to advance the regional conversation around economic opportunity and a strong quality of life for all.  MassINC's robust, nonpartisan research is exactly what our citizens and leaders need to make good decisions.

    Paul Grogan President of The Boston Foundation

  • I watch my inbox for CommonWealth magazine’s Daily Download. I can count on the newsletter to tell me succinctly what’s happening in politics and public policy. The magazine itself always delivers in-depth news, analysis and commentary. It's simply outstanding, quality journalism. I am happy to support unbiased reporting through my participation in Citizens Circle.

    Helen Chin Schlichte
    Former Public Administrator; President Emeritus, South Cove Manor at Quincy Point

  • MassINC's long-term dedication to Gateway Cities makes them a valuable resource to all of our communities. They are a true thought partner. They go the distance to help others appreciate our unique opportunities, needs, and perspectives.

    Tim McGourthy Executive Director of the Worcester Regional Research Bureau

  • MassINC serves as a credible, thoughtful resource for all of us who are invested in the future of the Commonwealth. Its emphasis on careful analysis that is grounded in data, research, and polling makes an important contribution to and helps elevate the conversation about the challenges and opportunities facing the region.

    Trevor PollackManager of Special Projects for the Barr Foundation

  • The potential of Massachusetts’ Gateway Cities is limitless. MassINC’s dedicated work in promoting these cities has been, and will continue to be, instrumental in their individual and collective success.

    Jay Ash
    Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Economic Development and former chair of the Gateway Cities Innovation Institute

  • MassINC has always provided research showing the detrimental impact of the state’s unforgiving criminal justice system on our communities. Their polling confirmed that the public understood the need for change in our system. That criminal justice reform is at the forefront of bipartisan local and national debates today is in no small measure due to MassINC’s persistent and fair commitment to the issue.

    Juliette Kayyem Faculty Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Founder Kayyem Solutions LLC

  • Through my partnership with MassINC, the Building On What Works Coalition is working to unite a diverse collection of civic leaders around an urgent call to encourage the state to act on the progress that has been made ensuring all children in Massachusetts have a true chance to succeed in the state’s economy. MassINC’s research and commitment to data driven public policy are helping to give the children of Massachusetts a better education.

    Kim Driscoll Mayor of Salem

  • MassINC's work with the Gateway Cities is unmatched. As Eastern Bank strives to help businesses in these communities thrive, MassINC has been a tremendous partner, providing data-driven research and affirming that these cities are full of opportunities.

    Bob Rivers Eastern Bank President and COO

  • When MassINC speaks, it’s well worth listening. After all, the nonpartisan think tank has established itself as a thoughtful, careful, credible voice on public policy in Massachusetts.

    Scot Lehigh Boston Globe Op-Ed Columnist

  • Few organizations in the country have better understood the important role of governance reform and accountability in education policy and economic development than MassINC.

    Bruce Katz Vice President and Founding Director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at The Brookings Institution

  • [MassINC's] understanding of the complexity of the challenges facing the state’s older cities, its belief in the opportunities that present themselves in those communities, and its advocacy of the role that public higher education can and should play in them, has added to the understanding that policy makers need to have as they move our state toward the future.

    Jean MacCormack

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

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