The Gateway Cities Innovation Institute works to unlock the economic potential of small to mid-size regional cities.

Leveraging MassINC’s research, polling, and policy team, the Institute strengthens connections across communities and helps Gateway City leaders develop and advance a shared policy agenda.

Research Reports

Articles from The Gateway Cities Innovation Institute

Hardworking Gateway City Citizens

The Gateway Cities Journal

President Obama’s parting plea to work collaboratively as citizens to address hard issues had to resonate with Gateway City leaders, who never shy from this civic responsibility. Together, they grapple with the toughest problems and try to find commonsense solutions. In just the past two days, we’ve witnessed two great examples. Wednesday, at the first

Next Generation Education Accountability in Lowell

Recapping our Second Community Conversation

Gateway City leaders from the Merrimack Valley gathered yesterday for a conversation on the power of education accountability, and how change brought about by the impending implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) can help advance the Gateway City vision for educational excellence. While many themes similar to those surfaced in Worcester were discussed, here are

MassINC Year In Review

Looking back at our work in 2016

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! 2016 has been an incredible year for the MassINC family which includes our Policy Center, CommonWealth magazine and the MassINC Polling Group. Please take a moment to look through the highlights of substantive research, civic events, and journalism from 2016 and consider making a year-end donation that will help us

Next Generation Education Accountability in Worcester

Recapping the Conversation

Worcester leaders gathered last Thursday for a spirited conversation on the opportunity that the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) presents to help Gateway Cities realize their vision for educational excellence. Here are four takeaways from their dialogue: A measure that “raises the bar” is critical. When urban students see that they can meet the highest

Initiating an urgent conversation on education accountability

The Gateway Cities Journal

We head to Worcester this week for the first of six community dialogues on education accountability. Over the next few months, Massachusetts will revise its accountability policies to comply with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), a major overhaul of federal education law signed by President Obama last December. Anticipating this change, we spent a

Press coverage

  • Experts: Look beyond scores to measure school success in cities like Lowell

    A thinktank that co-sponsored the forum, the Massachusetts Institute for a new Commonwealth, or MassINC, is helping gateway cities and school leaders take advantage of the new education act as a way to advocate for their school districts.

    A MassINC report on ESSA shows the challenges that Lowell and other gateway cities face. An average of two-thirds of students in such districts are from low-income families, a major increase from 2002, and claim a disproportionate share of students who are foreign-born or do not speak English as their native language, according to the group.
    Read more… 

  • Panel says there are many ways to measure students beyond tests

    WORCESTER – A teachers union president, a school administrator, and a high school student all agreed at a panel conversation Thursday morning: there is room in the state’s next accountability standards for factors other than test scores.

    Other speakers at the event, which was hosted by MassINC and the Worcester Education Collaborative at the Beechwood Hotel, also expressed optimism that Worcester and other “Gateway Cities” in the state in particular could be helped by a new approach to measuring school success.

    Read More…

  • A tipping point for criminal justice reform

    MARK TWAIN made famous the adage that there are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics.

    Over the years, piles of reform proposals on an array of issues have been decided by statistical analyses that could be colored dozens of different ways. But when statistics show that in some parts of the city, residents from nearly every other home on some streets are ending up in jail, the need for wholesale change is irrefutable.

  • Mean tweets don’t faze Maura Healey, Elizabeth Warren

    Hoping to show they’re good sports, Attorney General Maura Healey and Senator Elizabeth Warren took turns reading out mean tweets directed at them, in a video posted Thursday by MassINC, a nonprofit think tank.

  • Watch Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Attorney General Maura Healey respond to mean tweets

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Attorney General Maura Healey took on their Twitter critics in a video taped for MassINC, a public policy think tank celebrating 20 years at a Thursday night gala at Boston’s Revere Hotel.

    Read more…

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  • 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.  
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    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.
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    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.
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    We aren’t just a think tank. We bring nonpartisan research, civic engagement, journalism, and independent polling together under one roof.
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    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.
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    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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@GatewayCities

  • 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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