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

Fares for Gateway Cities residents are off the rails

Gateways Episode 32

MassINC recently published a report on fare equity that confirmed what most of us already know: the lowest-wealth Commonwealth residents pay more of their incomes to get around the state than wealthier folks. Nowhere is this more apparent than on the MBTA’s commuter rail network, a public

The ‘conscience of Boston’

Rev. Michael Haynes, Roxbury icon, MLK colleague and contemporary, dies at 92

WHEN MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. led a march from Roxbury to Boston Common in 1965 to protest school segregation in the city, his deepest connection here was a young Roxbury minister named Michael Haynes.  They met not long after King arrived from Atlanta to pursue at doctorate at Boston University in 1951. King delivered guest

Lawrence eliminates fares on 3 bus routes

Once fanciful idea of free service picks up steam

IN A BID TO BOOST public transit ridership, Lawrence on Monday started allowing residents to ride three downtown bus routes for free. The city is providing $225,000 to the Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority to offset the fare losses from the bus routes for the next two years. The routes – 34, 37, and 85

Reducing train fares to achieve equitable TOD

The Gateway Cities Journal

MassINC released a policy brief this week that is a “classic” in the sense that its main finding—many Gateway City residents can’t afford to ride commuter rail—is blatantly obvious. While this problem has been apparent for some time, we think now is the moment to seek a remedy. Transportation has risen to the top of the

MassINC study finds Gateway City residents priced-out of public transit

Report says state must reduce rail fares in order to achieve more equitable growth

To address the state’s transportation woes, planners and policymakers are evaluating major upgrades to the Commonwealth’s rail network. At the same time, a report from the nonpartisan think tank MassINC argues state leaders must consider new methods of discounting train fares so that low- and moderate-income residents can afford to ride. The new report presents

T urged to experiment with income-based commuter rail fares

MassINC also backs lower prices for reverse commuting, off-peak travel

THE MBTA SHOULD EXPERIMENT with income-based fares and cut charges for reverse-commuting and off-peak travel, the think tank MassINC argues in a new policy brief. The brief doesn’t advocate for specific commuter rail fares, but notes that the cost of travel between most Gateway Cities and Boston is way too high. The fare cost as

Tackling Smog and Congestion with TCI

Gateways Episode 30

Traffic congestion in Massachusetts has reached crisis proportions. And while some leaders and officials assure it’s a “symptom of success,” that explanation offers little solace to Bay Staters stuck in mind-numbing traffic everyday. To top it off, gas and diesel-burning cars, trucks, and trains dominate greenhouse

The Topline: Wait Wait, Don’t Primary Me

2018 saw the most contested Democratic primaries for the House in decades; will 2020 top it? 

It used to be both polite and practical to wait your turn to run for Congress in Massachusetts. Party leaders and insiders frowned on impertinence, and the very occasional primary challenges that happened were rarely successful. That era is ending. We’ve seen two longtime incumbents unseated in the last few cycles, and the 2020 congressional

Did you know?

  • By introducing high school students to college with structured support and allowing them to earn a substantial number of credits for free, Early Colleges position more low-income youth to move through higher education and into careers that offer good wages and a stable middle-class lifestyle.

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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 Pollack, Manager 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 Chairman and CEO of Eastern Bank

  • 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 Former 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

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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