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.

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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

Southern Massachusetts TTOD Regional Forum

Event Recap

Last week, MassINC kicked off ourTransformative Transit-Oriented Development (TTOD) Regional Forum Series at the Whaling Museum in New Bedford. The event was co-sponsored by the City of New Bedford, the SouthCoast Development Partnership, and the New Bedford Economic Development Council. The Southern Massachusetts TTOD Regional Forum allowed for community leaders and the civically-engaged to gather

Welcome Juana!

Gateways Episode 12

In this episode of Gateways, Ben talks with Juana Matias about her journey to MassINC and her hopes and aspirations for the organization. They also dive into the education funding debate. Together they puzzle over how lawmakers give Gateway City schools sufficient resources to close opportunity gaps.

House budget advances Gateway City neighborhood stabilization effort

The Gateway Cities Journal

The FY 2020 House budget released yesterday directs $1 million to MassDevelopment’s Transformative Development Initiative (TDI)-with $750,000 of that earmarked for neighborhood stabilization activities. This represents an important step forward (and a strong show of support) for a concerted effort to create a comprehensive neighborhood stabilization program for Massachusetts. With these funds, MassDevelopment could build

TOD planning takes root in the Heart of the Commonwealth

Gateways Episode 11

In this episode, we hear from Mayor Petty & Jake Sanders from the city of Worcester along with Craig Blais and Roberta Brien of the Worcester Business Development Corporation. They explain how planning is helping transform New England’s second-largest city through transit-oriented development.

Accountability in the school funding debate

Gateways Episode 10

In Part II of our deep dive on local education accountability, Ben talks with Rep. Aaron Vega, author of the Promise Act, and Ed Lambert, former mayor of Fall River and current Executive Director of the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education.

A Complex Recipe for Housing Financing

Brockton Offers Formula for Gateway Cities

Rob May, Brock- ton’s director of economic devel- opment and planning, famously offers up his seven-layer dip to any- one with a taste for the city’s downtown. A 121B Urban Re- newal plan forms the base. Then, he mixes in 40Q District Improvement Financing, a 40R Smart Growth Overlay District, a 40V Hous-ing Development Zone and a Transformative Development District.

Ending the Cycle of Segregation

The Gateways City Journal

Gateway City leaders converged on Beacon Hill last week to plead for more education funding. The facts are undisputed: In recent years, state aid has not kept pace with rising healthcare and special education costs. Changes to the way the state counts low-income students penalized Gateway City schools that serve large numbers of immigrants. And

Ben Forman’s testimony on Gateway Cities and the Promise Act

Ben Forman submitted written testimony on the Promise Act. His remarks focus on how MassINC’s recent research on local accountability can inform the debate over whether additional funding should also come with provisions requiring additional accountability for increasing student achievement. Click here to read his written testimony.

Local education accountability with Tracy Novick

Gateways Episode 9

In this new episode of Gateways, Ben Forman visits Worcester to speak with Tracy Novick, Field Director for the Massachusetts Association of School Committees. With experience serving on both school committees and school councils in Worcester, Tracy is highly regarded as an outspoken thought leader on education policy. Ben chats with Tracy about MassINC’s recent

A third way on the school funding/accountability debate

The answer isn’t more state rules but greater local oversight

BEACON HILL LEADERS are searching for ways to provide public schools with a significant infusion of new dollars. Taking a page from Massachusetts’s landmark 1993 Education Reform Act, some have proposed attaching higher levels of accountability to any new funding. Others are not so hot on this idea. After all, they reason, the state skirted

Did you know?

  • Vacant and underutilized land surrounding 13 Gateway City commuter rail stations could house up to 230,000 residents and 230,000 jobs-double the number of people living and working in these station areas today.

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 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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

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