A year of opportunity and impact

A Recap of 2017

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! 2017 was a year of opportunity and impact for the MassINC family, which includes our Policy CenterCommonWealth magazine and the MassINC Polling Group.
Please take a moment to look through our top highlights of the year and consider making a year-end donation that will help us continue our efforts to improve the quality of life in the Commonwealth in 2018.
Greg Torres

This year we put out three consequential pieces of criminal justice related research:Getting Tough On Spending, Public Opinion Criminal Justice Reform in Massachusetts, and The Geography of Incarceration in a Gateway City.

Ben Forman testifies before Massachusetts Legislature’s Joint Committee on the Judiciary in support of “An Act For Justice Reinvestment”

There are many components of this legislation that we strongly endorse, including the elimination of mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes, which we believe is supported by the preponderance of the evidence, especially a recent study examining federal data …With mandatory minimums, the justice system cannot operate as intended and self-correct; initial charging decisions result in racial disparities at sentencing.[1]

Giving thanks to a pragmatic and hardworking legislature

 Leaders in both the House and Senatedeserve praise for passing comprehensive criminal justice reform bills this past Fall. The legislature’s accomplishments are a positive departure from how criminal justice policymaking has unfolded in the past. For far too long, Massachusetts made criminal justice law by anecdote, often in response to a single sensational crime.
As documented in a series of eightreports produced by MassINC since 2013, this practice cost us dearly. In total, our studies offered 31 distinct recommendations to address decades of counterproductive policy and improve public safety outcomes. Assuming a bill emerges from conference committee with all of the major pieces intact, the legislature will have acted on two-thirds of these recommendations. This is a clear indication that it has taken a truly comprehensive and evidence-based approach.

CommonWealth Magazine highlights a new breed of advocacy

The Fall 2017 Issue highlighted a new breed of advocacy that appears to be emerging here in Massachusetts, an advocacy driven more by data than ideology.
Our Conversation introduces you to Marc Ebuña, Ari Ofsevit, and Andy Monat. You’ve probably never heard of these three relatively young men from a group called TransitMatters. They aren’t quoted regularly by reporters and they rarely meet with state policymakers. But they are starting to have a real impact on the MBTA, pushing a pilot project to introduce late-night service, convincing officials to throw out the completed design for a commuter rail stop in Newton, and questioning the time and expense involved with the way the transit agency shuts down service at night.
Read the issue here…

On The Codcast, John McDonough of the Harvard School of Public Health weighs in on health care

McDonough, who has been a regular contributor to CommonWealth, wrote this piece earlier in the year describing the Medicaid reforms Gov. Charlie Baker has proposed. On the Washington showdown, he says the Republican plan is a huge tax cut with health coverage changes wrapped around it. He has some surprisingly tough words for those on the left, such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who are suddenly embracing single-payer health care as the right policy — and right politics — for Democrats going forward. His knowledge of health care and insights on the current debate are well worth a listen.
Browse other episodes or subscribe on iTunes.

The MassINC Polling Group

The MassINC Polling Group continues our now 6-year polling and political research partnership with WBUR, focusing on Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Steve Koczela, now a contributor to CNN, continues to write for WBUR Politicker and regularly appears on the air.

In addition, MPG’s work supports MassINC with new polling on education and comprehensive criminal justice reform.

The MassINC Polling Group continued to serve our many private clients with timely and insightful polling and market research to help meet their goals.

And they’re off!

This year, “The Horse Race,” a new podcast hosted by the MassINC Polling Group’s President Steve Koczela and Politico’s Lauren Dezenski launched. As the name suggests, they will focus on campaigns and elections, particularly here in Massachusetts. They will also look at how developments in Washington could impact politics in the Bay State.

New episodes will be released on Friday mornings and can be found (and subscribed to) on iTunes or SoundCloud


#ICYMI: We launched Gateways magazine.

Check it out!

Gateways explores the Commonwealth’s rich collection of historic cities as places to live, raise children, study, launch a business, visit, and be inspired. We hope that you will be inspired by the stories in this premiere issue. Please share it with your neighbors and colleagues. Get your copy today!

We also hope that you will help us realize our vision for Gateways by purchasing a subscription or placing an advertisement in the next issue. For more information about advertising or subscriptions, please contact our Managing Editor, Maureen McInerney, at 617.224.1625 or mmcinerney@massinc.org.

Paying Tribute to Gateway City Innovation: A Recap of our Event in Lawrence

Leaders from across the Commonwealth gathered in Lawrence for the Fifth Annual Gateway Cities Innovation Institute Awards Summit last November. This year we discussed how we nurture, embrace, and brand a community’s identity.

We were proud to honor those of unwavering commitment, forward thinking corporate governance, and for sowing the seeds of Gateway Cities leadership across the Commonwealth.

Catch up on the event here…

A Collaborative Education Vision for Gateway Cities

This far-sighted plan leveraged unique urban assets to create exceptional learning environments. Achieving this vision is fundamental to making Gateway Cities more attractive communities for families to live and more productive places for employers to do business. The Gateway Cities Vision initiative is a collaborative effort to promote education policies that better position Gateway Cities to realize their shared vision for the future of learning in inclusive urban communities.

Learn more…

Looking Forward!

As we move into 2018, we look forward to continuing our mission with you. MassINC was built around the conviction that better outcomes would be achieved if policy makers and opinion leaders were armed with credible data and analysis about key issues surrounding quality of life in Massachusetts. Unbiased, fact-based analysis has always been a cornerstone of MassINC’s work and has made us the organization of record for policy analysis and civic engagement.

And right now, with your donation, MassINC will continue to advance policy and practice that shrinks the opportunity gap, improves the quality of life for the middle class, and promotes an open democracy.

With our gratitude and best wishes to you and yours for a happy & healthy New Year! Special thanks to our sponsors and funders who help make our work possible.

Greg Torres, Lauren Louison Grogan, Bruce Mohl, Ben Forman, Steve Koczela, Michael Jonas, Jack Sullivan, Caroline Palmer, Llyr Johansen, Maureen McInerney, and Alicia Payne!

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