We are the Massachusetts Institute for a New Commonwealth

Founded in 1996, MassINC’s mission is to provide the people of  Massachusetts with the information they need to participate fully in our democracy. We are a nonpartisan 501c3 and achieve impact through independent research, nonprofit journalism and 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. It covers politics, policy, ideas, and civic life, with an emphasis on investigative reporting, in-depth analysis, and political mapping.

Visit CommonWealth Magazine

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.

Visit the MassINC Polling Group

Featured

Latest articles

Three Ideas to Boost Gateway Cities’ Housing Production

Ben Forman featured in Banker & Tradesman

January 29, 2023 SUBARBS ARE getting the lion’s share of the blame for Massachusetts’ colossal failure to produce housing. While their overtly exclusionary practices certainly merit a stronger response, myopically focusing on restrictive suburban zoning distracts from an equally pressing problem – the lack of residential investment in Gateway Cities.  The commonwealth’s regional urban centers

Event Recap | The Time is Now: Ending the College Affordability Crisis in Massachusetts

On Wednesday, January 25th, MassINC, uAspire, One Goal, Bottom Line, and The Education Trust hosted a forum on the future of public higher education finance in Massachusetts. The hybrid event brought together more than 200 education practitioners, policymakers, and leaders for a timely dialogue on how Massachusetts deploys Question One funding to increase college access

Five Gateway City bills to watch this session

The Gateway Cities Journal

Last Friday was “docket day” on Beacon Hill, the deadline for filing legislation for consideration during the 2023 – 2024 session. The co-chairs of the Gateway Cities caucus presented five hefty bills. As a package, the complementary and commonsense policy proposals contained in these bills would offer a huge infusion of energy for Gateway City

Hello from Joe Kriesberg, MassINC’s new CEO

Dear Friends, I’m excited to be writing this email from my desk at the MassINC offices at 11 Beacon Street in downtown Boston. After transitioning jobs for the past two months, it is great to focus my full attention on MassINC’s extensive and impactful work. I applied for and accepted the job of CEO at

Early College is a beacon for Gateway City progress

The Gateway Cities Journal

As we embark on this new year and new legislative session, we mark an important anniversary: 10 years ago Mayors Kim Driscoll and Lisa Wong brought Gateway City leaders together to craft the Gateway Cities Vision for Dynamic Community-Wide Learning Systems. From expanding access to early education to building comprehensive student support systems, the shared blueprint

Statewide Poll of Parents Highlights Challenges Massachusetts Faces in Addressing Students’ COVID Recovery Needs

New poll sheds light on parents’ thoughts on the necessary supports and resources to help students recover academically

Seven out of 10 (73%) Massachusetts parents believe their child’s school has enough resources to help students in need, but fewer (56%) parents who see their children as behind grade level say the same. As Massachusetts decision-makers decide how best to tackle students’ unfinished learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a new poll released today by

Simply Having a Wonderful MassINC Time

Our 2022 year-end wrap-up

Simply Having a Wonderful MassINC Time  (loosely adapted from Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime”) [Verse 1] The mood is right The spreadsheet’s up The data’s clean And that’s enough [Chorus] Simply having a wonderful MassINC time Simply having a wonderful MassINC time [Verse 2] The meeting’s on Each city here From Chicopee East to Revere [Chorus]

Gateway Cities look to the corner office for leadership on school integration

The Gateway Cities Journal

On the campaign trail, Governor-elect Healey did not articulate clear strategies for closing stark educational disparities in Massachusetts. Her appointments and statements in the coming weeks will be closely watched for clues on how she will approach these challenging issues. A strong first step would be to depart from her predecessors by acknowledging that increasing

A Gateway Cities Strategy for the Healey–Driscoll Administration

Transition Briefing Memorandum

Governor Healey takes office at a pivotal moment. State government must deploy a deluge of federal resources from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). The mandate to leverage this unprecedented investment to combat the commonwealth’s two most existential threats—climate change and rising inequality—has never

Tis’ the season for social infrastructure

The Gateway Cities Journal

A few days after MassINC unveiled a new report on the crucial role of social infrastructure for urban vitality and resilience, Groundwork Lawrence brought the concept to life at its annual Glow Gala. The event took place in Youth Development Organization’s new space at Everett Mills. The historic building spans four blocks along the edge of downtown Lawrence.

Did you know?

  • “Social infrastructure” is an expansive term for aspects of the built environment that breed social capital by supporting human interaction. Read MassINC’s latest report to learn how Gateway Cities can employ urban revitalization strategies to increase social infrastructure as they work to rebuild their downtowns for a post-pandemic era.

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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, Former 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 Chief Financial Officer, City of Worcester

  • 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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