Urban Revitalization and Unlocking Economic Potential
Presentation by MassINC. With guests Paul Grogan, President, The Boston Foundation, and Jim Canales, President, The Barr Foundation.
For over two decades, the Massachusetts Institute for a New Commonwealth (MassINC) has been dedicated to the growth of the middle class in Massachusetts. MassINC is built on a belief that public policy innovation, informed by data and rigorous analysis, is needed to keep the American dream within everyone’s reach. Ten years ago, it became clear that an essential piece to this puzzle rested in the state’s Gateway Cities. Former industrial hubs, these regional cities had fallen victim to a cycle of decline and disinvestment, even as the greater Boston area flourished. While Gateway Cities grew in cultural diversity and maintained many historic assets, they were slowly losing their power to lift residents securely up into the middle-class, as they had done for generations. MassINC was first to draw attention to this problem, and demonstrate a model for focusing policy change, innovation, and investment on the revitalization of these communities that serves as a model for economic development strategy in Massachusetts. Join us for a conversation about the impacts on Urban Revitalization, Education, Transportation, Criminal Justice Reform and other critical issues facing communities.
The program will take place at the offices of Mintz Levin, One Financial Center, 38th Floor, Boston, MA. Bring a photo ID for check in at the security desk.
Ben Forman, Director of the Institute and Steve Koczela, President of the MassINC Polling Group will provide context and describe impact to date, and look for participant feedback on priorities for the next ten years of economic development policy in Massachusetts.
Benjamin Forman is MassINC’s research director. He coordinates the development of the organization’s research agenda and oversees production of research reports. Ben has authored a number of MassINC publications and he speaks frequently to organizations and media across Massachusetts. With a background in urban revitalization and sustainable growth and development, he is uniquely suited to the organization’s focus on strong communities and economic security. Prior to joining MassINC in 2008, Ben oversaw strategic planning for the District of Columbia Department of Parks and Recreation, a large agency providing critical services to youth and families in neighborhoods throughout the city. He also worked as a research assistant at the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program in Washington, DC and Nathan Associates, a global economic development consulting firm. As a graduate student, Ben was awarded a Rappaport Public Policy Fellowship and served in the City of New Bedford’s planning department. He also worked as a graduate research assistant on a multi-year longitudinal analysis measuring the impact of new information technologies on neighborhood social networks. Ben graduated from Trinity College, Hartford in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in economics. In 2004, he completed his master’s degree in city planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He lives in Boston with his wife Anne and two daughters, Eloise and Cecily.
Steve Koczela is the President of The MassINC Polling Group, where he has grown the organization from its infancy to a nationally known and respected polling provider. During the 2014 election cycle, MPG conducted election polling for WBUR, the continuation of a three-year partnership. Koczela again led the endeavor, producing polls which came within one point of the margin in both the Massachusetts gubernatorial and U.S. Senate Elections. He was also lead writer for Poll Vault, WBUR’s political reporting section during the 2014 Election Cycle. He has led survey research programs for the U.S. Department of State in Iraq, in key states for President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, and has conducted surveys and polls on behalf of many private corporations. Koczela brings a deep understanding of the foundations of public opinion and a wide ranging methodological expertise. He earned U.S. Department of State recognition for his leading edge work on sample evaluation in post conflict areas using geospatial systems. Koczela is frequent guest on WBUR as well as many other news and talk programs in Massachusetts and elsewhere. His polling analysis is often cited in local, state, and national media outlets. He currently serves as President of the New England Chapter of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (NEAAPOR). Koczela holds a Master’s degree in Marketing Research from the University of Wisconsin and is a veteran of the war in Iraq.