Hyams Foundation released Racial Inequities, Policy Solutions: Perceptions of Boston’s Communities of Color on Racism and Race Relations, a comprehensive, first-of-its kind report on policy priorities for people of color in Boston.
Commissioned by Hyams and conducted by The MassINC Polling Group, the study polled Asian, Black, Latino and white voters in Boston on a range of issues including education, criminal justice, race relations, and economic opportunity. The poll, which took place in November 2017, was conducted online and via live telephone.
The results of this study not only found significant variances in opinion between Black, Asian, Latino and white voters in Boston, it also exposed differences related to age and gender that call for much deeper exploration. While the report is highly nuanced and signals the need for additional research, it did point to several high-level conclusions:
· The majority of Boston voters believe racism is at least a somewhat serious problem in the city (74 percent); voters also agree that dialogues on race are needed to improve race relations with 63 percent of respondents saying that these dialogues will help either a fair amount or a great deal;
- Four out of five voters believe it is difficult to afford living in the city. Overall, 66 percent of respondents believe improvements to public transportation are key to helping improve economic mobility for Boston’s residents;
- Sixty-two percent of Boston voters strongly agree that our children need access to quality education at an early age; and
- Respondents felt that our criminal justice system should provide more opportunities for the formerly incarcerated (64 percent) and explore options for restorative justice for youth (72 percent).
“This report is an important first step in beginning to explore lasting solutions to the problem of racial inequality in Boston,” said Jocelyn Sargent, executive director of the Hyams Foundation. “As the city continues to engage in conversations around racial justice and build a more sustainable and just city for all, a deep understanding of the challenges faced by people of color in Boston—and the policy changes these communities would like to see—is vital to ending racism. We look forward to building off these important first findings to create a just, equitable, and prosperous Boston for all.”
”If we're serious about expanding opportunity, we have to break down the racial inequity that has built up over many generations in our country," said Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. "This survey shows that Bostonians are both passionate about achieving equal opportunity and optimistic about our progress. The Hyams Foundation has played a key role in getting us to this point, and I'm proud to partner with them to move this city, this state, and this country forward."
Later on this year, the Foundation and The MassINC Polling Group will conduct a more in-depth poll of Boston’s residents to further delve into key findings of concern in the Racial Inequities, Policy Solutions report.