Dear Friend:

Conducted in November of 2017, this survey of Boston voters is a small first step towards developing a deeper understanding of what solutions communities of color in Boston prioritize in four key issue areas: racism and race relations, economic opportunity, education, and criminal justice.

  • 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). 

Your voice is vital. Please take the time to read this report and the data it presents and share your thoughts with us at . Also, on April 11, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the African Meeting House in Boston (46 Joy Street) we'll be hosting a community conversation to discuss this report and gather honest feedback on this survey. If you're interested in participating in this conversation and providing feedback, please email Hyams Foundation Communications Manager Michael Givens at . You may also sign up on the web page that links to the report. You must RSVP to attend.

As I said before, this is just a first step. Currently, the Foundation and The MassINC Polling Group are brainstorming further research projects that will help inform our understanding of the experiences and priorities of communities of color. Stay tuned for regular updates as we move this pivotal work forward, and, as always, thank you for your support in making Boston a more just, equitable, and prosperous city for all.


Jocelyn Sargent
Executive Director, The Hyams Foundation