January 11, 2006
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January 11, 2006. RECAP: Greater Boston’s Key Challenges & Scan of the Competition. Mary Jo Meisner, Vice President for Communications, Community Relations and Public Affairs The Boston Foundation. Greater Boston MSA Population 1969-1999. Greater Boston MSA Employment 1969-1999.

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January 11, 2006

RECAP: Greater Boston’s Key Challenges & Scan of the Competition

Mary Jo Meisner, Vice President for Communications, Community Relations and Public Affairs

The Boston Foundation

Greater Boston MSA Population 1969-1999

Greater Boston MSA Employment 1969-1999

…Since 2001, MA’s pop. & employment have declined relative to the U.S.

Source: New England Economic Partnership

Metro Boston’s 1990s economic engines are now lagging

With a high and rising cost of living

Our region now has the highest family costs among competitors

Yet the housing affordability gap in Greater Boston continues to widen

Ratio of Median Income to Income Needed to Purchase the Median-Priced House

Threshold of


Source: Median income from the Census (1990 and 2000) and Current Population Survey (2004). House prices based on the OFHEO index. Income needed based on a monthly payment including principal and interest on a 30-year conventional mortgage with 20% down, real estate taxes and insurance, and a qualifying income of 28%.

The region has grown only due to immigrants, with recent net losses

With global & regional competitors catching up

Yet our public higher education funding is erratic & lower than competitor states

Despite gains, MCAS proficiency is stuck in neutral, scores for young children are falling, and dropout rates are rising

And waiting lists are rising for the first rungs of educational opportunity:Basic literacy & English classes

To top it off: Weak networks & “brand” compared to competitors


More fragmentation, less collaboration, fewer linkages


“Old, cold, expensive, unwelcoming, and anti-business – a difficult place to get things done…”

Infrastructure Costs

Demographics and Immigration

Our mutually reinforcing assets are now out of alignment, with housing costs our weakest link

Forces Within the Dynamic System Contributing to Growth

Mutual Reinforcement

Unaligned Links

Weakest Link

Infra-structure Costs

Strongest Link

Regional Brand





Demographics and Immigration


Networks and Collaboration


Networks and Collaboration

…when there are engines that are not contributing you may be only as strong as your weakest link.

We Have Big Ideas:

  • Focus strategies on talent & innovation

  • Create a talent-friendly environment

  • Drive growth from Greater Boston throughout the Commonwealth

  • Be a leader in creating talent partnerships with China, India and other innovation clusters

But our competitors have Big Ideas, too:

  • Often the same ideas…

    For example:

Chicago Metropolis 2020: a business-inspired, broadly inclusive plan for the 21st century

NC’s Research Triangle: ‘Where the minds of the world meet’

Research Triangle Park

Innovation Philadelphia: local innovation/global partners, student retention initiative, wifi

Multiple languages at phila.gov

Central Florida: ‘Putting the pieces together’

TheSan Francisco Bay Area

A NEW MODEL: Coordinated, Distributed Leadership

Open, Dynamic Civic Leadership

  • Regulatory Reform/Home Rule:

  • Rappaport & Pioneer Institutes

  • Sovereign Bank

  • MAPC

  • MMA, Mass Taxpayers, CURP




John LaWare



21st Century Jobs and

Economic Strategies

World Class Human Capital

21st Century Infrastructure

  • Housing

  • Commonwealth Housing Task Force

  • Innovation Economy Jobs

  • Economic Stimulus Bill

  • Jobs for Massachusetts

  • Global Massachusetts 2015

  • Pre-K-11 Education

  • Early Education for All Campaign

  • Great Schools Campaign

  • Transportation

  • Multi-stakeholder CURP Initiative

  • Higher Education

  • Senate Task Force on Pub Higher Ed.

  • MetroBoston College Presidents’ Alliance

  • Energy

  • Mass Tech Collab., NE Council;

  • Regional Branding

  • & Marketing

  • New England Council

  • Boston Fed

  • 5th Century Trustees

  • Technology Access/Solutions

  • MA Technology Leadership Council

  • Health Care

  • Multi-stakeholder initiatives

  • Regional Planning

  • MAPC’s MetroFuture

  • Workforce Training

  • SkillWorks

  • Community - Industry Partnerships

Cultural Facilities

Economic Stimulus Bill/Match

January 11, 2006

Chapter 40R & 40S … and BeyondGetting the Incentives Right: Housing

Barry Bluestone

Director, Center for Urban & Regional Policy

Northeastern University

New Single Family Home Permits – Greater Boston

The Commonwealth Housing Task Force

  • Not a new organization but a federation of business, labor, environmental groups, housing developers & advocates

  • Relies on housing studies & “report cards” to analyze the problem, craft new solutions

  • A partnership with NU’s Center for Urban and Regional Policy to encourage new housingconstruction

Principles for a New Approach to Housing

  • INCREASE PRODUCTION EFFICIENTLY: Zone enough land to meet the demand for new housing when and where it is needed.

  • SMART GROWTH: Protect open space and enhance historic preservation while providing more housing.

  • GET INCENTIVES RIGHT: For developers and for local communities.

40R Basics

  • Overlay Districts near transit & city, town and village centers – the olde New England model

  • “As of right” residential development, with minimum allowable densities

  • 20% of the units affordable

  • Mixed Use

40R Incentives

up to 20 units -- $ 10,000 201-500 units -- $350,000

21-100 units -- $ 75,000 over 500 units -- $600,000

101-200 units -- $200,000

A one-time “Bonus” for each new or rehabbed unit

The School Cost Problem

  • A modest home in a typical community will have, on average, 1 student

    • the home will contribute $2,000 - $2,500 annually in property taxes for education, but the student costs $7,000 - $10,000 to educate

    • community forced to: reduce average education expenditures per child, or increase taxes through an override

A Stumbling Block

  • Communities reluctant to permit higher density: municipal finance implications are not favorable.

  • School costs are a stumbling block (constraints from Prop 2 ½ and declining local aid)

Declining Local Aid

Local Spending Lagging

Residential Property Tax Stress in the Commonwealth

40S School-Cost Insurance

  • Provides “insurance” for net new school costs

  • By underwriting net school costs, the Commonwealth provides an incentive for communities to permit modest priced single family home construction

The Costs/Benefits of Chapter 40S

  • No costs until FY 2008

  • < $2.0 million in 2008 ramping up to $35,000,000 in FY 2014

  • Goal: 11,000 new single family housing units

  • Only 0.8% of the projected Chapter 70 School Aid budget in 2014.

A Contribution to Economic Development – beyond Housing

  • New research at CURP -- working with NAIOP – underscores the critical role of local municipalities in economic development

  • Firms locate in cities & towns, not states

  • Local fiscal capacity is essential to attracting and retaining people AND firms

  • Must offset high private sector costs with quality public services

  • Limit high local property taxes

40S is only one aspect of local Aid Reform

  • The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation recommends an increase in local aid to 40% of state generated revenues - an estimated increase of $1 billion back in FY2005

To Ensure Prosperity:

  • Implement Chapter 40R & 40S – New incentives to reduce the cost of living

  • Advocate for increased local aid investment in cities & towns to help them retain & attract business and jobs

  • Replicate “federation” approaches like the Commonwealth Housing Task Force to create consensus

  • Focus on leadership, partnership, and getting the incentives right

January 11, 2006

Building an Integrated System of Educational Excellence

Maura Banta

Corporate Community Relations Manager


Our global & regional competitors are advancing in educational attainment

Education & immigrants – the key to the future workforce

Educational Attainment: Immigrant Labor Force arriving in MA 90 - 00

Source: MassInc, US Census, CPS data.

And despite investment and gains, MCAS proficiency is stuck in neutral

Our funding of public higher education is erratic & among the lowest

The OVERARCHING GOAL: An Excellent Pre K- 16 & Workforce Development System





Public &




Adult Literacy &

English Skills (ABE/ESOL)






Healthy Child


Broad Agreement Among Business Leaders on Core Goals

  • Quality Early Education

  • Quality Teaching/Teacher Training

  • High Standards (Proficiency), Quality Measures

  • Overcoming Disparities in School Quality & Student Outcomes

  • Excellence in Math & Science

  • Ready Access to Adult Basic Education

    (ESL, ABE)

  • Importance of Public Higher Education

  • Workforce Development At All Levels

PRE K- 12

Early Education for All Campaign

Just for the Kids -Mass Business Alliance on Education

Great Schools Campaign – Mass Insight Education

Rennie Center – Research plus

Teacher 21 – Mass Business Roundtable

NGA Grant to MA


Senate Task Force on Public Higher Education -

Budget Recommendations

R & D Centers of Excellence – Technology Road Map/Mass Insight

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) - School to Career

Goldberg Seminar –collaboration among institutions

Excellent Business-Supported Initiatives Underway


A New Initiative

5-year, $15 million partnership: Foundations, City of Boston, Commonwealth of MA

Directly engages employers

Targets health care and hospitality

$30-$40 million pending

Economic Stimulus Bill

Workforce/Career Development

A fragmented


But what works?

Need research &

pilots at all levels

The First Rung of the Ladder: Early Education…

January 11, 2006

Understanding the Importance of Early Education

Mara G. Aspinall


Genzyme Genetics

Percent of total


Cumulative percent of

public dollars spent

on children

The Early Years Are Learning Years

Sources:Public expenditures: RAND analysis.

Early Education Pays in Better Child Outcomes

Source: Reynolds, "Journal of the American Medical Association.

Early Education Returns $7.16 Per $1 Invested

(Lifetime savings per participant (based on age 27 follow-up) in 2001 constant dollars, discounted 3% annually)

Sources: Barnett, High/Scope Press.

An Increasing Priority Across the Nation:

  • 3 States have Universal Pre-K

    • Georgia

    • Oklahoma

    • Florida

  • 12+ States moving toward Universal Pre-K

    • New York

    • New Jersey

    • North Carolina

  • Early Ed a top priority in Gubernatorial Elections

    • Virginia

    • New Jersey

  • 26 States increased Pre-K Investment in FY06

H.4582: An Act Relative to Early Education and Care


  • The framework for a new voluntary, high-quality universal early education program

  • Research-based standards

  • Accountability via strong child assessment & program measurement

What Can Business & Civic Leaders Do?

  • Join the Campaign

  • Contribute expertise for economic & policy analysis

  • Participate in legislative advocacy

  • Connect EEA with HR staff to engage your employees


January 11, 2006

Developing a Brand Name for New England

Lynn Browne

Senior Vice President

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

  • Mike Reopel of Deloitte Consulting:

    • New England does not offer potential investors a clear positive message

    • Little marketing compared to competitor regions

    • Region should develop and market its “brand”

    • An easy fix

  • Mike continued:

    • New England states should work together

      • Greater impact

      • Region is more marketable than individual states and cities

        • Boston’s dynamism and culture complemented by recreational opportunities and lower costs elsewhere

Audience comments:

  • Massachusetts has a brand: state is a difficult place to do business

  • We need a positive theme that drives action

    • Example: Singapore as talent hub

  • What to do?

    • Develop a positive message

      • True

      • Meaningful

      • Brandable

    • Marketmessage aggressively

      • Both governments and business

    • Actto reinforce our message

  • What to do?

    • Attack our negative image

      • Fix problems

      • Dispel inaccuracies

      • Say less about things beyond our control

      • Can we be more courteous/welcoming?

        • Smiley face was invented by Harvey Ball of Worcester

  • Elements of a positive regional message

    • Innovative, entrepreneurial culture

    • Sophisticated professional workers & firms

    • Magnificent research & teaching institutions

    • Abundant recreational & cultural opportunities

    • History everywhere

  • New England states already have a common website: Team New England

  • Marketing tag lines

    • Massachusetts: It’s All Here

    • You Belong in Connecticut

    • Blue Sky Rhode Island: Think Big, Start Small, Scale Fast

    • Think Vermont

  • Could we

    • Convey a more substantive message?

    • Be clearly linked to our region?

  • What next?

    Form a task force to work on a regional brand and a marketing strategy

  • Send ideas and suggestions to

    Susan Asci, New England Council

    Lynn Browne, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

January 11, 2006

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