This report summarizes some of the major findings of a survey of 749 Massachusetts adults which focuses on matters related to race, public policy, confidence in public institutions, and political behavior. Since a principal objective of the poll is to elicit views from diverse perspectives, the respondents include significant numbers from all major racial groups: Whites (N=100), Latinos (N=113), Asian Americans (N=103), and Blacks and African Americans (N=100). The data was collected in October and November 2006. On some items, there are comparisons with data derived from a similar poll conducted in 1998.
The poll was undertaken during a time of great change in Massachusetts. A demographic transformation has been underway over the last several years in which the complexion of the state has literally been and continues to be transformed. At the heart of this change is the increasing number of people of color in the Commonwealth, led most dramatically by the pace of growth in the Latino and Asian populations. In the last five years alone, the Asian population has grown by 22.9%, the Latino population by 14.5% and the Black population by 9.7%. More recently, of course, Massachusetts is in the midst of a transformation of another kind - the election of the state's first and the nation's second African American as governor, Deval Patrick.
All of those who care about the future of the state could benefit from some stock taking with respect to the attitudes, experiences, and aspirations of residents from all sectors of the Commonwealth. As with any poll, this is a snapshot taken in a dynamic environment. It is critical in the weeks ahead for these results to help inform what should be a vigorous period of discussion, analysis, and activism in many arenas regarding the near and long term future of Massachusetts.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/carol_hardy-fanta/13/