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Research Report

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The Pipeline to Public Service Initiative asked the McCormack Graduate School’s Center for Women in Politics & Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts Boston to ascertain the racial diversity in state and local government. The project had the following three goals:

--To identify the race (and gender) of those holding top-level positions filled through gubernatorial appointments, e.g., secretaries, commissioners, directors, deputy commissioners/directors, and undersecretaries, in the Commonwealth’s executive offices and major departments.

--To compile the same information for members of the most influential boards and commissions in the Commonwealth filled through gubernatorial appointments.

--To assess the diversity of elected and appointed officials in ten cities and towns in Greater Boston with the highest percentages of people of color: Boston, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Framingham, Lynn, Malden, Quincy, Randolph, and Somerville.

To determine the race/ethnicity of gubernatorial appointments, we used publicly available information to compile lists of those holding each position. We then contacted the office in charge, or the individuals directly, to ask how each person self-identified in terms of race/ethnicity. See the Appendix for a complete list of executive positions and a list of boards and commissions whose members were included in the analysis. The data for statewide appointments are current as of November 17, 2006, and reflect appointments made during or prior to the Romney administration.

To determine the diversity of municipal officials for each city/town required first collecting the race of elected officials serving as mayors or members of city/town councils, boards of selectmen/aldermen for each of the ten cities/towns. We did the same for the elected school committees/boards for these cities/towns.

We then identified the boards and commissions that exist in each of the cities/towns under study and identified those that were (1) appointed by the executive official of the city/town; (2) most important in terms of policy influence; and (3) comparable across the ten cities/towns. See Appendix for a list of the boards/commissions were included in our analysis; please note that not all boards/commissions exist in all the cities/towns and some boards/commissions were not included because they did not meet one of the criteria listed above. Information on municipal officials is current as of January 19, 2007.


This research was commissioned by the Pipeline to Public Service and made possible by funding provided by The Boston Foundation, The New Community Fund, and The Herman and Frieda L. Miller Foundation.



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