Last year, Poll Progressive participated in various municipal elections around Massachusetts with the goal of increasing leftist power at the local level. Our efforts were a success: we helped elect candidates to local councils and sparked important new conversations around education and police reform that resulted in meaningful change.
We started the year by publishing our polling of Boston voters' attitudes towards an elected School Committee. The results, which were covered in the Bay State Banner, showed a strong majority of support for the change and touched off a citywide conversation about the state of education in the city. Poll Progressive was also featured for the first time on Boston
Neighborhood Network News, where we were invited to discuss our results. Our poll was cited by education activists, and in August a group called "Bostonians for an Elected School Committee" was formed to convert that desire for change into votes.
In June, Poll Progressive collaborated with Emancipated Group to conduct a second poll of Boston voters, this time on issues ranging from the mayoral race to police reform. Our findings predicted the runoff between Michelle Wu and Annissa Essaibi George, highlighted the fierce divisions regarding police reform that became a focal point of the mayoral election, and demonstrated the progressive undercurrent among the electorate. Poll Progressive was featured for a second time on BNN News, and our results were even broadcast on CBS Boston.
Besides polling, our firm was also hired by four progressive candidates running for local office around the Commonwealth: Justin Tseng in Medford, Guy O'Donnell in Holyoke, Bri Nichols in Brockton, and Vivian Nguyen in Everett. Poll Progressive provided communications consulting ranging from message development to interview preparation.
On election day, two of our four candidates won their elections, with a third coming up just short and requiring a recount. Our polling on the elected Boston School Committee helped convert the policy from marginal to mainstream in a single year: despite nearly 30 years of an appointed system, 79% of Boston voters cast their ballots in favor of a referendum to change the committee from appointed to elected.
2021 was a successful year for progressives, and we were honored to play even a little part in that success. We look forward to continuing that momentum to 2022 and beyond!