Boston’s power centers must join in promoting city’s progress

The Globe’s “Open up, Boston” editorial series should spark significant action in the region. Each editorial pointed to an opportunity for real progress — partnerships between the high-tech sector and downtown; making Boston a 24-hour city; organizing a massive attraction to rival South by Southwest in Austin, Texas; and making sure community revitalization accompanies transportation improvements in neighborhoods like Forest Hills.

But progress in those and other areas will rely on power centers collaborating more than is their custom. One place to start is with the city’s reputation. Even though more needs to be done here as elsewhere, Boston is not nearly as stuffy or insular as it once was. Yet much of the nation doesn’t know that.

A survey done for Commonwealth Compact, the statewide diversity initiative, by Chadwick Martin Bailey showed that Americans of color, especially African-Americans, do not perceive Boston as being welcoming. Visitors who do come, including the thousands who attended the hugely successful Urban League national conference in 2011, know better.


But the country needs to know. As Boston continues to open up, a coordinated marketing campaign would do a lot of good — by sending a strong message, and by showing that collaboration can happen here.

Bob Turner

Senior adviser

Commonwealth Compact

University of Massachusetts