Monday, February 25, 2013

East Boston groups release community survey on waterfront development and casino proposal

Highlights of the Community Alliance Survey (Released February 25, 2013)

  1. From May 2012 through August 2012, residents from across the neighborhood distributed surveys on paper and online in English and Spanish to their neighbors, at neighborhood association meetings, at community events, and via online networks. In the end, 360 surveys from East Boston residents were collected.
  2. Overall, the survey found that knowledge about the waterfront projects is highest in Jeffries Point, Eagle Hill, and Orient Heights. Residents who live in Maverick Square or Central Square, as well as Latino residents, are least likely to know about any of the proposals for waterfront redevelopment.
  3. Support for waterfront development is high, with most residents expecting positive changes in the neighborhood once those developments are completed. However, residents are also concerned about the potential for gentrification.
  4. Over half of residents surveyed are opposed to the proposed casino. Only one-quarter of residents support the casino. Importantly, opposition to the casino is higher among registered voters than the general population. Opposition to the casino is wide across each section of East Boston, with the exception of Central Square.
  5. Most of the respondents are US-born residents, are in the working-age range, and include a largely equal representation of different income groups in the neighborhood.
  6. The most important difference between the population of East Boston and the residents who completed the survey is that more than half of East Boston's population is Latino but only 30% of survey respondents described themselves as Latino. 
  7. The overwhelming majority of respondents are currently registered to vote in East Boston.
  8. Almost two-thirds of residents surveyed stated that they knew about at least one of the proposed waterfront development projects. However, knowledge of the waterfront projects varied considerably across the neighborhood. Knowledge of the projects is highest in Jeffries Point, Eagle Hill, and Orient Heights. Fewer than half of the residents living in Maverick Square and Central Square reported knowing about any waterfront development projects compared to 71% of the rest of the neighborhood.
  9. The only section of East Boston in which Latino knowledge of the waterfront proposals was similar to non-Hispanic White knowledge was in Jeffries Point. In all other sections of the neighborhood, Latinos are the least likely to know about these projects. Over 70% of Latino residents in Maverick Square and Central Square reported that they did not know about any of the proposed projects.
  10. Similarly, low income residents across East Boston are least likely to know about any of the waterfront development projects compared to other income groups. About half of the low income residents did not know about any of the waterfront development projects. With the exception of Jeffries Point, low and middle income residents were much less likely than high income residents to know about any of these projects.
  11. Most respondents have positive expectations about what the waterfront redevelopment will bring to East Boston.
  12. Many residents were very concerned that the developments will result in displacement of current residents, as well as loss of affordability. Many residents are concerned about how these developments will change the fabric of the community
  13. The overwhelming majority of residents surveyed know about the casino project. Over 50% of residents are opposed to building a casino in East Boston. Only one-quarter of residents stated that they support a casino with the rest either having no opinion or not having enough information to form an opinion. Opposition to the casino is highest among registered voters.
  14. Support for a casino in East Boston is highest among residents with a high school education or less.
  15. Residents who completed the survey expect higher crime, more traffic, more air pollution, more noise, and less parking. Over 40% of residents expect pride in the neighborhood to decline. However, residents do expect that there will be more jobs from the casino.
Full Survey at