Thursday, August 11, 2005

Waste, and City Jobs for Suburban Youth

You don't have to go far in this city to find wasted money and hypocrisy. Yesterday the city brought it right to my front door.

All this week the City has been installing new lightposts on my block, and they are beautiful! Yesterday, as I was walking home I noticed a young white man on a ladder doing touch up painting on one of the posts. (I started out in construction painting to put myself through college, and painted, stained and varnished my entire house so I know a bit about the field) He was an okay painter, far from perfect with that suburban teen age boy look.

So I went over and struck up a conversation with him, and indeed he had a job for the contractor (not the city), and sure enough he lives in Weymouth and didn't know the name of the street he was working on, nor the names of any of the other streets he was working on. I thanked him and walked inside.

My City of Boston teenager Amanda was inside and I said, "Amanda, would you like to find out where all the jobs that you and your friends in the city can't get are?" She replied yes, and I took her to the window and pointed out the young man. I said, go outside and talk to him, ask him where he is from, who he works for, how much he is getting paid and if there are other jobs available.

So, she went out to do some investigative journalism. She found out that he was 18 years old, was from Weymouth, got the job through his dad , was being paid $14 dollars an hour ($2 dollars an hour more than the son of the head of Boston Water and Sewer!), and that they had just hired a bunch of guys from the south shore, he thought maybe from the fall river/new bedford area). She came in with disbelief.

I told her, "this is what I'm talking about", when city hall tells you they don't have any money or jobs for the kids in the city they are not being honest. They are giving city contracts to firms that hire suburban youth and pay them substantially more than the people in the city are ready, willing and able to work for.

All you have to do is look out your front door.

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