Thursday, January 04, 2007

Deval Gets Inaugurated, thoughts on a bold use of the Bully Pulpit

As I was driving through the South Bay Shopping Center yesterday, seeing a new building go up, I thought of a good way Deval could use his bully pulpit.

There is something called the Boston Jobs Policy. 50% of the construction jobs in the City are supposed to goto Bostonians, 25% to minorities and 10 percent to women. However, this policy is not enforced, and basically given lip service by the Mayor and his administration. A review of 5 years of BRA projects showed that only between 20 and 25 % of the jobs are going to Boston residents and fewer still to minorities.

Why are young minorities in the City shooting one another? One reason is very tiny job prospects. Look around at the construction jobs, mostly white males, which the data show mostly live in the suburbs. Even in the heart of Roxbury/Dorchester a new building going up has only white guys visibly working on it (at least 10 as I drove by, with no women or minorities). Our trade school, Madison Park has fewer than a dozen young people getting the training to be carpenters and according to the teachers they are not getting the resources they need to prepare the kids for the real world.

Perhaps Deval could work with the Mayor on giving these kids an opportunity, so they have more to look forward to than guns and violence. Use that pulpit to get the City of Boston to enforce its own guidelines and hire local people, local minorities for these honest, good paying jobs.

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