Wednesday, October 21, 2009
What Boston Jobs Policy?
There has been a lot of talk in this campaign about the Boston Jobs Policy. I put forward specific plans as to how I would enforce it, other candidates talk about its importance, and Michael Flaherty has said he is going to "lose it" the next time he goes to a jobsite and sees out of state license plates.
The truth of course, is that no one is doing much about actually enforcing it, and the Mayor isn't worried about it. The City right now is in the midst of a massive redo of Massachusetts Avenue, and the Susi company from Dorchester is doing the work. They started about a week ago, and since I live right next to it and drive Massachusetts Avenue all the time I can see what is going on. As usual what is going on is a bunch of white guys are doing the work, much of it unskilled labor involving picks and shovels and wheelbarrows.
This morning as I walked by on Columbus Avenue I counted 9 white guys and 1 African American. I talked to the African American cop on detail and asked how long he had been working the detail and he said about a week. I asked how many black guys he had seen in the week and he said "three". I said "doesn't seem like they are enforcing the Boston Jobs Policy here" and he said "well, I wouldn't know" and I said "very diplomatic of you" and he said "you have to be".
Perhaps if Councilor Flaherty would like to make a point about the Boston Jobs Policy he could hold a press conference or a rally on Mass. Ave. pointing out how the Menino administration is not enforcing the policy. How hard could it be for a company in Dorchester working in the South End to find some minorities to work for them? (I have not seen any women on the site at all)
People want to do studies about why the inner city is dangerous, why African Americans are in jail and the high unemployment rate about inner city minorities, but the simple answer is jobs and access to opportunity. Why aren't the black ministers coming to job sites and saying "give our people a chance", or even better supporting minority owned companies to compete on these projects. You can preach against doing drugs all you want, but if there aren't other options, you take what you can get.