Among the discriminatory practices alleged in the letter, MAMLEO charges that:
“During your long reign as Mayor, there has been much construction going on in Boston but you have failed to strongly enforce the City Ordinance that requires that women and people of color are proportionally represented in the workforce and that a percentage of city contracts are to be awarded to companies owned by people of color.”
During your long reign as Mayor, you have allowed developers to purchase City owned properties and build houses, apartments, condominiums and office buildings. Rather than requiring that housing be built for low and moderate income families, which would help to preserve neighborhoods, you allowed the construction of so called “affordable housing” where only a minimal number of units were actually affordable while the majority of the units were priced so high that most city residents could not afford to rent or purchase, forcing city residents to move out of the city and allowing whole neighborhoods to be displaced. The office buildings that were built were so costly that many of the small business were unable to afford the rent and were forced to move out of the city or close.
During your long reign as Mayor, you have caused to be built a number of City buildings and buildings that will be built to house City agencies in the Roxbury, Dorchester or Mattapan districts. (Police Headquarters, Police Stations, School Committee Building, etc.) This construction is being done by non-minority run companies and the occupants of these buildings are just being moved from other existing city offices. These new buildings and offices will result in little or no net gain of employment for the community. While this is happening, you blocked Wal-Mart from building in Roxbury with the excuse that Wal-Mart would harm neighborhood businesses, which had validity, while ignoring the fact that the elders and youth in the community were in desperate need of any kind of employment.
The letter also condemned the Mayor for his failure to appoint officers of color to high positions within the city’s police department:
“During your long reign as Mayor, you appointed a Police Commissioner despite his reputation of poor racial relations while Police Chief in Lowell. His behavior was such that he had to be sued by minority officers in the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination in order to get fair treatment. Why is it that all police districts are under command of white males and those members of the command staff of color are without any actual command authority? Why is it that while violence in the community of color is rampant, you refuse to even meet with the Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers, an organization representing police officers that live in the community and are intimately aware of the problem? Why is it that you have never appointed, or allowed to be appointed, officers of color to occupy the 2 top spots in the police department (Commissioner, Superintendent In Chief) while other law enforcement agencies have chosen Boston officers for leadership positions: Randolph Schools, Transit Police, Harvard University Police, Environmental Police, City of Newark Police, to name a few?”
Concluding the letter were strong words for the Mayor to “clean your house.” The letter, which you can read in its entirety here, was signed by the presidents of by MAMLEO, the Massachusetts Association of Nubian Retirees, NAACP Northeast Region, The Blackstonian newspaper and the Massachusetts Association of Minority State Police Officers. According to the Boston Metro, a request for comment to the Mayor’s office had gone unanswered.
However, with a city, which is largely African American, Asian and Hispanic and has for years been besieged with charges of racism and inequality, it does seem kind of odd that the Mayor spoke out against one form of discrimination possibly coming to his city while turning a blind eye – allegedly – to other forms, which also (allegedly) exist within the city’s limits.
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