There has been a Boston Residency Job Policy since 1979 and it still is not being enforced. Why? Why are there laws on the books that are not being enforced? Why are there 200 construction projects in the city of Boston and only three monitors checking to see if they are in compliance?
This is a joke. We would like to understand why there are not more people of color working on these construction jobs. Why are there licensed workers who have not worked in years? Unemployment in our community is very high. People are losing their homes because there are no jobs.
We as a community must be proactive and not reactive. We must begin to stand up for ourselves and say enough is enough. We must go back to the old way. Shut these projects down. What sense does it make for us to continue to ride by projects every day and see a few Boston residents, few or no people of color and no women?
Personally, we are sick and tired of it. Something must be done, and we as a community must do it. It does not matter if you live in Roxbury, Mattapan, Dorchester, Roslindale, South End or Jamaica Plain. Construction work is being done and we are not on the jobs.
Why should people from New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Maine and Vermont come in our community, work and go back to their community while ours is suffering from unemployment and underemployment?
The ordinance says that there should be 50 percent Boston residents, 25 percent people of color and 10 percent women. That is the law. When we as citizens break the law, we are fined or punished, so why do these general contractors and subcontractors get away with it?
When are we as a community going to come together and demand equal rights, demand that these contractors come in compliance or be fined heavily every day by trade? If the city was following its own law, we would have money for job training and apprenticeship programs. They could hire more monitors and fund a community hiring hall.
If we don’t do it, it won’t get done. So I challenge our community to step up to the plate. Let’s make our elected officials, our City of Boston administration, the developers and the construction company accountable. Now is the time.