No Seat At the Table

Today’s panel discussion on the morning show about unions, diversity and a poll for mayor, served as fervent and substantive discussion on the radical difference between our two mayoral candidates, John Connolly and Marty Walsh and how our choice will impact communities of color. Indeed, last night’s debate around Marty Walsh’s union ties and arbitration is clearly the tip off!

Yes, many unions do great work, but given the current development boom and the prospect of that boom dominating the economy of our city, it’s fair to shine a light on only the trade unions, unions that have historically excluded people of color and continue to do so.

Which brings us to the man who would be mayor. For me, and trust for the vast majority of folks of color, the following excerpt from a story written by Bruce Mohl and Colman M Herman in this month’s Commonwealth Magazine speaks volumes:

“In some ways, it’s hard to understand why it took Walsh a campaign for mayor to realize the challenge of diversity in Boston. When he took over as head of the Boston Building Trades Council in 2011, the problem was staring him in the face. The 19 union leaders sitting around the table at council meetings were all white, and the leadership of their individual unions was roughly 90 percent white. Rank and file members were predominantly white as well, although exact numbers are unavailable.”

Why is diversity in the building trades a revelation just now? When lack of diversity from a business perspective is why: a $53 million dollar project at 225 Centre Street in Jackson Square yielded less than 1% for local businesses of color, falling well short the 25% goal; no MBE goal existed for the Ferdinand building; a mystifying posted MBE utilization number of 15% at Ferdinand’s will be an order of magnitude less after the scrutinizing dust clears and folks have moved on; a project labor agreement (PLA) for UMass Boston worth $780 million dollars excludes 80-95% of all businesses of color from bidding on work because the agreement stipulates union only and no open-shops.

These are all examples trade unions protecting their interests, the result of which keeps businesses and workers of color locked out of opportunity.

It’s not enough that Marty Walsh and building pathways lay claim to getting 54 graduates of color through a program to get them into the union. Our current building boom is calling for 7000 – 8000 construction positions be filled. We’re way behind because we insist all parties be in the union and don’t allow open-shops. We cannot train our way out of this one and importing workers from other locations is not an option!

So look around folks. We’re not at the table! When you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu! And Marty Walsh and his union folk are feasting on our bones! Marty is not our man for mayor!


-Rodney Singleton


May 2, 2013 – Dudley Square Complete Streets Design Project

Dudley Square Complete Streets Design Project

When:  Thu, May 2, 6pm – 8pm
Where:  Dudley Branch Library, 65 Warren Street, Boston (map)
Description:  Please plan to attend the 3rd Public Meeting of the Dudley Square Complete Streets Design Project to be held on Thursday, May 2nd from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the Dudley Branch Library, 65 Warren Street, Boston For more information, please contact Patrick Hoey, Boston Transportation Department at 617/635-2454 or

April 25, 2013 – Dudley Vision Advisory Task Force (DVATF) Meeting

Location: Central Boston Elder Services (CBES), 2315 Washington Street, Roxbury
Time: 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Notes from April 11, 2013 meeting can be found here.

Contact: Dana Whiteside, Deputy Director

Community Economic Development, Boston Redevelopment Authority

One City Hall Square, Boston, MA 02110


 Dudley Vision Advisory Task Force (“DVATF”)

Meeting Schedule 2012-2013

·        DVATF Community Meetings will be held on the final Thursday of each month and will be used as a time during which project updates and information are shared with the Task Force and stakeholders/community members in attendance.  DVATF Working Sessions will be held on the 2nd Thursday of each month and will be structured to provide time for Task Force members to conduct ongoing business or to provide opportunity for in-depth discussion on a particular topic (e.g. design for the Dudley Municipal/Ferdinand, retail, overall project coordination.)

·        As with all meetings for the Dudley Vision Advisory Task Force, the public is invited to attend.  All meetings are held at Central Boston Elder Services 2315 Washington Street Roxbury ( Dudley Square )

MEETING SCHEDULE (Please mark your calendar)



4/25     Community Meeting

 5/9       Working Session

5/30     Community Meeting

 6/13     Working Session

6/27     Community Meeting

7/11     Working Session

7/25     Community Meeting


April 1, 2013 – Roxbury Strategic Master Plan Oversight Committee Meeting

When: Monday, April 1, 2013,  6pm – 745pm

Where: Dudley Branch Library, 65 Warren Street in Roxbury

Agenda: Notes from last month’s meeting here –


Status updates on the proposed hotel and residences for Parcel 9; and the proposed commercial and housing development for Parcel 10, located at the intersection of Melnea Cass Boulevard and Washington Street; Tremont Crossing mixed use development for Parcel-3 on Tremont Street, across from the Boston Police Headquarters; Bartlett Place retail and housing development, and unfinished RSMPOC business.

You are invited to join the RSMPOC and meet the new members appointed to the committee. The community meetings are held every first Monday each month at the Dudley Branch Library for updates and community input. RSMPOC working sessions are held every third Monday each month, at the Central Boston Elders Services for discussions and presentations.

Next RSMPOC working session is scheduled for Monday, April 15, 2013, 6:00 PM at the Central Boston Elders Services, 2315 Washington Street, Roxbury

Contact: Hugues Monestime, Senior Planner for Community Planning
One City Hall Square, Boston MA 02201-1007
Tel 617.918.4320, Fax 617.367.6087

March 28, 2013 – Northeastern University Task Force

When: Thursday, March 28, 6:00-8:00

Where: 140 The Fenway, Room 378 (This is the former Forsyth Dental Institute building adjacent to the Museum of Fine Arts)

Reminder: the Northeastern Task Force will meet tomorrow, Thursday, March 28, 6:00-8:00, 140 The Fenway, Room 378 (This is the former Forsyth Dental Institute building adjacent to the Museum of Fine Arts).

The agenda includes:

  • Pam McKinney, the consultant Northeastern has retained to do the Housing Impact Study, will discuss the scope and methodology with us.
  • Presentation on the science/engineering building by Payette, the architect Northeastern has hired for the project.

Due to Councilor Jackson’s schedule, we’ll wait until the April meeting for the closer look at Roxbury that was proposed at the last meeting.

The Task Force will also meet on Tuesday, April 30, 6:00-8:00, location TBA.

Best regards,

Gerald Autler, Senior Project Manager/Planner

Boston Redevelopment Authority
One City Hall Square
Boston, MA 02201

p | 617.918.4438
f  | 617.742.7783

March 18, 2013 – Roxbury Strategic Master Plan Oversight Committee Meeting

When: Monday, March 18, at 6:00 PM

Where: Urban League of Eastern Mass., at 88 Warren Street, Roxbury

Roxbury Resident and Stakeholders:

This is a friendly reminder that the Roxbury Strategic Master Plan Oversight Committee (RSMPOC) is scheduled for Monday, March 18, at 6:00 PM, at the Urban League of Eastern Mass., at 88 Warren Street, Roxbury.

Developers for Parcel 9 and Parcel 10 will present an update to the Project Review Committee.

The meeting was moved to the Urban League because Monday, March 18 is Evacuation Day and the Central Boston Elders Services is closed for the day.

See you on Monday,

Hugues Monestime

Senior Planner for Community Planning

One City Hall Square

Boston MA 02201-1007

Tel 617.918.4320

Fax 617.367.6087


March 11, 2013 – Complete Streets Design Project for Dudley

When:  Monday March 11th from 6-8pm

Where: Dudley Branch Library (65 Warren Street)

Description: Dear Community Members,

Please join BTD and its design team on Monday March 11th from 6-8pm at the Dudley Branch Library (65 Warren Street) as we host our second meeting of the “Complete Streets” design project for Dudley Square.

Over the last few months we have been developing concept circulation and streetscape plans for Dudley Square that we’d like to share with the community and garner feedback.

Hope to see everyone on Monday 3/11. Appreciate the consideration. Thank you!


Patrick Hoey
Senior Transportation Planner
Boston Transportation Department

(Note that printed copies of project materials will be made available at the Dudley Branch library by 3pm Thursday 3/7)

For any questions or further information please feel free to contact me at 617.635.2454 or email or visit