Last month, youth job advocates were put on high alert when the Massachusetts House proposed budget contained cuts in funding for youth job programs, despite a battle to keep the funding. Now the fight turns to the state Senate.
New England Blacks in Philanthropy has a message — that the black community gives back at a much higher level than most people think. To back up its claim the organization is conducting a study examining the level of giving in the region, called "Giving Black: Boston," and plans to release its findings by August.
While much of the debate on housing costs in Boston centers on the atmospheric rise of luxury condos or the middle-class being squeezed out of the picture, housing advocates say the real crisis is the lack of housing stock for renters across the city — a problem that results in some 50,000 renters in Boston now spending more than 30 percent of their income on rent.
How to benefit from getting a MBE/WBE certification
The Commonwealth is a rich source of revenue for certified businesses. Last fiscal year, certified businesses received more than $1 billion in sales from the state.
Vietnamese American Initiative for Development is slated to start construction this fall on a $14.5 million housing and commercial development project in Dorchester’s Four Corners neighborhood that proponents are hoping will kick start revitalization of the area.
Hundreds of prison reform activists gathered on Boston Common on Saturday afternoon to show state lawmakers that prison policy must be changed and to decry the estimates from Gov. Deval Patrick’s office that the state will spend $2 billion by 2020 to build 10,000 new prison units, as well as $150 million each year to fill them.
Activists blockied the Suffolk County House of Correction in Boston
Immigration activists blocking the Suffolk County House of Correction in Boston were arrested last week as a part of a national protest of the Obama administration’s immigration policies, which have resulted in the deportation of 2 million undocumented immigrants.
$100,000 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award
Some might be surprised that the most recent winner of the prestigious $100,000 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, the 62-year-old Afaa Michael Weaver, grew up in one of the most notoriously dangerous neighborhoods in America — the Baltimore ‘hood immortalized in HBO’s acclaimed "The Wire." However, for current Simmons College professor and Somerville resident Weaver, poetry was just always part of who he was.
Mayor Martin Walsh gave a big boost to Boston Main Streets organizations, announcing that funding will increase $400,000 city-wide for their efforts to support local businesses. Walsh’s budget has allocated $75,000 for each of the city’s 20 Main Street organizations, which is a 30 percent increase from last year.
Last week, the Boston Workers Alliance capped a two-year effort of working with the city that has resulted in improved Criminal Offender Record Information regulations for businesses working with the city.
Set to open later this month and modeled after business lab concepts very common in the high tech startup world in Silicon Valley and Cambridge, the Fields Corner Business Lab contains about a dozen small private offices, several conference rooms, private work stations and flexible work areas, as well as office amenities including a printer/copier room, reception area and a kitchen. The lab takes up the entire top floor of the historic Lenane Building in the heart of Fields Corner and has 8,000 square feet of office space available.
Prison reform advocates in the state are gearing up for a busy month. The Jobs Not Jails Coalition has a Boston rally planned on April 26 and will return four days later to present a petition to Massachusetts Legislature — all the efforts targeted to show decision-makers the groundswell of support to change prison policy.
After almost two decades as the only social services organization serving Somali immigrants in the Boston region, the Somali Development Center in Jamaica Plain is facing a looming challenge as the population of immigrants it is helping grows, while the funding continues to diminish.
Boston Public Schools got a first look at the numbers from its new home-based, school-choice system and reported that the average distance a new kindergarten student will travel to school next year dropped 18 percent compared to the old plan — from just over a mile to just under a mile.
Small businesses in the Boston area got a chance to pitch their services to government agencies and government contractors in a bid to get a piece of the multi-billion-dollar pie that is offered by the federal sector every year.
Boston Public Schools publicly stepped in last week to try and save troubled Madison Park Technical/Vocational High School, which has been plagued by poor test scores, poor attendance and hardly any internship participation from its students. With the backing of Mayor Martin Walsh, Interim Superintendent John McDonough began what BPS is calling an "immediate intervention" at the school.
The Boston Foundation is gearing up for year two of its Collaborate Boston grant program and is looking to give a total of $100,000 to resident-led efforts to strengthen the Boston neighborhoods of Dorchester, Hyde Park, Mattapan and Roxbury.
The five Democrats gunning for the Massachusetts governor’s office were in Dorchester on Saturday for a forum held by the Service Employees International Union at the organization’s headquarters and all candidates pledged to be labor friendly and offered different ways to pay for the state’s needs from increased taxes to boosts from growing the economy to savings from health care reform. The candidates also addressed the hot topic of immigration reform.
After nine months with an interim school superintendent in place, city officials are ramping up the effort to hire a permanent superintendent — kicking off the search with a number of public hearings to find out what parents and the community want in the school system’s new leader.
After nearly 30 years supporting community development through innovative lending and financing schemes, Boston Community Capital is continuing to expand its role in helping nonprofits build and preserve secure housing, schools and community institutions in the Boston area.
It has been an up and down start to the new year for immigration reform advocates. With Republicans going public with party standards for immigration reform in late January, there was hope that House GOP leaders might move on immigration reform, but immediate party backlash had them backpedaling — though immigration advocates still believe the increased Republican debate on the issue is a good thing.
Twice in the last two weeks, Venezuelan national Cristina Aguilera has taken to the streets of Boston to show support for the anti-government protesters back in her native country.
Political support for a hike in minimum wage is high, with President Obama, Massachusetts lawmakers and political leaders across the country proffering different versions of wage hikes for the nation’s lowest-paid workers.
On Monday night the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center hosted a Black History Month community forum that featured an impressive panel of speakers examining how Boston can be more effective at providing economic development opportunities for businesses run by people of color. The biggest message was clear — talking about economic strategies is not enough, decisive business development action for minority-run businesses is needed.
Officials at Boston Public Schools are looking to improve the odds in their competition with other cities and towns for the best teachers.
This past week has been a difficult one for Boston Public Schools as officials proposed an initial budget that fails to keep up with rising costs and drops in state and federal funding — and also told central office staff that their jobs are not guaranteed after the end of this school year on June 30.
The U.S. Small Business Administration is stepping up its efforts to connect with budding local Boston small business owners to help them get their young companies rolling.
An examination of the numbers, shows that much of the work done in Boston still falls short of the expectations for using city residents, workers of color and women, but some recent projects have begun to set a strong example of how to find success in adhering to the city’s job policies.
President Obama called on the country’s leaders to make 2014 "a year of action" to address the growing wage gap in the United States during his State of the Union address last week.His call to action mirrors moves in Massachusetts and cities and states across the country to apply public policy to the deepening wage divide.
Gov. Deval Patrick is calling for increased support for education, human services and health care in his fiscal year 2015 budget.
Denise Rush, the director of undergraduate interior design at Boston Architectural College’s School of Interior Design, reflects back over 25 years in her field — an uncommon career choice for a young black girl growing up in Grand Rapids, Mich. — and says the advice she gives her students is to follow their passion.
Civil rights advocates — including the NAACP — have been scrambling since last June when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and delivered a serious blow to protections for black voters in the United States. But they got a boost earlier this month when legislation was introduced in Congress to restore some of the protections of the Voting Rights Act.
While people of color make up more than 50 percent of Boston’s population, the city’s corporate leadership remains overwhelmingly white, according to a University of Massachusetts, Boston study.
Southwest Boston Community Development Corporation went public at a meeting last week with plans for a new 27-apartment development on Nott Street in Hyde Park near the MBTA’s Fairmount Station, and reaction was mixed.
New England Regional Council of Carpenters Executive Secretary Mark Erlich says the Massachusetts building trades’ future will reflect a workforce that is diverse and inclusive — if for no other reason — based on the need to add younger workers and the pool of talent available.
According to several recent polls, Americans’ trust in the government and belief that it can solve pressing problems — the economy, health care and the budget — is at an all-time low. But pundits suggest this is no surprise on the back of the government shutdown and caution that widespread dislike of political leaders does not equate the inability of the government to function.
Prior to the launch of Boston Public School’s new evaluation system last school year, the city had strong support across the board, but now the Boston Teachers Union is crying foul. The union is demanding in a grievance that BPS rehire 30 teachers who were removed for poor performance and it has stated claims that the evaluation system is discriminatory.
On the national stage, the politics of polarization were on display with Democrats and Republicans locking horns over the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act, voting rights laws and myriad other issues.
Boston may be a majority minority city, but when it comes to finding housing, the playing field is tilted toward white professionals, according to a housing discrimination testing program conducted by the city’s Fair Housing Commission. The test of over 20 housing listings found strong evidence of discrimination in 40 percent of cases examined.
The city’s school department is getting serious about playing, this year requiring that all Boston schools, kindergarten through eighth grade, have recess.
Voter rights activists are hoping the Massachusetts Senate will pass electoral reforms next year after the House approved online registration and early voting measures.
Discussion of jobs and wages dominated Mayor-elect Marty Walsh’s first public hearing on economic development Monday night at English High School.
Despite the Mass. Senate’s vote to raise the state’s minimum wage to $11 an hour, labor activists say they will continue to move forward on a ballot referendum to raise the minimum wage and ensure that all workers earn sick time if they or family members are ill.
Increasing the numbers of blacks, Latinos Asians and women in the construction industry and the building trades is an uphill battle, with thousands of workers entering each year and the established diversity programs helping a small number so far, but Massachusetts trades organizations say they are committed to the fight.
The city of Boston is joining forces with The Participatory Budgeting Project to launch a youth participatory budgeting process and has set aside $1 million to be allocated through the program. Youth involved in the program will identify projects to improve their communities, examine the best options and vote on how to spend the money.
Mayor-elect Marty Walsh says he will make sweeping changes to the Boston Redevelopment Authority, moving development planning to a separate agency and making the development process more transparent and accountable to neighborhood residents.
Last weekend, parents visited public schools, talked to teachers and received information to help them decide what school is best for them as part of the Boston Public School department’s new school assignment policy.
The flood of news coverage surrounding the alleged harassment of Miami Dolphins player Jonathan Martin by teammate Richie Incognito has brought issues of racism and harassment into the national conversation.
When Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley and City Councilor-Elect Michelle Wu topped the ballot for two of the four at large council seats in the election last week, the prevailing political wind was one of change with two women of color leading the way and drawing the most votes.
Dorchester House President and CEO Walter J. Ramos says honoring Viet-AID was an easy choice.