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.
Over a few short blocks of Quincy St. in Dorchester, beginning on Blue Hill Ave. and heading east to Columbia Rd., a push to revitalize the area is on full display with four major projects spread out on both sides of the street and close to $100 million designated for investment.
Inquilinos Boricuas en Accion celebrated 45 years last week with a gala event on Oct. 18 at its Villa Victoria Center for the Arts in the South End.
The opening of new commuter rail stations along the Fairmont Line, which runs through Dorchester, Roxbury, Mattapan and Hyde Park, is spurring a development boom along its route.
While recent research has shown that the rate of teen births in the United States is down — with Massachusetts showing one of the biggest declines in the country — activists who work to combat teen pregnancy in Boston are still hard at work.
Through free concerts, workshops and educational programs, Berklee College of Music students and professors regularly share the love of music and performance with the Boston community.
This week Northeastern University goes in front of the Boston Redevelopment Authority with its new 10-year master plan for expansion and development, along with a request for a permit to start work on a new science center. Community concern has risen quickly about the amount of student housing that will be part of this plan, the lack of communication with adjacent neighbors and response to worries voiced by those neighbors.
Rachael Rollins, the new chief legal counsel for the Massachusetts Port Authority, is used to being among the "firsts." She has blazed a successful career in the higher levels of state government, an area that has not exactly been known for supporting much diversity in the past.
The most recent numbers for the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System test show record levels for African American and Latino Boston Public Schools students — and improvement all throughout the school system.
In 2009, Boston Public Schools singled out 12 Boston schools as some of the worst in the state. Through state funding and grants the schools were able to pay for new staff and extra teaching time, helping them improve. Five schools have made some of the highest academic gains in the state.
Roxbury Community College (RCC) has been given $294,859 by the state to work with the University of Massachusetts Boston to improve student performance, increase graduation rates and continue its overall work to close the achievement gap in higher education.
More than 50 Massachusetts organizations launched a signature-raising drive last week to push the state legislature to raise the minimum wage and ensure that all workers earn sick time if they or family members are ill.
Swinging for the fences: ‘The Base’ uses sports to push student athletes to excellence on the field and in the classroom
Robert Lewis Jr., founder of the Boston Astros baseball program, believes in the power of sports to help boys succeed not just on the field, but in life. He has recently launched The Base, a nonprofit organization that pairs baseball training with educational support.
BPS has had a bullying hotline for several years, but this school year it has launched a new text hotline, TipTxt, that school officials are hoping will get more kids reporting problems.
On Sept. 4, Boston Public Schools (BPS) started off the school year in the passing lane with its new bus contract and an increased emphasis on technology to make its bus service better.
Several hundred 32BJ Service Employees International Union (SEIU) New England District 615 workers and supporters marched from the steps of Cambridge City Hall to Cambridge College and then on to Harvard University on Labor Day. Organizers said the event was meant to honor workers but also to remind employers that quality jobs and benefits have a direct effect on quality of life in the Boston community.
In June, BPS received a $250,000 grant from the Barr Foundation and made a commitment of $260,000 to collect data on black and Latino male students and start an advisory committee. The ultimate goal is to make black and Latino male students more successful and ensure that a BPS education has a more positive impact for these students.
Developers of the Bartlett Yard in Roxbury are set to begin demolition as early as November on the new Bartlett Place and have a proposed plan that they feel is satisfactory to all. While some neighboring residents welcome the project, many are discouraged that the plans do not meet a number of the original stipulations outlined by the city years ago
A dozen eight- and nine-year olds spent most of the summer learning what it means to get into business at Dorchester’s Salvation Army Kroc Center. Last week, the budding entrepreneurs took their self-made key chains and bracelets to market as an end to their One Hen Academy summer experience. They sold over $100 worth of products and plan to donate some of the money.
A former MBTA bus yard, Bartlett Yard is now owned by Nuestra Comunidad Development Corp. and that company is working with Windale Developers on a project called Bartlett Place with the ultimate aim of developing 323 units of housing and 54,000 square feet of commercial property on 8.5 acres of land. Demolition begins on the site this fall.
Dr. Myechia Minter-Jordan, the new president and CEO of The Dimock Center, is an accomplished doctor and hospital executive. To say she is passionate about providing health care to everyone is an understatement.
The Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School is joining the fight against the foreclosure crisis and last week launched a new anti-foreclosure and eviction-defense program called the Mattapan Initiative. Through this initiative, the Center will provide free legal services to homeowners in Mattapan.
Though a number of people spoke out against a new proposed liquor store on Dorchester Avenue in Dorchester — including Boston City Councillor At-Large John Connolly — the plan was approved by the Zoning Board of Appeals last week. The new liquor store will be at 1445 Dorchester Ave. not far the Harbor Middle School, the Community Academy of Science and Health High School and a community center.
Families United in Educational Leadership (FUEL) is batting 100 percent for its graduating class of 2013. All 56 recently graduated high school seniors involved in the nonprofit program, which helps low-income families establish a savings plan for college and also navigate the financial aid process, are registered to attend college this fall
Halfway through the three-year, $1.3 million JRI Health Youth Housing Initiative those involved are calling the program a success so far. In addition, they believe that the program can be a model for providing youth housing services into the future.
The Affordable Care Act was created to open the doors to health coverage for those who do not have it and now the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has doled out $150 million to help health centers around the country enroll the uninsured in the new programs. Massachusetts centers have grabbed $3.4 million in grant money, with many of Boston’s prominent health centers benefiting greatly.
Boston will gather to celebrate the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela on his birthday, July 18, at 5:30 p.m. at the Old South Church in Boston. The event, which is being organized by South Africa Partners, will feature guest speakers Gov. Deval Patrick, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino and a representative from the South African Embassy, as well as a video tribute to Mandela, reading of his inspirational words by local youth and several musical tributes
Every summer the Massachusetts Institute of Technology brings close to 100 middle school students, most from Boston city schools, to campus as part of a five-week Science Technology and Math Program (STEM) Summer Institute that provides classes and activities to help get ahead in math and science
Sheriff Steven W. Tompkins tackles recidivism with intensive work program, The Common Ground Institute
Suffolk County Sheriff Steven W. Tompkins is taking a proactive approach to reducing recidivism with The Common Ground Institute program and he is asking employers in the community to help. John B. Cruz, the owner of John B. Cruz Construction company, recently answered the call.
Rep.Mike Capuano increases fight for privacy rights with “We are Watching You Act” and “Black Box Privacy Protection Act.”
Rep. Mike Capuano (D-MA) cares about his constituents’ privacy rights and, in the wake of the shocking revelations about the NSA’s PRISM program, he knows that now more than ever is the time to be vigilant about anything that invades privacy. In the last month, he has filed two bills that protect privacy – the "Black Box Privacy Protection Act" and the "We Are Watching You Act."
The idea to start Percival Beer Company came to Felipe Oliveira several summers ago. The aspiring entrepreneur was at a barbeque at his sister’s home in Dedham when he noticed that most beers didn’t really mix well with Cape Verdean food.
While most consider the proposed multi-million dollar project to revitalize the White Stadium in Franklin Park a good thing, others say they are concerned about changes the project could bring, including losing valuable green park land.