A native of Boston, Melvin B. Miller has been actively involved in political and public affairs for more than 40 years. In 1965, he founded the Bay State Banner, a weekly newspaper advocating the interests of Greater Boston’s African American community. Miller has served as the Banner’s publisher and editor since its inception.
Prior to the establishment of the Banner, Miller was an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts. In 1973, the State Banking Commissioner appointed him as the Conservator of the Unity Bank and Trust Company, Boston’s first minority bank. Under his stewardship the bank’s operations became profitable for the first time. In 1977, the Mayor of Boston appointed him as one of the three original commissioners of the Boston Water and Sewer Commission. He later became chairman of the commission in 1980, and managed its operating budget of $193.2 million.
Miller was also a founding partner in the law firm of Fitch, Miller and Tourse, a primarily corporate law firm and he engaged in the practice of law there from 1981 until 1991. He was also Vice President and General Counsel of WHDH-TV, Boston’s CBS affiliate from 1982 until 1993.
A long-term trustee of Boston University, Miller became a Trustee Emeritus in 2005. He served in the three-member National Advisory Council to American Companies doing business in South Africa under the Sullivan Principles until the council was disbanded after the fall of apartheid. Miller is also a trustee of the Huntington Theatre Company and a director of OneUnited Bank, the largest African American owned and operated bank in the U.S.
A graduate of Boston Latin School, Harvard University and Columbia Law School, an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters was conferred on him by Suffolk University and Emerson College.
An Obama rule requires investment advisors to consider the best interests of their customers in making decisions in retirement accounts was upheld.
The highest paid city employee in 2016 was a Boston police detective who was paid $403,000. In fact, 98 of the top 100 highest earners were employees of the police department.
Americans believe that the president of the United States is due the greatest show of respect. Political commentators and the media have been trying to be deferential despite Donald Trump’s bizarre views and inappropriate conduct. But finally the lid is off. Sen. Bernie Sanders declared that Trump is a fraud. This statement by a highly regarded senator enables the public to criticize the president without being attacked for impropriety.
David Jacobs decided to appropriate the Boston Guardian name when he found it inadvisable to continue publication of his Boston Courant under that legend. Any copyright protection of the Boston Guardian had expired, but Jacobs was nonetheless informed that the Guardian had special historical significance. Now every week there will be another desecration of the special status of Trotter’s Boston Guardian. Certainly Trotter’s protest against racial defamation ranks up there with other early Boston oppositions to injustice.
Despite great public awareness of the violence between the police and unarmed blacks, the incidents continue. President Trump seems to have great sympathy for the police as does his attorney general designate, Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama. Chances of blacks prevailing in criminal prosecutions against offending police officers are slim.
For many citizens, the issue of Russian hacking has not been satisfactorily resolved. Congress has agreed to investigate the matter further. Lewis has established a reputation for courage and integrity. Just as he stood tall on the Edmund Pettis Bridge on Bloody Sunday (March 7, 1965), Congressman Lewis stood alone to preserve the integrity of American democracy.
During the recent campaign for president, critics often expressed concern that Donald Trump was not presidential enough. For many people a certain dignity and decorum were required for the job. Nonetheless, Trump understood the necessity of appealing to the “ignored” and “overlooked.” He did not want to be identified as one of the “elite” who looked down upon the working class folks. Unfortunately, many of Trump’s constituents tolerate a laxity in the requirements for president that could damage democracy.
In a great move for the citizens of Boston, the directors of Eastern Bank have voted to elevate Robert Rivers, the former Eastern Bank president, to chairman and CEO. The move had been anticipated for a year with the expectation that Quincy Miller would be available to assume Rivers’ former duties as president. Miller was formerly the Massachusetts state president of Citizens Bank.
Political pundits have not yet offered an acceptable explanation of why many of those who had voted for Barack Obama would years later vote for Donald Trump. Perhaps the answer lies in the failure of white privilege to function as expected. There is a mistaken assumption that white privilege must always involve racial discrimination.
During 2016, the spirit of entrepreneurship seemed to blossom in Boston’s black community. The Bay State Banner helped to fertilize this growth with publication of a business magazine entitled Banner Biz. The year before the Banner sponsored two “Pitch in the City” events to induce young entrepreneurs to develop the ability to present their ideas in an effective manner. Even many of those with no plans to start a business are now aware of the importance of the development of wealth by blacks.