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.
The fundamental premise of a democratic government is that voters will support those policies that benefit them, and they will oppose issues that are harmful. The problem in America is that society has become so complex that it is often difficult to determine whether or not a government policy is really beneficial. Republicans are often willing to finance expensive and sophisticated public relations campaigns to delude voters into supporting conservative policies that the middle and working classes should oppose. A prime example of this is the campaign against the Affordable Care Act.
The problem with artificially reducing a state’s population today is that it will deprive the state of deserved federal funds. About $600 billion in federal spending is allocated according to population. Accurate census data determine who gets what benefits. That is an issue that does not rank very high on the Republican agenda.
John Henry petitions for name change of Yawkey Way
Petitions to change the name of a public way in Boston are usually perfunctory matters. According to a report in the Boston Globe there have been only six petitions since 2011. However, the petition initiated by John Henry, the principal owner of the Boston Red Sox, to change the name of Yawkey Way outside Fenway Park, has stimulated considerable controversy.
Few protest slogans irritate whites more than “Black Lives Matter!” In the wake of numerous police shootings of unarmed blacks, this slogan is in defiance of the unlawful police assault on black men. How can whites assert that it is inappropriate?
Many citizens who are irate with the performance of Donald Trump as president have been calling for impeachment. However, under Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution, Trump would have to be convicted of treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. Since the U.S. is not technically at war, the charge of treason cannot apply, so the case would have to be made against bribery and high crimes.
Holy Week has slipped by this year with little public notice or celebration. The days following Palm Sunday usually generate great solemnity among Christians as they prepare for Easter. The evangelicals are usually among the most ardent Christians, but publicity about the sexual rampages of Donald Trump seems to have stifled their open Christian ardor.
Equal access to quality education is a civil rights issue, but the availability of well-educated citizens is critical for the economic prominence of the nation. It is time to reconsider some of the assumptions about public education in order to meet the needs of a more technologically complex economy.
The recent snow storm raised the question once again of the rights and duties of those who live in the path of the nor’easter. Do those who shovel out the parking space at their expense, or with their exertion, have priority access? Are homeowners required to keep the sidewalk in front of their homes free of snow?
The late Malik Abdal-Khallaq was a highly regarded member of the Roxbury community. According to his granddaughter, Alenor Larisa Abdal-Khallaq Williams, he had a great interest in the Nubian civilization and he travelled to Africa on several occasions to learn more. His identification with the Nubians induced him to name the business he founded in Dudley Square “A Nubian Notion.”
Community residents are responsible for backing those whom they elect to public office. The failure to “get their back” renders them less effective. The lack of a public protest over the ouster of Carlos Henriquez has had unfortunate consequences. It was much easier for Mayor Marty Walsh to oust Felix Arroyo.