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Yawu Miller

Stories by Yawu

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Executive order seen boosting minority, women business office

Gov. Charlie Baker announced last week that the Office of Access and Opportunity, which helps businesses owned by minorities, women, people with disabilities and veterans to secure contracts with state government, will now report directly to the Governor’s Office, a move widely seen as boosting the profile of the office.

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Yancey calls for civilian board to investigate police misconduct

City Councilor Charles Yancey’s move for a civilian review board to investigate police misconduct comes in the midst of a growing national awareness of police misconduct.

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Groups push for youth jobs

More than 700 activists march on State House, ask for funding increase

Youth advocates say without an increase in funding, more than a thousand youth jobs will be cut.

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Bring-your-own bill divides city council

A pair of city councilors sparked controversy last week, advancing a measure that would allow patrons to bring their own liquor to restaurants in Boston

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MBTA system failures highlight aging transportation infrastructure

Winter storm Neptune, the third of an unprecedented series of storms, dropped more than a foot of snow on the Bay State last week, bringing MBTA service to a halt and sparking a spirited debate over investment in the state’s public transit system. After a pair of dueling press conferences exposed what appeared to be icy relations between MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott and Gov. Charlie Baker, Scott announced she will resign in April.

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The Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building Open for Tours for Media

A new view of Roxbury

The Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building Open for Tours for Media.

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Soledad O’Brien trains lense on police abuse, leads panel discussion at UMass Boston

Soledad O’Brien brought her documentary to UMass Boston, where she led panel discussions with economist and columnist Julianne Malveaux, former NAACP President Benjamin Jealous and UMass Boston Associate Professor of Africana Studies Aminah Pilgrim.

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Black and Latino Caucus growing in clout, membership

Members coordinate legislative initiatives

The Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus has undergone a renaissance of sorts, with more members than at any point in its 42-year history and a level of coordination not seen in recent years.

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BPD complaint process irks Roxbury resident

Dan Cruz suffered through a two-year process that sided in favor of the officer.

After a police officer at a construction site screamed at Daniel Cruz in December, 2012, Cruz filed a complaint at Boston’s Area B-2 police station. Two years later, after multiple phone calls and letters to unresponsive police personnel and a drawn-out process that found in favor of the officer, Cruz wonders how the department’s complaint process could work for any civilians.

Boston Public Schools make graduation rate gains

Uses multi-pronged approach to reach lagging students

Students visiting the Grove Hall nonprofit will be able to tap into a new BPS online learning system that will allow them to complete their coursework outside of school hours. The workstations are part of a multi-pronged effort Freedom House has undertaken to help students at risk of dropping out of high school.

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Snow causes problems for residents and local businesses

Storms bring out best and worst in residents

Barely a week after Boston residents dug their way out of two feet of snow delivered by a punishing nor’easter, a second storm delivered another ten inches, a one-two punch that yielded the highest snowfall in a one-week span in the city’s recorded history.

Mass. lawmakers propose criminal justice reforms

State Sen. Sonia Chang Diaz (D, Jamaica Plain) and Rep. Mary Keefe (D, Worcester) are co-sponsoring legislation that would repeal mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes, reduce certain low-level felonies to misdemeanors and reinvest the savings from those reforms into job training, youth jobs and other programs aimed at workforce development.

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Panel discusses solutions to police abuse problem

A panel discussion on police abuse, sponsored by the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and the Myrtle Baptist Church, drew a large audience to RCC’s Media Arts Center auditorium to hear from five panelists, including Harvard Law Professor Sullivan, Harvard junior Colin Marts, community organizer Elizabeth Miranda, Boston Branch NAACP President Michael Curry and Suffolk County Sheriff Steve Tompkins.

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BHA seeks nonprofit partners

HUD budget cuts jeopardize repair funding

After two decades of declining federal funding for the 63 developments in its portfolio, the Boston Housing Authority is looking for new funding sources to help maintain and, if possible, expand the number of affordable housing units available to low- and moderate-income Boston residents.

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IBA looks to expand housing in South End, Lower Roxbury

Inquilinos Boricuas en Accion, the Community Development Corporation that built and manages the Villa Victoria housing development, is looking to expand affordable housing opportunities in the South End and Lower Roxbury as well as its programming for area youth.

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Mayor Walsh touts gains in diversifying city leadership, pledges to work on education, housing issues

After a year in office, Mayor Martin Walsh has assembled a diverse cabinet and outlined plans to tackle some of the city’s more vexing problems, including a lack of affordable housing, educational inequality and poor relations between police and black and Latino youths.

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MLK legacy honored as protests continue

Protesters block I-93, demonstrate in Downtown Boston

Last Thursday, demonstrators in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement stopped traffic on Interstate 93, chaining themselves to 1,200 pound concrete-filled barrels in an action that garnered international attention. Friday, members of the Massachusetts Legislative Black and Latino Caucus filed several bills aimed at making police accountable for stopping black motorists and pedestrians, and appointing outside investigators to probe police shootings and misconduct.

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Baker targets spending in inaugural speech

Diverse team faces daunting challenges

Sounding themes of fiscal restraint and government reform, Gov. Charlie Baker pledged to tackle some of the state’s more intractable problems — homelessness, educational disparities and opiate addiction — during his inaugural address last week.

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Deval Patrick’s ‘together we can’ mantra led to substantial legislative record

Gov. Deval Patrick secured his place in Massachusetts history with a resounding victory over Republican candidate Kerry Healey in the 2006 gubernatorial campaign, running on the theme, “together we can.” Over the next eight years, the state’s first black governor put his rhetoric of collaboration to the test, enlisting legislators, local officials and citizen activists in a series of ambitious initiatives that included everything from consolidating the polyglot of state agencies to comprehensive reform of the state’s criminal justice system.

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Activists say receipts would hold police accountable

Members of the Massachusetts Legislative Black and Latino Caucus are considering filing legislation that would require police to make data on stops public and issue receipts to pedestrians stopped.

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Year 2014 brought sweeping changes to Boston

A change of mayoral administrations, rapidly rising real estate values, looming threats of gentrification and the redevelopment of Dudley Square were among the major stories of the last year.

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Race and racism stayed in national spotlight in 2014

At the dawn of 2015, issues of race and racism are front and center in the national conversation. Demonstrators are taking to the streets and taking over shopping malls with Black Lives Matter protests that echo the Civil Rights Movement, whose urgency has been revived by a black director in the film, Selma.

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Fund to boost affordable housing near transit lines

A coalition of nonprofits and foundations has teamed up with state officials to launch a $5 million fund aimed keeping housing affordable in public transit-accessible neighborhoods.

Black and Latino caucus members discuss police reform legislation

With police practices facing scrutiny across the U.S., Massachusetts Legislative Black and Latino Caucus members are poised to push for a package of criminal justice system reform legislation aimed at promoting greater transparency and accountability in the state’s law enforcement agencies.

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City taps operators for Dudley startup space

Dudley Skylab has been selected along with The Venture Café Foundation as operators of the Roxbury Innovation Center in the Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building in Dudley Square, which is expected to open its doors within the next month.

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Black Lives Matter protests focus spotlight on inequality in criminal justice system

As Black Lives Matter protests grab headlines, activists call for change in criminal justice system

In shift, Fannie Mae agrees to sell foreclosures back to former owners

In a policy change that could have profound implications for struggling homeowners, the nation’s largest mortgage holders, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, have agreed to allow homeowners who have lost their homes to foreclosure to buy their properties back at current market value.

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Fairmount line redevelopment sparks displacement concerns

Activists gathered in Dorchester last week to talk about the displacement of long-term residents along the Fairmount Line corridor as rents and real estate prices climb.

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Minority transportation group to convene in Hub

The Conference of Minority Transportation Officials will hold its national meeting in Boston in July. Blacks, Latinos and Asians have made major gains in employment and leadership positions in the state’s public transportation agencies.

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More protests after NY grand jury clears cop

For the second week in a row, black America expressed shock and disbelief at a grand jury’s decision not to indict a police officer for killing an unarmed black man. The protests and the national attention have added fuel to the Black Lives Matter movement, an informal, multi-racial network of activists across the U.S. who have been protesting a string of high-profile police shootings of unarmed blacks and the failure of the judicial system to hold police accountable.

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New York-based charter school advocacy group opens Boston office

Families for Excellent Schools, a group founded in New York, has been organizing parents in Boston since August.

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‘Black lives matter’ protests sweep Boston, US cities

In Boston and in cities across the United States protesters took to the streets to demonstrate against police violence against blacks, sparked by a grand jury decision not to indict police officer Darren Williams in the shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Ferguson, Missouri resident Michael Brown.

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New teen center opens in former Mattapan library

City and state officials cut the ribbon on a new teen center in Mattapan that features a recording studio and performance space.

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Thousands of Boston marchers take to the streets in Ferguson protest

A crowd estimated between 3,000 and 5,000 people marched from Dudley Square to the South Bay House of Correction, blocking traffic on the Interstate 93 on-ramp for more than two hours in a rowdy, but mostly peaceful protest over a grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson, Mo officer Darren Wilson for the shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown.

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City eyes Radius hospital to house detox programs

City officials are looking at the former Radius hospital building on Townsend Street as a potential site for in-patient drug rehabilitation programs.

Immigration changes seen as temporary fix

President Obama’s executive order on immigration will grant temporary status to 4.4 million undocumented immigrants, but will not alter the status of an additional 6 million people who entered the United States illegally.

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Roxbury residents irked by developer’s changes to Bartlett Place plan

Roxbury neighbors voiced dissatisfaction with Nuestra Comunidad over the community development corporation’s plans to house the Conservatory Lab Charter School in its Bartlett Place development.

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Observers encouraged by Baker administration transition team diversity, yet Latinos not represented

Many in the black community were encouraged by Governor-elect Charlie Baker’s inclusion of four African Americans among the 16 chairmen of his transition team. No Latinos were appointed chairs of the team.

Report finds race disparities in Massachusetts school discipline

A report by the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights finds that black and Latino students in Massachusetts are more likely to be suspended for non-violent, non-drug-related school disciplinary infractions than white and Asian students.

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School department commits resources to Madison Park

Madison Park Headmaster Al Holland is hoping to turn around the Technical Vocational high school, aided by increased financial resources and new administrative staff.

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City, state officials mark completion of Dudley Greenville housing

The completion of 43 units of affordable and market-rate housing on Dudley Street marks the end of the redevelopment of the Orchard Gardens area under the HUD HOPE VI program

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Baker wins race for governor with few black, Latino votes

Charlie Baker won the race for Massachusetts governor by little more than 40,000 of the more than 2 million votes cast.

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School officials, students and parents weigh pepper spray for school police

The unarmed Boston Public School Police responsible for keeping students, teachers and staff safe in the city’s schools are asking city officials to arm them with pepper spray, saying they need the non-lethal agent to better do their jobs.

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Menino left lasting legacy of neighborhood revitalization

Former Mayor Thomas Menino focused attention on development projects in the city’s neighborhoods

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Don West captures black Boston’s history in Portraits of Purpose

Photographer Don West celebrated the publication of his book, Portraits of Purpose with an event at the Copley Square Library last week.

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Boston residents mourn death of city’s longest-serving mayor

Description: Former Mayor Thomas Menino died last week after a battle with Cancer.

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City, state officials celebrate Mather School’s 375th anniversary

When it opened in 1639, colonists funded the mather school using a levy on cattle grazing, making it the first publicly funded school in what is now the United States. Last week city and state officials and alumni turned out for a celebration of the school’s 375th anniversary.

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Coakley, Democrats make appeals to party’s loyal base

In the last week of campaigning, Democrats are revving up the party’s base.

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Charlie Baker gaining traction with urban voters

Polling data shows gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker has made inroads with voters in Massachusetts cities.

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Much has changed in the 25 years since the Stewart case. Some things haven't

Much has changed in the 25 years since the Stewart case. Some important things haven't