On Friday, October 24 at Toomey Abbott Towers from 9:30 – 11:30 am, the Urban Jobs Task Force and CenterState CEO, with funding from the Gifford Foundation, will be hosting “Building Equity.” Natoya Walker Minor, the Chief of Public Affairs for the city of Cleveland and Brian Hall, the Director of Inclusion of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, will present “How to Connect Growth and Opportunity.” Through their respective positions, they are building social and employment equity in Cleveland. In partnership with Cleveland’s employers, developers, educational institutions and unions they are creating a Culture of Inclusion. Natoya and Brian will share with us the lessons learned and strategies used on this journey towards a more equitable Cleveland. “Building Equity” is free and open to the public. There is limited seating so reservations are recommended. Contact Ms. Liso Smith at 315-416-6363 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Over 20 members of the Urban Jobs Task Force testified at the monthly Syracuse Industrial Development Agency meeting on June 17th and according to the Syracuse.com article on the meeting
“beseeched the Syracuse Industrial Development Agency, one after another, to impose stricter local hiring requirements on tax-subsidized projects including COR Development Co.’s development of the Inner Harbor.
Unfortunately, the SIDA Board unanimously, AND WITHOUT COMMENT, approved the tax breaks proposed for the entire first phase of the project–a hotel to be built by the Starwood Hotels and Resorts Corp. and planned, yet not detailed luxury apartments. The tax breaks were an exemption from paying the County’s mortgage recording tax and a break on sales tax for materials purchased during construction.
The loss of both of these forms of tax revenue from the project have real-world implications for the residents of our city. Ten percent of the annual budget for Centro, the area’s mass transit system comes from the mortgage recording tax. In addition, the city’s share of area sales tax has become the largest portion of locally-raised revenue for financing city services–police, fire, DPW, Parks etc.
Interesting report just issued by Good Jobs First on the impact on employment in construction created by the project in St. Paul, Minnesota in restoring their old rail depot and the creation of a new rail line between St. Paul and Minneapolis.
Three key points
1. This mass transit construction project was able to create work for a wide variety of trades–electricians, plumbers, bricklayers, sheet metal workers, roofers, painters, sheet metal workers, elevator constructors, and insulators. On traditional road construction projects only the 3 traditional road-building crafts, carpenters, laborers and operating engineers, get much work.
2. 70 groups came together in a coalition called Hire Minnesota to pressure the Minnesota Department of transportation to set ambitious goals for worker hiring diversity–and those goals were exceeded. 18.9% of work hours were done by minority workers and 6.9% of work hours were completed by women.
3. Public and private investment in mass transit pays off. Federal, state and local grants helped make the project viable. Local foundations came together to fund organizing around the location of stops on the new rail line. The project’s genesis was the original federal stimulus program.
Check out the article on UJTF’s “Gaining Ground” film event held at Tucker Baptist Church in The Stand newspaper: http://mysouthsidestand.com/voices/urban-jobs-task-force-poses-the-question-what-if/
I rarely read the comments section of any of the news articles posted on the Syracuse.com website–the online outlet for the Syracuse Post Standard newspaper. Recently a friend pointed me in the direction of one comment in particular on a story about US Rep. Dan Maffei and his new small business advisory committee:
The Urban Jobs Task Force, one of the most virulent community agitator groups in CNY that has come out in opposition to the Inner Harbor project unless the developer caves into its threats. The political platform of this organization is taken directly from the Working Families Party (WFP), which is to the far left of the Democrat party . . . The Syracuse Alliance for the New Economy believes in setting “living wages” well above state and federal mandates and has repeatedly threatened developers to enact “Community Benefit Agreements” stipulating an unreasonably high percentage of jobs go to poor residents from certain groups that reside in designated census tracts.