Next Steps for the Black Economic Agenda

Goal – Black business owners and residents of the target communities of Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan ("RDM") work together to develop a multi-pronged plan to achieve opportunity and real inclusion in the corporate, political and economic structure of Greater Boston and to create similar plans for urban centers throughout Massachusetts.

Focus on the consensus Massachusetts growth sectors of technology, environmental/green economy, culture, health care, financial services, food services and higher education. Other business sectors could be added.

These Next Steps are a "living document" that will be updated periodically.

These Next Steps represent the accumulation of feedback received through presentations and meetings on Freeze Frame: Black Boston 2015, Time for an Inclusive Economy on what is needed to advance the Black economic agenda in Massachusetts. Leadership is required at all levels.

Government

Mayor of Boston must:

  1. Adopt a leadership policy position requiring Black MBE equity inclusion for all large economic development projects receiving public funds or incentives for projects: 1) exceeding $50MM outside RDM (i.e. downtown, etc.); and 2) $10MM inside RDM. (Implement best practices)
  2. Agree to work with MBE/resident community to create a process for the disposition of the remainder of the 350+ developable municipal plots of land in RDM which emphasizes equity participation and meaningful employment opportunities for MBEs and minorities.
  3. Require a disaggregation from reporting authorities of the MWBEs contracting reports by race and ethnicity. Complete a disparity study which also disaggregates data by race and ethnicity separate from White women.
  4. Fully support the continued development of vocational education and programs for job readiness and entrepreneurship in RDM and for the RDM community.

 

Mayor of Boston and City Council must:

  1. Unbundle Capital Plan projects and other vendor contracts as necessary to allow participation of Black businesses (Implement best practices).

 

Mayor of Boston, Boston City Council and Governor must:

  1. Work together to create Economic Opportunity Inclusion Zones which incentivizes Black/Latino business and employment goals at a level commensurate with the population. Said incentives may include, but are not limited to, tax credits, grants, loans, enhanced employment credits for marginalized and /CORI residents, expedited permitting and credit enhancements that emphasize business ownership, cooperative and profit sharing business ownership and encourages innovative solutions.
  2. Improve the oversight, compliance and monitoring of all entities (public and private) to ensure they are fulfilling their MBE legal requirements for contracting/workforce including accurately reporting their contracting with Black businesses and employment of Black residents.
  3. Increase Black representation on public boards that make decisions on contracts.

 

Black Businesses must:

  1. Commit resources and support the creation of the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts (“BECMA”) which will serve as a repository, research and advocacy arm and include a business mentorship process.  Goals have been established of $150,000 to seed the research, structure, incorporation of the BECMA and to secure a three (3) year commitment for funding.
  2. Contribute to the creation and support the Inclusive Economy Independent Expenditure Political Action Committee (www.InclusiveEconomyPAC.org) that will support candidates who support the economic advancement of Black businesses and residents. No exception. A seed goal of $100,000 has been set.

 

Businesses/Organizations must:

  1. The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce ("GBCOC"), Massachusetts Academic and Scientific Community Organizations (“MASCO”) and the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council (“MATLC”) must engage their member businesses to collaborate on new business opportunities  with Black businesses and residents , including but not limited to partnerships and joint ventures in the areas of technology, health care, financial services, food services and higher education.
  2. Increase Black representation on corporate boards.
  3. CDCs  operating in RDM and other urban centers must abide by MA General Law, Chapter 40H, which requires their sole purpose to be to create economic opportunities for low to moderate income people, by engaging Black residents and Black businesses.
  4. Community based organizations (community health centers, etc.) in urban centers should immediately establish goals for contracting with Black businesses and hiring Black residents at every level, including leadership, commensurate with the population.

 

Community

  1. Must feel empowered by our tax dollars, our spending dollars and our votes to hold everyone accountable for the achievement of a Black economic development agenda and to galvanize, organize, educate, agitate and communicate as needed to ensure success.

 

What We Need from Elected Officials

  1. Leadership and accountability
  2. Implementation of an economic development agenda for the Black community developed in consultation with the Black residential and business community.
  3. Collaborate efforts to address economic development with the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts (BECMA)
  4. Pressure awarding authorities to include Black businesses in contracts
  5. Work with appropriate organizations and people to replicate best practices from Massachusetts and other cities and states and implement innovative approaches to include Black businesses and Black workers