Michael Shields, president of the Racine branch of the NAACP -- and a city alderman recently gaveled down by the mayor in a different dispute -- issued the following press release:
NAACP CALLS MAYOR’S WORKS PROJECT DISINGENUOUS
The Racine Branch NAACP calls Mayor Dickert’s much ballyhooed “Job Creation Effort,” “no more than than the continued stream of puffery emanating from the Mayor's Office in hopes of scoring reelection capital.”
The NAACP cites the Mayor’s non-commitment to having the city honor its past commitment to the Racine First Program. (The Racine First Program is a binding agreement that the City entered into with the Minority Community. This agreement calls for any job opportunities created by the City, to ensure that at least 10% of such job opportunities would go to the citizens of Racine with a specific emphasis on the Minority Community). With unemployment in the double digits in the minority community, the destruction and rebuilding of a few homes in primarily minority communities does not represent a “Jobs Effort. “
Although the press conference highlighted two minority contractors for potential work, the NAACP has seen the same thing happen on other city-based projects that employed no minorities; or for that matter any citizens of Racine.
While the unemployment rate for minorities circle the bowl with no meaningful job creation forthcoming from this administration, the NAACP and the citizens of Racine are left to wonder if the only way you can obtain a job created by this administration is to be a friend or former campaign worker of Mayor Dickert? Mayor Dickert needs to understand that the city is watching his attempt to divert our attention away from his enrichment of friends and potential mayoral opponents with tax payer monies. We ask simply, how long can Racine take this?
The Racine Branch NAACP calls on the Dickert Administration to knock harder on the door of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and produce some self-sustaining real job opportunities for all the citizens of Racine. Press conferences have their place in city government, but not when they are held and designed to provide work for ONE MAN.