Philadelphia City Council members Council President Darrell L. Clarke (5th District), Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown (At Large), Councilwoman recently penned a commentary in the Philadelphia Tribune reasserting that Council is insisting on a local, diverse, and inclusive workforce for Rebuild PHL and the local trade unions.
Read the commentary in its entirety on phillytrib.com. Excerpts are posted below:
Fact check: The Mayor’s initial Rebuild plan called for just two privately run organizations — the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the Free Library Foundation — to manage Rebuild, both of which lack track records of hiring diverse and inclusive workforces. Black and brown members of Council immediately objected when this plan was introduced in late 2016. Since that time, we have crafted legislation expanding Rebuild Project User contract opportunities to 21 entities that reflect our diverse population and have ensured public oversight of the contracting process….
- The Mayor’s Office of Labor Standards is required to enforce City contract requirements for workforce diversity and apply penalties because of legislation offered by Council President Darrell L. Clarke in the first year of Mayor Kenney’s term. Council also approved more enforcement positions within that office.
- Councilmember Cindy Bass pushed for protocol that empowers District Council members to protect residents by giving them the ability to deny projects that do not have community approval.
- Council has expanded inclusive economic participation by lowering the monetary threshold for City contracts requiring workforce diversity goals through EOPs from $250,000 to $100,000. This was also due to legislation authored by Council President Clarke.
- City Council is unapologetic for our insistence that workforce programs established under Rebuild result in greater representation of minorities within the building trade unions — if the building trade unions are awarded Rebuild work, as the Kenney administration intends. Diversifying the building trades is one of the key objectives of Rebuild, along with community engagement and equity.
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