VOTE YOUR INCUMBENT OUT OF OFFICE!!!!
The headline below sounds good doesn't it? As those who follow the Board of Estimates knows, the wording is such as to allow the law to be circumvented at every turn. We have Living Wage laws that almost never kick in, Minority/women contractors fighting continuous failure to meet set goals, and business tax breaks that almost never involve actually meeting hiring objectives set in the contracts.
If Mr. Young wants to address a huge disparity in hiring in the city, he can start by writing well-defined, strong laws that will see little circumvention. Please go back to those I highlight above. Then, fund and execute oversight of all the city's contracts to verify compliance and penalize when there is none.
I think the trade unions would agree that the problem is with allowing right-to-work employees from out of state brought in by national developers seeking the lowest wage. This policy has the unions walking in circles on picket lines other states get the benefit of Baltimore wages.
I'm going to give Mr. Young an I for incomplete on this one. Bringing a problem to the forefront is always good....we want to make sure the solutions are real.
Young pushes bill to fuel local hiring on city contracts 51 percent of new hires on city contracts must be Baltimore residents, proposed law says
Any business that gets a city contract or major financial help from City Hall could be required to hire 51 percent of new workers from within the city limits or face a criminal sanction.
Those are the terms of a new bill proposed by City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young, who believes such legislation is needed to reduce what he calls Baltimore's "stubbornly high unemployment rate."
Young introduced the "local hiring mandate" legislation Monday night to the City Council.
"We must ensure that our tax dollars invested in our city-funded projects are invested back in the community," Young said at the council hearing.
The proposal comes as Baltimore struggles to shake off the effects of the economic downturn. The city's unemployment rate was 10.2 percent in September, the most recent month available from state figures. Five years ago, the city's unemployment rate was 5.4 percent for that same month, state figures show.
Promoting local hiring has been a key issue at City Hall. Last year, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake issued an executive order — called "Employ Baltimore" — that assisted companies that hired city residents on their contracts with the local government.
Young's legislation would require 51 percent of new jobs to go to residents of Baltimore. The ordinance would apply to a business receiving any city contract of at least $300,000 or any project that benefits from at least $5 million in city assistance.
Only a handful of city-supported projects topped that $5 million mark in 2010, according to the most recent annual report from the Baltimore Development Corp., the city's quasi-public economic development arm.
Under Young's proposed law, businesses that do not comply could be barred from receiving city contracts for one year and face a $500 fine.
Waivers may be issued, on a case-by-case basis, under certain conditions, Young said. For instance, if the company can demonstrate it made a "good faith" effort to hire city residents but couldn't find those with the right skills, it could avoid a penalty, the legislation states.
Businesses that are located — and perform their work — outside the area also may be eligible for waivers, according to the proposed legislation. For instance, American Eurocopter Corp., which has supplied the Police Department's helicopters, wouldn't fall under the proposed law because its headquarters and production facility are outside Maryland.
Young cited similar local hiring programs in Boston and San Francisco as models for Baltimore.
Rod Easter, president of the Baltimore Building and Construction Trades Council, said the Boston and San Francisco programs involve local trade unions. But he said that Young never consulted his organization, which is an umbrella group that represents 15,000 people in various unions in the Baltimore area.
"Normally, we have good communications with the council president," said Easter. "I'm just confused I see it in the paper and I didn't hear it from him."
Easter said training and apprenticeship programs exist, and he'd like to see those supported more by the city, to encourage people to develop their skills for hire.
He feared that Young's proposal may be a temporary fix that would encourage companies to hire and fire workers as they need them to comply with a city law, rather than figure out a long-term employment solution for workers.
"When people have careers, they can have some pride," said Easter, an electrician. "They're not hanging on the corners."
Through a spokesman, Young said that his legislation would not harm the city's unions, and that "Mr. Easter will certainly have a seat at the table to offer suggestions concerning the bill."
Michael Theriault, secretary-treasurer of San Francisco's Building and Construction Trades Council, said that city's law is in its second year and will be up for review next year. Under the law, the city increases the residency requirement by 5 percent each year. The law will face a review, and it could be revised in negotiations next year, he said.
Theriault said it's important that the companies that are awarded contracts and hire workers have "relief valves" in the process, so they are not overly penalized if they can't find workers within city limits. If contractors spend too much money hiring workers, or pay too many penalties, they end up declining to bid on city projects, or building those extra costs into their bids, he said.
Copyright © 2012, The Baltimore Sun
THIS IS THE PRESSING ISSUE FOR AMERICAN WORKERS AS IF LABOR DOESN'T ALREADY HAVE PRESSING ISSUES. THIS IS A BIG ONE. HERE IN MARYLAND, O'MALLEY AND THIRD WAY CORPORATE DEMOCRATS ARE PUSHING IMMIGRANT LABOR ISSUES AS THE 'NEW ECONOMY' REQUIRES THAT THE BEST OF THE BEST IN THE WORLD'. WE KNOW THERE IS NO SHORTAGE THAT IS NOT MANAGEABLE. WE HAVE TONS OF MATH AND SCIENCE GRADS THAT GO TO WALL STREET AND WE HAVE PLENTY OF CURRENT GRADS LOOKING FOR JOBS. WHAT THESE POLS WANT WILL CREATE UNFAIR ADVANTAGE FOR PEOPLE NOT EVEN CITIZENS OF THE US. THESE CORPORATE PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES ARE MARKETING OVERSEAS FOR THESE INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS AS THE AVERAGE FAMILY FIGHTS TO AFFORD TUITION. WE NEED TO WORK ON MAKING OUR STUDENTS THE BEST OF THE BEST.
IT IS NOT ONLY BAD FOR US WORKERS, IT IS HOSTILE TO OTHER COUNTRIES WHO NEED THESE GRADS HOME TO BUILD AND BECOME LEADERS THERE. WE WILL GIVE THE WORLD ONE MORE THING FOR WHICH TO DISLIKE AMERICA AS IF WE NEED TO.
PLEASE SHOUT LOUDLY AND STRONGLY TO LEAVE IMMIGRANT STUDENT LAWS ALONE!!! WORK ON UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANT LAWS@!!!!!
BELOW YOU SEE A COMMENT FROM A STUDENT WHO STATES THE FACTS:
dmm19:45 AM EST Engineering and science absolutely do NOT need immigrant labor. There is not enough money in R&D to support those currently in the labor pool. Companies are closing down their research divisions right and left, colleges are closing their science departments, and government is not taking up the slack. Many of our brightest AMERICAN students are spending 4, 6, 8, 10, even 12 years training post-highschool in science or engineering, then graduating to find there are no job opportunities. This has been going on for a decade. Now employers are screaming, as they see fewer American students in the R&D training pipeline.
Posted at 01:56 PM ET, 11/19/2012
Will Obama ‘seize’ skilled-immigrant moment?
By Emi Kolawole Washington Post
President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. (Joshua Roberts - Bloomberg)
Now that President Obama is fresh off of his reelection victory, immigration reform, while somewhat overshadowed by the impending “fiscal cliff,” is among the first issues he has said his administration will tackle. In his first news conference after the election, the president said that it was time to “seize the moment” and realize comprehensive immigration reform. Talk of such reform, however, has centered around how to tackle the challenge of illegal immigration. Talk of skilled immigration is not conducted at nearly the same decibel-level in Washington even as tech company chiefs continue to express their frustration over the apparent lack of qualified talent.
Kojo Nnamdi, host of the eponymous show, had Vivek Wadhwa on air Monday to talk skilled immigration — a topic Wadhwa has written about often and at length both for The Washington Post and elsewhere.
The author of the “The Immigrant Exodus,” has, along with others, advocated for a change to the nation’s immigration policy to give skilled immigrants, many of whom are educated in the United States, a more efficient pathway to permanent residency or citizenship. If changes to the system are not enacted soon, the United States, he fears, may lose its competitive edge.
”It’s a big loss for the U.S.,” said Wadhwa of the phenomenon where skilled immigrants, many of whom are educated in the United States, get frustrated with the immigration system and return to their home countries to start companies or look for permanent employment.
Demetrios Papademetriou, President and Board Member of the Migration Policy Institute cautioned against hyperbole, since the United States is, after all, “still the major immigrant-receiving country on Earth.”
“So, this is not about a catastrophe that is upon us. This is about being smart,” he said. “I think everybody agrees that we must do something about it.”
The radio program, a call-in show produced out of American University in Washington, D.C., showed that not everybody was in agreement about what exactly needed to be done. At least one caller phoned in to express his frustration with those who advocate expanding the visa pipeline when more resources should be directed to training students in the United States. Wadhwa, who said he supported improvements in education and training, said it needn’t be an either/or question.
And Papademetriou again pushed for calm.
“It is okay for people to be going back. That’s what education is all about. That’s what a cultural exchange is all about. But I don’t think the United States should be doing anything to push these people to go back,” he said.
But the question remains whether the Obama administration’s promised immigration overhaul bill will stop the pushing or let it continue.
What do you think? Should the United States change its immigration laws to make it easier for skilled immigrants to stay in the United States, or should the emphasis be placed on training U.S. students and workers? Is it even an either/or question?
As Governor O'Malley knows, 90% of democrats and 80% of all voters say they want wealth inequity reversed and they want corporate accountability as pertains to Rule of Law. These are the top issues for voters in his own party. Not just a majority.....not a supermajority.....but overwhelming consensus. This leads to my point.....why do these pols who think they can take stands that work against their constituents in favor of wealth run as democrats?
How do you reverse wealth inequity? You bring back trillions of dollars in corporate fraud in the defense, health care, and financial industries....enough to pay the entire $14 trillion debt with no taxpayer money involved. You hire millions of unemployed so it is a job creating stimulus and you reinstate Rule of Law in America. There is no downside to that and it meets the priorities of the democratic voters. So, let the Bush Tax cuts end for all and then come back to reinstate middle-class breaks and you have a plan to end the debt in a decade.
Why does O'Malley insist on compromise from a middle/lower class that was shattered by this massive fraud that brought economic collapse? He is a Third Way Reagan Liberal who works for wealth and corporations, or as we say profits over people. Take a look at who is going in order to see for whom not to vote.
Bipartisan group seeks collective compromise to ‘fix the debt’ November 20, 2012 at 7:37 am
At microphone, Michael Enright, left, and Chip DiPaula.
By Len Lazarick
Anne Arundel County Council member Jamie Benoit is taking off the entire second half of December from his day job as CEO of Federal Data Systems, not to get ready for Christmas or go skiing, but to lobby the many members of Congress he knows to “fix the debt.”
“This is the time that kicking the can (down the road) has got to stop,” Benoit said at Monday’s launch of the Maryland chapter of “Fix the Debt.” This bi-partisan group has been set up to urge members of Congress to “compromise” and come up with “a grand bargain” that will avoid driving over the “fiscal cliff” of massive tax hikes and budget cuts scheduled for Jan. 1.
The goal is “comprehensive and long-term solution to the debt problem,” said Michael Enright, former chief of staff of Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley. “The math involved in this is inescapable” and “it will involve pain and sacrifice for all of us.”
Pain and sacrifice for all
“Everyone’s going to have to give a little bit,” said Chip DiPaula, former chief of staff for Republican Gov. Bob Ehrlich.
“This is really the seminal issue of our day,” said Tom McMillen, who left Congress 20 years ago when Democrats and Republicans “worked better together than they do today.” Back then the national debt was 65% of GDP (Gross Domestic Product), and now it is heading toward 100% of the output of goods and services, said the former Democratic congressman.
The group is not offering any specific proposals for a solution, but it was founded by Democrat Erskine Bowles and Republican Alan Simpson, who co-chaired President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. The commission did present a detailed plan for tax reform and budget cuts.
Fix the Debt nationally is chaired by former Republican Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire and former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell.
There are now Fix the Debt chapters in 15 states including Ohio, Florida, Maine, Georgia, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Colorado and Tennessee.
“We’re not presenting any answers,” Enright said, but seeking “a collective will to come to a solution.”
“What we’re talking about is a compromise,” said DiPaula. “It’s going to be a collective solution.”
Impact on contractors
If Congress and the president do not agree to a solution by the end of the year, all the Bush tax cuts will expire and large cuts in spending will go into effect, particularly affecting the defense budget and contractors.
“I won’t have to close my doors” as a federal IT contractor, Benoit said, but “I know many in my business that will.”
In an interview, Benoit said he knows smaller contractors who are “walking around ignorant” about the potential impact of the budget cuts. He said most federal contracts have a provision for “termination for convenience” that would allow the government to stop contracts all together or renegotiate them on more favorable terms.
Other members of Fix the Debt Maryland are Anirban Basu, chairman & CEO Sage Policy Group; Sean Creamer, chief operating officer and executive vice president of Arbitron Inc.; Richard Cross, former speechwriter for Gov. Bob Ehrlich and columnist; Michael Cryor, public relations consultant and former Maryland Democratic Party chairman; Lin Eagan, owner, Lakeview Title Company; Donald Fry, president & CEO of the Greater Baltimore Committee; Wayne Gilchrest, former Republican member of U.S. House of Representatives.
Mary Kane, 2010 Republican nominee for lieutenant governor and former Maryland Secretary of State; Martin Knott, president of Knott Mechanical and chairman, Maryland Economic Development Corporation; Timothy Maloney, attorney and former Member Maryland House of Delegates; Bruce Poole, former majority leader, Maryland House of Delegates; Nicolas Ramos, owner, Arcos Restaurant and CEO, Casas Y Comunidad; Martin Richardson, part-owner, Verde Group; Paul Sheehy, director, Sheehy Auto Stores; Jim Smith, former Baltimore County Executive; Ben Wu, vice chair, US-Asia Institute and former assistant secretary, U.S. Department of Commerce.