Next week: Department of Justice conversations on race and Worcester

By Gordon Davis

Worcester City Manager Edward Augustus has arranged to have the Department of Justice attend some public discussions about race. The public discussions are under the direction of the City Manager’s Committee Against Bias and Hate. The reasons given for the public discussions are the racial tensions in Worcester regarding police misconduct and safety at North High School.

These discussions will be held on every Monday from May 18, 2015 through July 13, 2015, except for May 25th, which is Memorial day.

The public discussions will be from 6 PM to 8 PM at various locations around the city.

Several of the public discussions seem to be unrelated to racial tensions or are of an organizational nature. The May 18 public discussion is organizing how the discussions should take place. I am always wary of meetings to discuss meetings. The July 13 public discussion is about what to do with the contents of the public discussions. This should have already been determined – that the City Manger would use the contents to improve the City of Worcester. By the time of the last public discussion, the city budget process for fiscal year 2016 will have been completed.

The June 8 public meeting on Public Safety and the June 15 meeting on Youth and Education are on issues that the City Manager and the Worcester School Department have found more challenging in terms of race.

There are some rumblings among some of the groups that are in the Black Lives Matter civil rights movement that the Department of Justice should be petitioned to investigate the Worcester Police Department and its lack of transparency.

The following are the dates, subjects and times of the public discussions:

ALL of these public hearings are scheduled for:

Mondays ………. 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

BE THERE!

May 18:

Overview of dialogue process and setting the stage for dialogue

YWCA of Central Massachusetts, 1 Salem Square

June 1:

Representative Government

Quinsigamond Community College, 670 W Boylston St.

June 8:

Public Safety

Belmont AME Zion Church, 55 Illinois St.

June 15:

Youth and Education

Worcester Technical High School, 1 Skyline Drive (tentative)

June 22:

Media and Online Social Networks

JCC – Jewish Community Center, 633 Salisbury St.

June 29:

Economic Development

Friendly House, 36 Wall St.

July 13:

Report back and next steps

Worcester City Hall, 455 Main St.

PLEASE ATTEND THESE MEETINGS!

SPEAK UP! Speak out!!

For more information, contact humanrights@worcesterma.gov or call 508-799-1152.