Tag Archives: Bill Coleman

VOTE today, Sept. 10! Worcester polls open until 8 p! … + … We forgot to endorse JOE and BILL 🇺🇸🇺🇸!

Wow. How could we have forgotten about Bill Coleman and our very own mayor – Joseph Petty – when we posted our political endorsements yesterday?

This morning we woke up …
… and remembered! pic: R.T.


VOTE FOR JOSEPH PETTY – our mayor and city healer: the politician who brings us all together, a man WHO IS FOR ALL OF US – Woo’s poor city kids, bike riders, school teachers, cops, environmentalists, small biz folks, the Paw Sox and their gentrifier boosters, the comfy, entitled middle class West Siders, the struggling Green Islanders …

The city is doing well on so many levels because we have a mayor that – unlike former Woo mayors Ray Mariano and Jordan Levy – doesn’t suck up all the oxygen in a room. Doesn’t have a big fat mouth like they did. Or a HUGE EGO. Or fight Konnie Luke’s proposals at every turn. Or hold grudges. Or get vindictive. Or stay provincial. Nope. Mayor Joseph Petty, who’s seeking re-election as councilor and mayor, just quietly brings people together – to build a better Worcester. And he’s not bizarrely ambitious like Tim Murray, now screwing the working guy and gal as executive director of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce. Nope. Joe wants everyone to WORK TOGETHER. For the benefit of our youth, our homeless folks, our minority WPS students, our city parks …

Joe’s a good person. Thoughtful. Easy to talk with. And he follows through.


Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty at Worcester’s WPD Night Out in Main South. file photo: Ron O’Clair



Yes, we know: This perennial city council candidate promised – like ol’ Gary Rosen – that he wouldn’t run for POLITICAL office again – that he’d hang up his VOTE BILL COLEMAN signs🇺🇸 for good. That he’d be the political elder statesman we hoped he’d become – advising young pols just coming up…



What has the City got to lose? Is D 3 City Councilor George Russell any more intelligent or impressive? What has LONGTIME political everything Gary Rosen done on our City Council these past two years? Not much. Kate Toomey? Loved by the WFD and WPD … but why???? Equally unimpressive.

William (Bill) Coleman IS A GOOD GUY WHO ACTUALLY DOES LOTS OF HANDS ON stuff for WORCESTER’S folks. He was a nutrition teacher for UMass Extension for many years – working with and running classes for our WPS students. And other city kids.

He’s painted American Flags 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 all over Worcester – and the East Coast.

He’s easy to talk with. He tries to help.

He gets involved with city projects, like our Lincoln Square monument to WORCESTER’S Fallen Black Soldiers …

He attends Worcester City Council meetings – often floating GREAT IDEAS. But sometimes there’s little follow through… Bill’s onto the next GRAND WORCESTER IDEA!

Billy knows all the Woo players. They’ve given him the cold shoulder for years! This is WRONG. Bill lives and loves WORCESTER, but our movers and shakers have frozen him out – like they have many Woo minorites through the years. Hopefully, city politics is changing – for the better.

Bill knows Worcester history. He is fascinated by our political past – not depressed like so many of us! He’s an optimist! That is a good thing!!

Here he is, years ago, putting up shelves in my first Woo apartment:
Billy!🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 file pic: Rose T.

Billy worked hours that day – so nice to my dog Grace. So enthusiastic for the new InCity Times! He brought the 20 or so shelves and braces, and with his electric drill created a newspaper “morgue” in my spare bedroom.

I never forgot that – and his other favors through the years.

BILL HAS HELPED so many folks in Worcester! He deserves to be elected to city council to serve the City he loves!


– Rosalie Tirella

Worcester Community happenings!!


6:30 p.m.
YWCA, Salem Sq. (across from the main library)


Summer break is over for the Worcester NAACP, but the work never stops! Although we suspended our meetings for the month of August, many of our members have been hard at work advancing the cause of social justice and equity.

This month’s agenda will touch upon the work we are doing in the areas of economic development, education, health, energy, unity and honoring our veterans.

Please join us at our next meeting to see what we are doing and how you can make a difference in Worcester. Join the NAACP!

Below is the agenda for the meeting:

Colored Citizens of Worcester Honor Roll monument – Bill Coleman, Member at Large
Report back on progress and community concerns

Faith in Worcester Day of Prayer – Dr. George Yancey, 1st VP, Religious Affairs Chair

Update on Event schedule for Tues., September 27th @ 5:30pm, in front of City Hall

Prostate Cancer Awareness – Dr. Faina Shtern

Presentation to determine our interest in hosting a Prostate Cancer Awareness Event

Worcester Community Labor Coalition – Leonard Cooper, 3rd VP, Economic Development Chair

Report back on the Worcester Jobs Funds (Pre-Apprentice and Apprentice Training Programs) Graduates

TIF Policy – Report Back on efforts to increase the minority/women and low income percentages for Worcester residents hired on permanent jobs

Leadership Training: ESSA (Every Student Suceeds Act), Energy Leadership
Training Summary by attendees (Penny Mikunas, Education Co-Chair, Yvonne Brown, Secretary)

NAACP New England Area Conference Annual Meeting
Friday Sept. 23rd – Sunday Sept. 25th

Finalizing list of interested participants & voting for delegates
Upcoming Worcester NAACP elections

Thank you and hope to see you tonight!

Pat Yancey



Farmers Market 1-1-1






(Tweaked! Again! Sorry!) … Just one question for Worcester’s city council and city manager …

There’s plenty of room on our Common for Worcester’s planned memorial to our city’s fallen African American W W II soldiers. Right here, for instance – the Franklin Street side of City Hall.        pics: R.T.

By Rosalie Tirella

… Why is Worcester’s planned memorial to our fallen African American W W II soldiers being erected at the Worcester Police Station?

Why not put the statue honoring our Black soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice right where it belongs? On the Worcester Common, along with all the other statues honoring Worcester’s fallen heroes?

There’s a slew of them on our Common –  in the middle of our soon-to-be revitalized downtown! Around and behind Worcester City Hall … they adorn the grass and trees that surround them even as we try (at least on holidays) to adorn them – lay wreaths braided with flowers or pine at their feet. We walk or drive by the stone and iron soldiers if we work in or visit the heart of our city. They make you think … put aside your work, dining, shopping obsessions for a few fleeting seconds to see something greater – a person’s life story, a city’s story, world history. The stone and iron soldiers come alive!

You can even build the new memorial to our Black WW II soldiers next to our John Power WW II monument that stands right outside our City Hall. The monument to our Black WW II heroes –  it was called the “Colored Citizens World War II Honor Roll Memorial” –  was once located in our African American Laurel-Clayton neighborhood but disappeared, along with the neighborhood!, when the interstate highway was built.  John Power is STILL with us – standing guard by Worcester City Hall (see my photo, above). So, truth be told, we will be building a new monument because we lost, destroyed, the old one! How can you “lose” a monument? What does that “loss” say about our city a few decades ago? Back then, how sacred to our city fathers were the memories of these dead African American soldiers – Black men from Laurel-Clayton, from Worcester?

Not very sacred at all.

Hell! There’s room for a tank or a couple of Jeeps to the right of the John Power statue. There John stands as the hip students walk by to get to their recently built dorms on Franklin Street …


Soldier Power doesnt look hip at all! He looks like your average WW II grunt – ditch digger, mucking around in stinking trenches with penecillin pills, canned spam in his knap sack  –  but a KILLER too. Make no mistake! See the rifle slung over Power’s right shoulder and the long dagger in his left hand? He’s clutching the dagger ready for the fight – hand to hand combat – to the death probably. How can any city deprive a Black soldier, who fought the same fight, the honor we’ve bestowed on John Power? Power’s helmet is on askew cuz he’s in battle. He looks Irish – and a little cockey. Why can’t we humanize our dead African American soldiers this lovingly?

Why can’t Worcester’s Black community have the same thing? A touching yet tough depiction of men in war in stone?

Why stick our Black soldiers at the bottom of Bell Hill, at the Worcester police station, in the middle of a 20-way intersection, surrounded by ugly concrete (we’re talking the police station, too!) – a place where few will visit, stop to honor these men, think about them? A place where drug dealers, robbers, rapists and killers are flung?

Yes, the police station is a stone’s throw from the old Laurel-Clayton neighborhood, razed and replaced by the Plumley Village low-income public housing complex, home to many people of color – Blacks, included. Why not – I’m certain residents would be honored -put the monument there? It would be back at its real home. Placed before the entrance way to the buildings and high rise, lots of folks would stop and pay their respects.

Or is that the point? The intention (maybe subconscious) of Worcester City Leaders? To keep the monument to our fallen Black WW II Soldiers out of the public eye –  especially out of reach of the African American community?

And something else…to stop it from being a focal point, a symbol, a place for Blacks to gather, to remember, to rally, to teach … to protest. So often people come to their city or town common to express views, speech-ify … Protest! It’s been happening as long as there have been places where people chose to live together. A kind of gathering at the communal fire place! In America we’ve been doing it ever since our forefathers and mothers sailed into Plymouth Rock!

It’s happening still. All over. Especially with Black Lives Matter and, before that, Occupy Wall Street. It’s happening in Worcester. Worcester City Manager Ed Augustus has come down brutally hard on the BLM movement/rallies here, just as his predecessor City Manager I HATE ALL POOR RESIDENTS Mike O’Brien was hard with Occupy Wall Street protesters – refusing to meet with them, making sure they were off THEIR Worcester Common!

Would city leaders want a Black Lives Matter march to end at the “Colored Citizens World War II Honor Roll Memorial” on the Worcester Common? Would they want to see anyone give witness to pain, anger, racial discrimination in Worcester, “a city on the move”? Would they want a large crowd of folks agitating for change? In the middle of downtown?


Is this what John Power died for?


(P.S. Don’t let this happen, Bill Coleman and James Bonds!)

Worcester makes progress on Honor Roll of WW II Vets of Color

Bill and James Vets Homor Roll 4-28-16(2)-1
James Bonds and Bill Coleman at the WW II Vets of Color Honor Roll meeting. Make it happen, people! photo submitted.

By Gordon Davis
Actions speak louder than words and good actions have good effects. The City of Worcester, organized labor, the Department of Transportation and the Worcester Public Schools have acted in a good and anti-racist manner. They and other are cooperating to ensure the restoration of the “Honor Roll of Colored Veterans.”

The Honor Roll was a monument listing of the Black veterans who were in the military during World War II. It was removed by the State during the 1950s and seemingly lost forever.

Other ethnic and racial communities rightly have monuments. Recently, some in the Worcester Irish community honored the Easter Uprising by the Irish Republican Army against British rule in 1916. This was done at the Hibernian Cross at Worcester City Hall.

The efforts to replace the Black vets Honor Roll has been led by James Bond, a commander of a Veteran of Foreign Wars post and by Bill Coleman, a long time Worcester community activist and city booster.
In the Black community there is some anxiety about whether the Honor Roll would be replaced. It was only a week or so ago that a Worcester City Councilor Konnie Lukes attacked Bill Coleman for bothering the Worcester City Council with his petitions. City Councilor Michael T. Gaffney has made it his misguided mission to close a Black-run social agency among his other actions that some say are racist.

To be fair this project was approved unanimously, including votes by Councillors Lukes and Gaffney.

Councilor Morris “Moe” Bergman has worked on the planning and supported the project. He also supported the placement of a plaque honoring Worcester’s first Black City Councilor – Charles Scott.

The City of Worcester will help pay for the new Honor Roll, as well as allow it to be placed on a triangular plot near the Worcester Police Station. The land is on Belmont Street. 

This is sort of a disappointment, as the original proposal was to put the Honor Roll at Worcester City Hall where it could be more easily seen.
Students from Worcester Technical High School will donate labor and build the Honor Roll.

The Central Mass. Labor Council, headed by Joseph Carlson, will help pay for the monument and donate the materials. The Department of Transportation will also contribute to the funding.
Hopefully, this will be a good sign for race relations in Worcester, which have suffered several hits in recent years. The City forced former Worcester Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Melinda Boone out of her job … the political retaliations against Blacklives Matter … and the intransigence regarding Worcester police accountability have left a bad taste and ill feelings for many.

I am thankful for the efforts of Messrs. Bonds and Coleman. I am thankful for the support of the City of Worcester, the State, organized labor and our techical high school students. I know that all are sincere and generous and working for a better society.

The next test for us is harder: There are real problems that have disparately bad impacts on the Black community and other communities of color or communities of low-income.

The replacement of the Honor Roll is a good thing in and of itself. Is it also a harbinger of better race relations.

Gordy parked in Yum Yums! … Worcester’s Lost Colored Soldiers Honor Roll

James Bonds is spearheading the effort!

By Gordon Davis

The Worester City Council voted Tuesday night to restore or replace the Honor Roll of Colored Soldiers from Worcester who served in World War II. The vote was 11-0.

In 1943, when the Honor Roll was erected, the United States Armed forces were segregated. The so called “colored” soldiers (dark-skinned soldiers) were organized into separate units from the white soldiers.  Latino soldiers were assigned units based on how light or dark their skin color was. Asian soldiers also were in separate units.

The Worcester Honor Roll was located in the Laurel Clayton section of Worcester, a neighborhood that was home to a large Black population. The neighborhood was displaced first by the building of Interstate 290 and later by the building of Plumley Village.
The people who lived in the Laurel Clayton neighborhood still keep in touch with each other. They used to have reunions, but the get-togethers occur less often, as the residents have aged.

Interstate 290 destroyed many neighborhoods in Worcester – including the large Jewish neighborhood around Water Street.

The restoration of the Honor Roll of Colored soldiers is important to the Black community of Worester, as the soldiers not only fought for their country against Fascism, but for their race in the constant struggle to prove equality and to gain acceptance.

Still, today the Honor Roll is a symbol of this struggle for justice and equality.

Idella Hazard, a Worcester resident whose family goes back to at least the Civil War, said at the City Council meeting that the City has accommodated the Italian community in the Shrewsbury Street area by preserving and moving – several times – the statue of Christopher Columbus. Ms. Hazard implied that not to restore the Honor Roll would be disparate treatment of Worcester’s Black community.
The VFW of mostly Black veterans led the process to get the Honor Roll restored. Mr. James Bonds, the VFW leader, spoke for the group at the Worcester City Council meeting. Mr. Bonds said it was an important issue for him and the Post.  Members who have long-time roots in the city like Jack Toney and others were a force.

Community activist and Worcester booster Bill Coleman played an important role in putting the issue on the city council’s radar!

Mr. Bill Coleman played a major part as well in the publicity he gained for the restoration. The story appeared in more than 30 newspapers and on NPR.

The restoration will cost about $20,000. It was suggested that it be placed at Worcester City Hall. I would like it to be erected next to the bronze GI statute on the Franklin Street side of City Hall. Placement there would give both memorials additional meaning.

This is important to Worcester’s Black community. I know it is important to City Councilor King. It may be important to other Worcester city councilors, as well.  Maybe the 11 to 0 council vote is a sign of less racism from city government – maybe not.

But I am happy that the memorial is being given a new life.

From Worcester city council candidate Bill Coleman!

Bill Coleman Announces Non-Stop 24 hour Voter Registration Effort





Mr. Coleman’s will travel around Worcester and help people fill out their voter registration forms and bring their completed forms to City Hall before the deadline.

Mr. Coleman is also providing a copy of a sample of the September Preliminary Election Ballot.

Mr. Coleman has voter registration forms in English, Spanish, Mandarin, Vietnamese and Russian.

Call Mr. Coleman at 508 826 1307 and upon request he will deliver voter registration forms to businesses, Churches, neighborhood centers, apartment buildings and Crime Watch Groups.

The main focus is going to be coffee shops, diners, parks, shopping centers and the Worcester Bus Terminal.

With the upcoming Voter Registration Deadline fast approaching City Hall will be open until 8 PM this Wednesday for people to register to vote or to change their address.

You can also go to the Election Commission Office on the Second Floor of City Hall, to fill out an absentee ballot application and you can vote at City Hall that day for the September 8th  Preliminary Election.

If you are not sure of your voter status or to check to see if your voter location has moved, and to find out more about absentee ballot voting or voter registration, contact the Election Commission Office at Worcester City Hall, by calling 508-799-1134.


William S. Coleman III (Bill Coleman)

508- 826-1307 (Talk or Text)


Worcester City Councilor at Large Candidate Bill Coleman …


… sent me this photo today. It was taken five years ago by Billy, who is also a great Worcester community activist!

Cheers to Gus (owner) and all the terrific customers and staffers at his BEAUTIFUL Pickle Barrel Restaurant and Deli on 305 Pleasant St., in the heart of the BEAUTIFUL Piedmont neighborhood!

Thanks for the gift, Billy!

VOTE William “Bill” Coleman for Worcester City Council this fall!

EAT AT THE PICKLE! Read InCity Times!        – R. Tirella

Did you know???

By Bill Coleman, Worcester community activist

You cannot bring cell phones, cameras, tablets, pagers or any electronic devices into the Courthouse in downtown Worcester, north Main Street???

If you do, you will be directed to the Worcester County Sheriff’s office across the street where they will hold your gadgets for $1 per item!

So if you have to go to court, leave your stuff at home or hidden in your vehicle.

The Courthouse is a public building and the public is welcome to visit. There is a display in the entrance: African Americans and the Massachusetts Judicial System – from slavery to busing into the 1970s. The exhibit also showcases the Black Lawyer and Massachusetts history.

On the issue of school desegregation, Massachusetts had laws that supported separating students by race. In 1850, the law was challenged and the law was changed. Sadly, the law was revisited in the late 1960s and early 1970s when the city of Boston was found in violation of laws that banned discrimination in its public schools.

This exibit at the Worcester Courthouse has been up for more than a year. Please find the time to visit our history! The Courthouse is open 7 am – 5 pm, Monday – Friday.

Remembering Edward William Brooke III, first – and only – Black US Senator from Massachusetts

By Bill Coleman, Worcester Community Activist

US Senator Edward William Brooke III – 1919 – 2015

I had prayed the day would never come that I would announce the passing of United States Senator Edward W. Brooke III. In 1976 and forever after I have been a loyal aide to the Senator.

Our country has lost a political giant. A family has lost a father, a wife has lost a husband and we have lost a friend.
Edward William Brooke III, was a United States Senator serving the Commonwealth Massachusetts from his historic election on Tuesday, November 8, 1966 and taking office on January 3, 1967.

Prior to winning his Senate seat Senator Brooke was the Attorney General of Massachusetts from January 3, 1963 to January 3, 1967. He was the first Black American elected Attorney General in our country’s history. As Attorney General he was noted for training many top lawyers who were part of his office who would fight white collar crimes, political corruption along with ending the ravage of the Boston Strangler. The lawyers of Attorney General Brooke’s office became the most powerful and prominent in the nation.

Senator Brooke was a true trail blazer. He grew up in our Nation’s Capital of Washington the District of Columbia. A district reflective of our segregated nation and its segregated times.

The Senator would often say he was insulated from the harsh reality of racism because of the affluent black community he grew up in. He served his Episcopal Church as an altar boy and was a mischievous and very smart student at Paul Laurence Dunbar Public High School.

Senator Brooke was born on Sunday October 26, 1919 to his father, Edward W. Brooke Jr. a government lawyer and his Mother Helen (Seldon) Brooke a school teacher. Senator Brooke’s family was middle class which afforded them the opportunity to send him to the best schools available in the black community.

After graduation from High School Senator Brooke enrolled into Howard University and studied social and political science upon graduating in 1941 and after the United States was attacked at Pearl Harbor he like many patriotic American’s enrolled into the United States Army.

Senator Brooke was assigned to the US 366th, a segregated infantry regiment. Senator Brooke served for five years in World War II as an American officer in Italy earning a Bronze star. The Senator told me he was wounded in a fight with German soldiers while fighting, a family took him in and nursed him back to health while hiding him from German Troops searching for American soldiers. This chance encounter let to the soldier meet his first wife, Remigia Ferrari-Sacco with whom he had two daughters: Remi Cynthia and Edwina Helen. When I worked for the Senator and Mrs. Brooke would call he would only speak to her in Italian.

After the service Senator Brooke went on to graduate from Boston University School of Law where he was editor of the Law Review. After starting a law practice in the black communities of Boston, Senator Brooke was encouraged to run for State Representative. The Senator growing up in Washington D. C where no one have the right to vote for any elective office welcomed the challenge. He took out papers for the Democratic and Republican parties.

Back in 1950 you could run in both primaries. Senator Brooke lost the Democratic primary and won the Republican but lost the general election. He would repeat his efforts in 1952 and not win. He won the Republican nomination for statewide office in 1960 for Massachusetts Secretary of State. He lost this election to future Boston Mayor and Democrat Kevin White who’s gave out bumper stickers saying, “Vote White”.

In spite of the blunt racists overtones of that election, the Senator caught the eye and respect of Republican Governor John Volpe who offered the Senator many judicial positions in his administration. Senator Brooke accepted the Chairmanship of the Boston Finance Commission and stopped the illegal disposal of public properties a common practice of its day.

In 1963 Senator Brooke won the Republican nomination for Attorney General defeating Elliot Richardson and Democrat Francis E. Kelly who was rumored to hire blacks to drive through white neighborhoods yelling they were moving in once Brooke was elected. The Senator would overcome many attacks that were racially motivated against him before he was elected to the United States Senate.

In 1964 Senator Brooke refused to endorse Republican Presidential nominee Barry Goldwater or have his picture taken with him for his lack of support of any civil rights legislation. As Attorney General Senator Brooke had one of the highest political approval ratings of any politician in Massachusetts history. Senator Brooke won reelection in 1964 as Attorney General with the highest vote plurality in the country for any Republican running for public office.

In 1966 Senator Brooke won the Republican nomination for United States Senate and went on to defeat a former Governor Democrat Endicott Peabody by with more than 400,000 votes.

There were times Senator Brooke would face criticism from many sides of the civil rights struggle. His election to public office in a state with a less than five present black population was unprecedented. Looking back to those times there were very few elected officials of color and we had yet to pass the voting rights act of 1964.
In 1976 as a student at Worcester State University I was awarded an appointment in the Washington office of Senator Edward W. Brooke.

I had gone to Washington in October of 1975 to interview with then Republican Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Hugh Scott. The meeting went well and Senator Scott asked if I had met Senator Brooke while attending college in Massachusetts. I had not I said but knew about his political star was on the rise. Then he recommended I seek an appointment in his office also.

After leaving the interview and while walking through the Capitol Rotunda before my eyes walking toward me was Senator Brooke. I froze in place and said to him Hello Senator Brooke I go to Worcester State College my name is William Coleman and I want to work for you here is my resume which I pulled out from my suit jacket. His smile put me at ease and off he went to cast a senate vote.

It would be months before I heard from the Senators Office. Then one day I was called to the President’s Office of Worcester State College. President Joseph Orze said, Bill you must call Senator Edward Brooke’s office. He sat me at his desk and gave me his phone and the number to call. The phone rang and I heard Senator’s Brooke’s Office staff state, how can I help you. I introduced myself and was transferred to the Senator’s private line and heard his deep booming voice as he said congratulations you have an appointment here in Washington. The phone call went on I was in a state of shock and joyful. I told President Orze and jumped for joy as he said Bill make us proud.

1976 was the country’s bicentennial year and Washington was abuzz with activity. We had a Queen’s visit, Gerald Ford was President and life was grand to work with Senator Edward W. Brooke III.

I am still in touch with many former staff members notably former State Representative Albert Gammal and Senator’s Brooke’s Chief Legislative Aide Ralph Neas.

Senator Brooke encouraged all of us to make our country better and get involved in our community. He believed in me which I will treasure for the rest of my life. For his Wife Anne his son Edward IV his daughters and grandchildren and our country, I say thank you for your service.