A correction has been appended to this article.
A city panel that monitors developers and contractors for compliance with construction employment standards would have to submit monthly reports to the mayor and City Council under a local ordinance councillors are proposing.
City Council President Michael Ross and At-Large City Councillor Ayanna Pressley want to require the seven-member Boston Employment Commission, which encourages construction employment standards, to submit the reports that will rank developers, contractors, and property owners in Boston by how much they comply with employment standards. The reports would also include the number of employed resident, minority, and female workers on local projects subject to the standards.
Under city guidlines, developers and contractors are encouraged to hire local residents for 50 percent of work hours performed; minorities must be hired for 25 percent of the hours worked, and female workers must receive 10 percent of the hours. The guidelines were first proposed by Mayor Thomas Menino when he was on the City Council.
“This ordinance is about maintaining the public trust,” Pressley said in a statement. “The Boston Residents Jobs Policy is a vital tool the city can use to ensure that developers and contractors who build in Boston are hiring workers from Boston. There are developers and contractors who meet and exceed the guidelines and they should be recognized, as surely as developers and contractors who fall far below the guidelines time and time again need to be publicly identified.”
The ordinance proposal requires the approval of the full City Council and the mayor.
Lynch may get challenger from health care union
Union officials unhappy with U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch’s vote on health care reform earlier this year are apparently hoping to make the Ninth Congressional District lawmaker sweat a little this summer.
Mac D’Alessandro, who has recently served as the New England political director for the Service Employees International Union and is a self-described “Progressive Democrat” announced he is running against Lynch, a South Boston Democrat.
D’Alessandro, a 40-year-old Milton resident, has to gather 2,000 signatures by May 4 to qualify for the ballot. If he makes it, the two will face off in a Sept. 14 primary. D’Alessandro’s entry comes after Harmony Wu, a Needham activist, opted out of running.
“Since I have to focus all of my energies right now on meeting the May 4th deadline, I’m going to hold off on making a formal announcement until I qualify for the ballot and will provide additional information then,” D’Alessandro said in a statement.
D’Alessandro has already picked up at least one staffer: Listed as a press contact on his statement was Mat Helman, who was a spokesman for Attorney General Martha Coakley’s unsuccessful U.S. Senate bid.
Lynch, who has held the seat since 2001, voted against the health care reform package that President Barack Obama signed into law, saying it did not hold insurance companies accountable. He later voted for a package of fixes to the bill.
D’Alessandro has also worked for Greater Boston Legal Services and earned an environmental degree at Rutgers University and a law degree from Boston College. He is married to Jennie Mulqueen, an early childhood arts educator, and father of a five-year-old and a three-year-old.
Dorchester delegation: How they voted on casinos
The House reversed itself last week in a vote on House Speaker Robert DeLeo’s proposal to bring two resort casinos to the Bay State and slots to the race tracks. The final tally was 120-37, two years after the House voted 108-46 to kill a proposal from Gov. Deval Patrick that included licensing the creation of three resort casinos.
But the votes among the Dorchester delegation were largely the same, aside from state Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry’s switch from a “no” vote to a “yes” vote. Forry (D-Lower Mills) says she felt the governor’s proposal had one casino too many.
Members of the Dorchester delegation who voted to kill Patrick’s bill and who voted against DeLeo’s legislation included state Reps. Marie St. Fleur (D-Uphams Corner) and Elizabeth Malia (D-Jamaica Plain).
Voting for both bills were state Reps. Marty Walsh (D-Savin Hill), Brian Wallace (D-South Boston), and Willie Mae Allen (D-Mattapan). Walsh and Wallace, who have union-heavy districts, have long supported resort casinos.
Backers of DeLeo’s bill said it would create up to 15,000 jobs and could bring in $500 million a year in new revenue for the state. Opponents say expanding gambling said the proposal had not been fully vetted and charged that it would bring increased problem gambling and suicide in addition to crime in the areas where the casinos would be built. “Casinos are one huge transfer from the pockets of working families to the bank accounts of multi-millionaires,” said state Rep. Matt Patrick (D-Falmouth).
The vote came as House leaders unveiled a proposed budget, due to be debated next week, that cuts $234 million from an account that goes to cities and towns.
Walsh touted the jobs and the money that would get funneled into the ailing economy. “Every rep understands that we can’t continually cut the budget,” Walsh said.
As for dozens of representatives switching their votes between 2008 and now, “Brian Wallace and myself knew we had the votes last time,” Walsh said, accusing the former House speaker, Salvatore DiMasi, of using procedures to kill the governor’s bill.
Poll suggests Patrick still ahead in three-way match-up
If the gubernatorial election had been held earlier this month, Gov. Deval Patrick would have won a second term, with Treasurer Timothy Cahill coming in second, according to a poll taken before last week’s Republican state convention. That was the finding of a survey released this week by the Western New England College Polling Institute that showed 34 percent of voters would pick Patrick, a Democrat; 29 percent would pick Cahill, a former Democrat running as an Independent; and Republican Charles Baker would receive 27 percent.
The poll, done before Charles Baker was picked as the Republican nominee to run against the governor, showed that 17 percent of voters who called themselves Democrats said they would vote for Cahill, as did 32 percent of Republicans.
Patrick’s job approval rating remained low at 34 percent.
Material from State House News Service was used in this report.
CORRECTION: The original article incorrectly stated that the city requires developers and contractors to hire local residents and certain percentages of minority and female workers. The city has guidelines that encourage the hiring of local residents and the percentages.