In Advancing Equitable Economic Development in Milwaukee: They defined “Equitable economic development is a process that unlocks the full potential of the local economy by dismantling barriers and expanding opportunities for low- income people and communities of color. Through accountable public action and investment, it grows quality jobs and increases entrepreneurship, ownership, and wealth.”
Lynn should remove unnecessary obstacles for residents and businesses and should focus on keeping residents and businesses safe and to protect Lynn’s natural resources. If you have lived or worked in Lynn for some time, Covid-19 only exposed what we already knew. Most business owners are on the same page with the voices that have demanded change to the way our government responds to our most pressing issues, such as affordable housing, property taxes, responsible development, transportation and accessibility, drugs and violence, funding our public education, utilizing our technical school and building new schools, and the presentability of our city.
It is no secret that we all know Lynn has tremendous potential, we just need someone to break through the barriers. First, we have to understand the Mayor is the Chief Executive Officer of the City and that comes with tremendous responsibilities, but also opportunities. These opportunities include making our budget process more equitable to address the needs of our residents and businesses.
It is imperative to view our students as our future and invest more in our public schools. We have large employers in Lynn that want to expand and bring more business to Lynn, we just continue to miss the waves of the future. If we expand access to and invest more into Lynn Vocational Technical Institution, we can drastically increase the number of middle-skilled workers needed in our city. Some examples of middle–skill occupations are electrician, dental hygienist, paralegal, fire fighters, police officer, computer support specialist, radiology technicians, and claims adjusters. With about 67% percentage of students in our public schools identifying as Hispanic, we have the potential of having a large workforce of bi-lingual middle-skilled workers.
We also need to work on providing opportunities to our underemployed residents. When we rely simply on infrastructure projects to spur our economy we eventually run out of projects. We have to invest in our residents and provide them opportunities to gain the experience and knowledge to compete in the job market and to make enough money to support their families and have deposable income.
In 2017 there was a study that showed the Boston, MA- NH area seen growth and prosperity from 2010 to 2015. However, there was little inclusion. The included the overall inclusion, which was measured based on improved employment, middle-class wages, working-poverty and racial inclusion, which was measured by improved outcomes for whites and people of color and reduced racial disparities. This is the problem we continue to see in our city and we have to address inclusion in our City’s growth.
I believe the six rules established by Richard Florida, co-founder and editor at large of CityLab, should be the basis of our Equitable Economic Growth.
- Just say no to incentives, without community benefit.
- Invest in local clusters and ecosystems.
- Work closely with anchors.
- Leverage talent (and define it more broadly).
- Foster quality of place for everyone.
- Make equity and inclusion a priority.