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BOSTON – Today, the Responsible Development Coalition (RDC) formally announced its founding and plans to engage in an advocacy campaign to hold Boston Mayoral candidates accountable for supporting responsible development. As part of the announcement, the RDC launched signthepledge.com and their social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube). They also announced plans for a candidate forum in July and a significant paid media campaign.
“Our candidates for mayor will have a more meaningful discussion about building a more inclusive and equitable future for all Boston neighborhoods when they acknowledge that it requires more responsible development,” said Joe Byrne, the Chair of the RDC and Executive Secretary Treasurer of the North Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters.
“Responsible development means strengthening neighborhoods and striving to make housing more affordable,” said Byrne. “Responsible developers and contractors offer local people equal opportunity for good-paying union jobs that help provide those who live in our neighborhoods the wages needed to stay in them. Responsible development collaborates with neighborhoods and invests in improving and beautifying them.”
“Developers and contractors who put profits above all else are not responsible,” said Byrne. “We’ve seen them hire people at poverty wages, fail to pay their taxes, keep unsafe work sites and ignore neighborhood concerns.”
“Before deciding to form this coalition, we thought long and hard about the Boston Mayoral race,” said Byrne. We interviewed the candidates, spoke to our members and reached out to our partners in the industry. One thing became clear…we wanted the candidates to speak about development and what that means to the City of Boston. Specifically, we want to make certain that everyone understands that there is a difference between responsible development that strengthens neighborhoods, and development that doesn’t. The candidates for Mayor MUST begin addressing this issue in a more meaningful way. Our coalition plans to ensure that happens by launching a series of actions today.”
“As responsible developers, we understand that the path to a more affordable and equitable Boston starts with us,” said Jim Grossman, a founding partner of the RDC and the Founder of RISE Construction Management and Co-Founder of RISE Together. “What does that mean? It means that we invest in neighborhood beautification efforts. We have wage equality, hire contractors that pay a living wage with good benefits and apprenticeship programs. We are collaborative with our neighborhood partners and provide career pathways for women, people of color, individuals with disabilities, and transitioning veterans.”
“I know that joining the Carpenters Union has created opportunities that I might not otherwise have had,” said Justin Alves, an apprentice with the Carpenters Union. “With my union, I have an incredible apprenticeship program, healthcare and pension benefits. Just as important, I know that I am earning a living wage that will allow me to live, work and raise a family here in Boston. I know that my future is directly tied to the future of Boston and our next Mayor. My livelihood will be directly tied to the decisions and policy positions the next Mayor has. That is why it is so important to be here today to urge the candidates for Mayor to sign the pledge to only support responsible development here in Boston.”
By the numbers:
72% of Bostonians believe that the next Mayor should be an ardent advocate urging employers to hire union workers.
69% support development when it is done responsibly.
42% of all people polled listed housing and housing affordability as one of their top 2 issues. This issue was by far THE most important to Bostonians.
*Polling was performed by Global Strategy Group between May 13th and 16th.
About the Responsible Development Coalition:
The Responsible Development Coalition recognizes that development, when done properly, creates economic opportunity for ALL. We support equal pay, living wages, apprenticeship programs, housing that people can afford, environmentally friendly design, opportunity for underserved communities and robust community engagement.
The Responsible Development Coalition will advocate that candidates for Mayor of Boston (and beyond) pledge their support for responsible real estate development and recognize that it is crucial to our future, our economy and collective quality of life.