Equal Employment Opportunity, Living Wages, and Community Hiring Halls

The fastest way to get good jobs to city residents is to ensure that they have an equal opportunity to get city-funded jobs with both city contractors and in city departments.

We know from data collected by the Syracuse/Onondaga County Human Rights Commission before it was abolished in 2009 that minorities are under-represented in jobs with city contractors. The data was collected as part of the Equal Employment Opportunity Program established by Ordinance No. 302 in 1973. The date show minorities getting between a quarter and a half of their proportionate share of jobs with city contractors (see tables below).

In order to ensure that minorities and all city residents have an equal opportunity to get jobs for which they are qualified with city contractors and in city departments, I support the following reforms:

  • Update and enforce the Equal Employment Opportunity Program.
  • Re-establish the Human Rights Commission to monitor enforcement of this and other civil rights laws.
  • Expand and enforce the Living Wage Law to cover city employees and business receiving tax breaks as well as private contractors with the city.
  • Establish city-certified Community Hiring Halls where residents can sign up with their qualifications and get help upgrading their qualifications. Contactors and city departments would be required to go to the Community Hiring Halls as their first source for qualified new hires on city-funded jobs.


Tables showing the under-representation of minorities in jobs with city contractors, 2004 to 2008.
Sources: Syracuse/Onondaga County Human Rights Commission Annual Reports; 2004-2008. US Census Bureau; city-data.com.







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Howie Hawkins is the 2017 Green candidate for Syracuse Mayor
Hawkins for Mayor