April 5, 2011 |
Comparing MA and Boston governance to monarchies, Horace Small is no mumbler or sycophant. As executive director of the Union of Minority Neighborhoods for its 11 years, he is a man of many missions. He focuses on what advances and frees Boston and MA’s people of color.
Click on the player below to hear the half-hour podcast. We got into what the UMN has been up to and will be doing, what he thinks needs to happen to set Boston right, and how blacks and Latinos can look out for their self-interest.
Small’s UMN has successfully attacked some of the most daunting issues for communities of color here. That includes high unemployment,CORI reform, prisons, and education in poor communities. Listen in as he talks about successes…and frustrations.
Highest on Small’s list of stumbling blocks is surprisingly not the underrepresentation of blacks and Latinos in government. Instead, it is the lack of citizen power and input.
“Ther is more democracy in the state prison than the State House,” he told us. Likewise, he said a typical high-school student government is more responsive to voters than Boston’s City Council, he has it.
His group is circulating acts to seven MA cities to bolster collective bargaining support. In Boston, he drives for a re-evaluation and repair of the city charter. He has strong words for the strong-mayor form of government the long static charter provides in the capital city.
For the next generation, he also pushes the burden clearly back to his — to mentor and show progressive aims and goals by examples. For the youth he states, “You can’t be what you can’t see.” He says he, at 58, grew up with leaders showing him the way. Listen in as he discusses what the UMN can use and what it will be doing.