According to the NAACP, Mayor Marty Walsh is far from an A student when it comes to his administration’s efforts to help communities of color.
The NAACP Boston Branch recently released a report card evaluating the Walsh administration, looking at both the efforts and measurable results made to increase equity, opportunity and access for Boston’s residents of color.
The report doles out grades from “A” to “F” on topics within four main categories: economic development, education, public safety and staffing diversity. Each main category included subtopics that earned their own grades, as well.
For overall economic development, Walsh earned a D. Under that header, he was evaluated on issues including employment, affordable housing and corporate accountability. Employment among people of color is more than double the rate of white residents, according to the report, and between 2011 and 2016, about 2.3 percent of the more than 19,000 housing units constructed or permitted by the city were “affordable.”
For overall education, Walsh earned a C, having been graded on specifics like providing adequate funding for Boston Public Schools, expanding early childhood education and decreasing student suspension rates.
Walsh earned a D for overall public safety, which included issues like violence prevention and community policing. For the fourth category, staffing diversity, Walsh earned a C overall, which included evaluations on staffing diversity in the city workforce, public schools and the Boston Police Department.
Within all subcategories, Walsh received five Fs: for the results of the city’s Minority Business Enterprises program, the effort to handle corporate accountability, the recruitment and retention of diverse teachers, the implementation of a full body-worn camera program and for the staffing diversity in the Boston Fire Department.
“While some of the outcomes are disappointing, we hold firm to the belief that we all want what is best for people in this city,” Tanisha Sullivan, president of the NAACP Boston chapter, said in a statement. “To that end, we believe it is important to look at both the efforts and results of the city’s work.”
The report can help the city move forward, according to the NAACP, because it highlights issues that are important to communities of color.
Walsh said that his administration “respectfully disagree[s] with the grades given,” in a statement to the Boston Globe, and that “While there is always room for improvement, we are very proud of what we have been able to accomplish over the past four years.”
On Tuesday, Walsh will face mayoral race challenger Tito Jackson in a debate moderated by Jim Braude and Margery Eagan of WGBH News. The debate comes two weeks before the Nov. 7 election. The latest Suffolk University / Boston Globe poll, released Monday, shows Walsh leading by 35 points over the former Roxbury city councilor.