Mayor Walsh today announced creation of a new city fund aimed at reducing racial inequity in Boston by supporting non-profit groups working on public health, youth employment, education and the arts for minority and immigrant residents.
Walsh said the initial $10 million fundraising goal of the new Boston Racial Equity Fund will likely be met by local companies that have been asking him what they could do to fight the problems laid bare - again - by the protests following the death of George Floyd. Ultimately, he said, he hopes to see the fund grow to $50 million.
Walso also announced he will be hiring a full-time equity and inclusion chief to oversee a new "cabinet" that will begin to review all city departments and programs to ensure they are doing everything they can to reduce racial disparities and systemic racism and sexism.
He added he will also seek to make fair housing and efforts to combat displacement a core part of the Boston zoning code, for all city neighborhoods. He praised city councilors Lydia Edwards (East Boston, North End, Charlestown) and Kenzie Bok (Back Bay, Fenway, Mission Hill, Beacon Hill) for pushing this idea.
He did not specifically address whether the new emphasis would mean changes to end the lack of success of longstanding city efforts to bolster the number of minorities and women who get city contracts or who work on construction projects in Boston.