21 May 2013
First Published in The Baltimore Sun
Baltimore City Council members confused caring about unemployment with abating it by giving preliminary approval to a local hire law last week.
The legislation, which requires a final vote and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's signature to become law, requires businesses that are awarded city contracts over $300,000 or receive $5 million or more in city financing to hire 51 percent of new workers from within Baltimore.
In promoting it, City Council members sound like they are competing for the "most compassionate" prize. City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young told WBAL that "Any company that would challenge hiring six out of the 10 workers to be from Baltimore City, I think they would show they are a company [that doesn't care]." Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke went so far as to say Monday on WEAA's "The Marc Steiner Show" that those who say there aren't sufficient skilled workers in the city are "racist" and "prejudiced" (an indirect assault on me, as I was also on the show and disagreed with her interpretation of the legislation).