In an op-ed for The Boston Globe, Paul Grogan, CEO of the Boston Foundation and a former LISC president, lays out what needs to happen for Boston’s much-touted economic and civic growth to benefit all residents. Support for quality education, public transportation, good jobs and affordable housing can keep the Boston Renaissance from collapsing under the heavy weight of inequality. But the time to act is now.
The excerpt below is from:
What could kill the Boston Renaissance — and how to avoid it
by Paul S. Grogan, Boston Globe
Forty years ago, if you were to describe the reality of Boston in 2018 to those following the cityscape of 1978, you’d have been called a delusional optimist — or worse.
Today, while not perfect, Boston is the envy of the nation for our business growth, our regional economy, our clean harbor, and our unmatched combination of education, health, and high-tech institutions that have driven year after year of growth and prosperity.
Unless we let it slip away.
The Boston Renaissance of the past 40 years has been hard earned, but our past performance is no guarantee of our future prosperity — and our Achilles heels are no secret. We and other cities face many challenges, but I see three that pose the most significant immediate threat.
The first? Our vexing inequality. It’s no secret that Boston’s growth has not been shared equally by all residents. We have built a knowledge economy that rewards those with the right skills and access to jobs, but harshly punishes those without. The latest data suggest Massachusetts has the worst inequity between whites and Latinos in the nation. It is the newest addition to a library of reports that find Boston tops the list of unequal cities, a place where the median net worth of white families is nearly $250,000 – versus $8 for African-American families.