No Stadium Deal, People Before Profits!
by Chris Hutchinson a UPS Teamster and member of Socialist Action
Hartford Workers, the unemployed, and their families mostly Black and Latino, face a city government, billionaires like Josh Solomon, and banks that seek to disenfranchise and exploit the labor and resources of oppressed communities to line their own pockets. As it stands official unemployment in Hartford is 12.6% and if you factor in those who are no longer counted because they are demoralized and no longer looking for work we could nearly double that number. “African-American woman working full time, year round made just 64 cents for every dollar a white man made and Hispanic women made just 54 cents.” stadium proposal, that has been cooked up in secret by the mayor, Josh Solomon and their banker friends will only continue to entrench the severe income inequality that already exists in our city. Whether publicly or privately funded the stadium will be a boon for the banks and a bust for those living in Hartford.
In fact a recent New York Times article stated that it may be impossible to find any private backers at all. “To think they could even come up with a third of stadium costs is not possible,” said Miles Wolff, the commissioner of the Can-Am League and the American Association, two independent baseball leagues. “Ballparks don’t make money. That’s why they’re public facilities.”
The public-private partnership that the mayor is now considering is also a scam. It is a way to sneakily transfer costs back on to the public sector through off book accounting to make it look as though expenditures are lower than they actually are. The current economic and financial crisis was caused by the same policies of public-private partnerships as are currently being pushed on Hartford workers by the Mayor.
We’ve known about the corruption in the private sector and how they are less able to manage risk. Hartford working people need to stand together and say not another dime of our hard earned money to the banks. No more concessions to corporations. No more back room secret discussions by politicians and billionaires. We want open and democratic discussions regarding the economic decisions made in Hartford that are accountable first and foremost to the most oppressed in our community.
-Working people in Hartford do not need this stadium! We need our public schools like Martin Luther King Jr. fully funded and repaired.
– We need to End racist discrimination and oppression.
-We need Preferential hiring of Black, Puerto Rican, Latino, indigenous, LGBTQ and female workers to make up for centuries of marginalization from the better jobs.
– We need corporations and the wealthy to pay their fair share of taxes and not hide behind loopholes and offshore accounts.
– We need a massive jobs program that puts all the unemployed and underemployed back to work with a living wage.
-We need to increase the minimum wage to be a livable wage.
If the Mayor and the billionaires are counting on the people of Hartford to roll over and accept without question their schemes and seedy deals they are dead wrong. We are going to come back again and again to city hall every time we get a whiff of a rotten deal that further disenfranchises and exploits a community that deserves to have a sustainable and beautiful life free of oppression.
No to this rotten stadium deal! No to the Secret Deals! No to the Billionaires! Forward for a Hartford that puts people before profits!