BUILD call for 'social compact' presented to council panel

June 17, 1993|By James Bock | James Bock,Staff Writer

The BUILD organization nudged its fledgling campaign for a downtown "social compact" another step forward last night by airing the issue at a City Council subcommittee hearing.

The church-based civic action group wants public subsidies for downtown development to be linked to agreements by businesses to improve job opportunities for blacks downtown.

Speakers for Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development decried the lack of jobs paying enough to support a family, and the growth of part-time and temporary work in the downtown and Inner Harbor areas.

"Baltimore has been called Charm City, but what I see each and every day is anything but charming," said the Rev. Charles Thomas Sr., pastor of Knox Presbyterian Church.

Michael Whipple, president of the Hotel and Motel Association of Greater Baltimore, raised the antennae of several council HTC members by saying that the hotels don't receive "direct subsidies."

Councilman Lawrence Bell, a 4th District Democrat, pointed out testily that the hotels are prime beneficiaries of projects such as the $151 million expansion of the Baltimore Convention Center.

Mr. Whipple provided no details on hotel industry wages or the numbers of blacks in management jobs. He did outline plans to work with Baltimore City Community College to create a program in hospitality management.

Paul A. Hanle, executive director of the Maryland Science Center, said 23 percent of the center's regular employees are minorities. He said the center employs 35 part-timers who receive no benefits as well as more than 40 temporary employees.

The National Aquarium in Baltimore reported that about a quarter of its mid- and upper-level employees are minorities, compared to more than half of its low-level workers.

The city gave an analysis of its work force: 60 percent of its 25,566 full-time workers are minorities, including 52 percent of those who make over $43,000 a year. It also employs 10,583 part-time workers, of whom 75 percent are minorities.

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