In his first full day on the job, Hartford’s new mayor was greeted with a protest.
Members of the Black Lives Matter group, Minority Construction Council and their supporters protested in city hall on Monday morning. Their gripe has to do with construction of the new Dunkin Donuts Park, which they said has been steered away from minority firms, violating laws on the books regarding equal opportunity employment.
"We want to the new people, Luke (Bronin) himself and all the people, who just voted, to realize what the issues and the problem needs to change and it doesn't need to change next year, it needs to change now," Minority Construction Council President Colin Dawkins said.
The protesters said it goes beyond the park project.
“All the schools, the schools at the city of Hartford people buying material from the hardware shops. So, contractor is buying the material from the hardware shops instead of subbing that material to a minority company it’s going somewhere else,” Dawkins said.
Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin spoke with several protesters before heading to his office.
“We do have an obligation when we are building things and spending money in the city of Hartford to making sure that we are doing as much as possible with residents in the city of Hartford,” Bronin said.
Both the city and state have affirmative action requirements when it comes to projects that receive government funding.
The protest was peaceful and there were no arrests.
"I think the message they are sending is important, which is when there is work done in the city of Hartford. We have to make sure the residents of the city of Hartford benefit and I think it’s an important message for all of us to hear," Bronin said.
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