The prominent community activist and West Hazleton council candidate, Fermin Diaz, has sent to this media a novel proposal that will put more than one to think and eventually break the status quo, of how it has been managed for centuries things in this area. We invite you to read his proposal below.
How to economically empower our community?
Poverty in our region is a significant challenge. In a recent United Way study, it is said that in West Hazleton this social phenomenon affects up to 55% of its habitants. There are many elements that can place a person in this situation and many also to get out of it.
The perspective in our region is somewhat disturbing. According to the study “2019 NEPA Report” it is established that there are a number of occupations that have a 70% probability of disappearing in the next 10 years due to the automation of sectors such as “(1) Production, (2) Office and administrative support , (3) Preparation and serving of meals (4) Agriculture, fishing and forestry, (5) Construction and extraction; and (6) Transportation and movement of materials ”. This same study tells us that the decline in these sectors will disproportionately affect low-income people.
This gives us more of a problem, not only the loss of jobs, but also the reduction in municipal collections, which could increase taxes since fewer people could contribute. On the other hand, if these people do not have the capacity to consume, they will affect other businesses and further depress the region. All this led me to reflect and look for an alternative in which I could help bring solution to these challenges that they affect us and will affect us as a community.
It happened that one day reading the newspaper, I read our congressional representative Matt Cartwright saying: “The federal government is committed to working with all small businesses to help them grow and direct local economies.” Ed Pashinski said: that northeastern Pennsylvania had received around 188 million in both federal and state contracts. I understood that it is a very good way to develop our community trying to promote that new and existing businesses are part of this hiring system, which, I know from my own experience that is complicated and rigorous.
A plan to help facilitate this transition that could greatly benefit our community.
We need to do a disparity study. This study will help to understand how companies, minority properties, do business with our authorities. After this, my plan is to propose the creation of a board or an “advisory committee for women’s, veterans and minorities businesses” with the function of promoting greater participation in part of the contracts and subcontracts administered by the Municipality.
This committee will be composed of professional associations, chambers of commerce and educational institutions that promote the formation of new businesses in the area, but this board will not act alone or outside the ordinances. I also propose to create an ordinance on which the operation will be sustained.
New ordinance, integration, and development committee
We cannot talk about progress where a city with approximately 56% of its population is not represented, not only in the political aspect. The goal of my ordinance proposal will be to start with 20% in the hiring of minorities until reaching 33% and always guaranteeing that we will be 10% above the minimum of federal contracts. For example, if a contract requires 10% by federal requirement our ordinance proposal would raise it to 20%. As long as the law allows.
I want to emphasize that the real and deep goal of all this is to create a laboratory for West Hazleton companies to become contractors of the federal state government. This would place us as a great potential to turn this area into an incubator for minority companies that would create quality employees and jobs that have a future that will not necessarily be affected by automation.
This is one of my economic proposals. Wait for the following, because this is a solutions campaign.