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Survey Gives Mayor Low Marks On Job Diversity


January 16, 2005
Copyright © 2005 Newsday, Inc. All rights reserved.

The Bloomberg administration isn't doing enough to hire and promote blacks in city agencies, according to a "snapshot" survey of about 300 people conducted by the advocacy group Blacks in Government.

The group gave Mayor Michael Bloomberg an unsatisfactory rating, charging the city is not an equal opportunity employer.

The group's president, Brandon Ward, a project manager at the city Department of Transportation, said 84 percent of respondents said discrimination against minorities exists in their respective agencies.

Ward said even though fewer than 300 people took part in the survey, it represents a good picture of the hiring and promotion practices.

"New York City's diverse population is not reflected in its managerial work force," Ward said.

He said blacks and other people of color are not being promoted at the same rate as their white counterparts in most city agencies.

For example, while blacks make up 37 percent of the city's work force, followed by 16 percent Hispanic and 4 percent Asian, they represent just 19 percent of the senior and executive staff in the agencies.

Daniel Sterling, a member of the black firefighters group the Vulcan Society, said there are only about 310 blacks on the department's 11,500-member force. He called on the city to bring back a cadets program to boost hiring among blacks.

"If the mayor's office and the fire commissioner are serious about increasing the number of African-American men and women in the the fire department, they can stop saying it and actually start doing things to make that change," Sterling said.

In a statement, a Bloomberg spokesman said the city would examine the report. "The Bloomberg Administration is committed to having a government that reflects the diversity and strength of our City's many communities," the statement said.

"We will review the findings and recommendations of the report issued today."


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