Saying, “Enough is Enough,” the NAACP New Britain Branch is calling for a rally to oppose discrimination in the city government and call for greater action to address racial bias. “We urge NAACP members and other concerned members of the public to join us at Central Park on Tuesday May 9, 2017 at 6:30 P.M. to learn why people are increasingly calling for justice in employment practices here in New Britain,” the local NAACP Branch said in a statement.
The NAACP New Britain Branch said that, at a recent meeting of its Executive Board, it received “a report from its president concerning a racial bias and unequal treatment at the New Britain Fire Department. The Board voted the incident as a concern which requires immediate action by the branch.”
The New Britain Branch NAACP said it, “thanks Mayor Erin Stewart for responding to the allegations by calling a special team, which included the hiring an outside attorney to investigate the allegation(s). A consultant was also hired to provide cultural sensitivity workshops to its employees.”
But the NAACP said this was not enough action. “This is a positive response from our Mayor but it is not the response that will satisfy the New Britain Branch of the NAACP. We have had several complaints from City employees about biased and racially charged practices within the City Departments through the years.”
“We have watched, down through the years, government leaders making amends to situations but not making resolutions to the problems. The NAACP recognizes the only way to eradicate racially biased and unequal treatment is to fix employment policies that leave room for racial bias and or discriminatory practices to manifest.”
“The New Britain Branch NAACP recognizes the systemic racial problem with the hiring and retention of black, brown, and female firefighters,” the NAACP Branch said. “We also recognize the general hiring of black, and brown qualified people continues not to be reflective of the community, especially in leadership positions.”
The New Britain Branch NAACP said that it, “recognizes that individual employees are responsible for their behaviors and must accept responsibilities and or consequences.”
But the NAACP added that, “We also recognize that Department Heads and supervisors have the same level of responsibilities. It is our demand that officials engaging in racially charged issues are not equipped to lead our community and need to be given consequences up to termination from employment when such negative behaviors occur.”
In December, Republican Mayor Erin Stewart and the Republican-dominated City Council made changes to the city’s Affirmative Action plan, removing many provisions. Among the provisions removed were provisions directing the city to recruit persons of color, women and others for city employment. The changes removed a provision requiring the Mayor to tie city managers’ compliance with the city Affirmative Action Plan to managers’ pay increases and a provision requiring that the statistics on Affirmative Action compliance be made a part of departmental management. The Affirmative Action revisions also changed text so that the city Affirmative Action Officer is removed from roles in investigating discrimination and taking enforcement action.
The NAACP New Britain Branch said that, “Members of the public who have other employment concerns with City Departments in New Britain are urged to contact Ronald P. Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (860) 944-1237 to discuss or inform.”