In terms of development itself, Lavelle said he is determined to make sure Community members benefit from job opportunities over the lifetime of any given project.
“My goal is to literally create a new wealth legacy for African-Americans in the Hill and throughout the city,” he said. “And to ensure participation at every stage; from the food cart selling sandwiches, to construction, to professional services, to property management, all the way down the line.”
Legislatively, Lavelle has already made sure new parking revenue at the 28-acre site goes to a Hill development fund. He has also required banks that want city funds to reinvest in the poorest Black neighborhoods, and co-sponsored legislation with Burgess that created a Department of Equal Opportunity and to fund a disparity study.
Lavelle said he is currently working to reestablish the Black Contractors Association through the Urban Redevelopment Authority where he serves as a board member.
He wants to get it back up and running so there is a current database of Black plumbers, electricians, etc. that anyone can use. If anyone should know who and where these guys are, he said, it’s the URA.
“We can’t do this piecemeal, we have to be strategic,” he said. “The investment in people is just as important as the investment in infrastructure, and is critical to long term success.”
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