In response to the third largest construction boom in Boston’s history, on November 28, 2016 Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced a proposal to increase employment standards for the Boston Residents Jobs Policy (“BRJP”) and Boston Employment Commission (“BEC”). These proposed amendments are part of Mayor Walsh’s commitment to promote economic development for Boston residents, persons of color and women. The Mayor maintains that, “The success of Boston’s growing economy relies upon our ability to open the doors of opportunity to all residents, and remove barriers causing economic inequity throughout our city.”
In response to the mid-eighties construction boom in Massachusetts, Chapter 30 of the Ordinance of 1983 established the BRJP. In 1985, Mayor Raymond L. Flynn issued an Executive Order entitled The Executive Order Extending the Boston Residents Jobs Policy, which set forth specific employment standards on federally assisted, city sponsored and privately funded development projects within the City of Boston limits. In 1985 and until January 24, 2017, the employment standards were as follows:
(1) At least fifty (50) percent of the total employee worker hours in each trade shall be by bona-fide Boston Residents.
(2) At least twenty-five (25) percent of the total employee worker hours in each trade shall be by minorities; and
(3) at least ten (10) percent of the total employee worker hours in each trade shall be by women.
Employees shall include persons filling apprenticeship and on-the-job training positions.
The amended ordinance was filed on November 28, 2016, and went to into effect on January 25, 2017. The amended ordinance increases the percentages in the employment standards of Boston residents, people of color and women to each project site and it also applies the same standards to apprentices. The amended ordinance is as follows:
(1) At least fifty-one percent of the total work hours of journey people and fifty-one percent of the total work hours of apprentices in each trade on a Covered Project shall be by bona fide Boston residents.
(2) At least forty percent of the total work hours of journey people and forty percent of the total work hours of apprentice in each trade on a Covered Project shall be by people of color;
(3) At least twelve percent of the total work hours of journey people and twelve percent of the total work hours of apprentices in each trade on a Covered Project shall be by women.
The expanded ordinance also calls for the BEC to be responsible for the review and enforcement of the BRJP, including the projects currently monitored by the Boston Planning and Development Agency. The BEC is a seven member body appointed by the Mayor and mandated to review construction projects for compliance with the BRJP. The BEC has monthly public hearings for construction projects within the City of Boston. The BEC shall have the power to impose sanctions on contractors, subcontractors and developers found to be in noncompliance with the ordinance. Sanctions may be imposed by a majority vote of the commission members. Fines can be up to a maximum of three hundred dollars ($300.00) for each violation of the ordinance. And, each day of noncompliance is considered to be a separate violation.
The Mayor’s Office of Economic Development worked together with community advocates and leaders of the construction industry to develop the amended ordinance. Mayor Walsh contends that the amended ordinance reflects Boston’s altering demographics and the city’s commitment to diversity, which is essential to the sustainability of the city’s economy.
 Karl E. Chase, The Real Estate Cycle and the Economy: Consequences of the Massachusetts Boom of 1984-87, New England Economic Review, September/October 1991.
 Extending the Boston Residents Jobs Policy, Exec. Order City of Boston, Massachusetts (July 12, 1985).
 Boston, MA., City of Boston Municipal Code. § 8-9 (2017).
 Boston, MA., City of Boston Municipal Code. § 8-9.2 (2017).
 Boston, MA., City of Boston Municipal Code. § 8-9.4 (2017).
 Boston, MA., City of Boston Municipal Code. § 8-9.8 (2017).