Organized labor has been beset in recent years with declining membership in the private sector and a corresponding drop in clout at the Rhode Island Statehouse. Unions have taken their lumps recently, but there were signs of a rebound during the recently adjourned General Assembly session.
Labor did not get nearly everything it wanted; building trades union leaders are unhappy that lawmakers did not approve requiring construction firms bidding on state projects worth $1 million or more to have a union apprenticeship program.
Providence Mayor Angel Taveras has some great news to announce today: Providence city government has won a $5million grant from the Bloomberg Philanthropies for a program known as the `Mayors Challenge.’
Taveras has won some love from the New York Times for the grant that is administered by the foundation established by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, which oversaw the contest.
The Times says that four other cities, Houston, Chicago, Santa Monica, California and Philadelphia, were finalists. More than 300 cities competed for the innovation grant.