LP Ciminelli Company Extends 'Olive Branch' To Activists After Main Street Protest Rally By Legislator Betty Jean Grant

Legislator Grant (center) and Charley H. Fisher (right) speak to news media atprotest rallyand press conference.

Legislator Grant (center) and Charley H. Fisher (right) speak to news media atprotest rallyand press conference.

On Monday, May 9, the members and officers of the Contract Compliance Review Committee participated in a protest rally to call attention to the plight of African American and Latino men and women as it relates to the employment and training of individuals from these two minority groups. The rally, organized by the committee's co-chairs, Charley H. Fisher and Betty Jean Grant, was called after a controversial article by a local newspaper reporter stated that the minority percent on the SolarCity project was not only being met but was exceeding the minority workforce goals of 15% minorityand 5 % women. The Contract Compliance Review committee members were confused because only a few short months ago, data was released that showed the participation levels were only 5.6% instead of the aspirational goal of 15%.

The decision to protest at LP Ciminelli's company was also made because in the past our committee had requested certain information from the company to back up their claims. Up to and including the day of the protest rally, no information or even an acknowledgement of our request was ever confirmed by LP Ciminelli. After a 30 minute rally and press conference in front of the company, our group led a small procession to the door of the company for a personal meeting with the company's officials. We were allowed in and after a couple of hours, we departed with business cards and promises from them that they would attend meetings in the community at a place and time chosen by us.

One thing we found out at the meeting, was that many of the concerns and issues we raised at this particular meeting could only be addressed and possibly solved by dialogue and interaction with the area's union leaders. The Contract Compliance Review Committee is looking forward to the community meetings with LP Ciminelli and the unions that we believe will lead to a collaboration that will increase training and employment opportunities for those who, at this time, seem to be left behind in Buffalo's job and construction boom.