Now that the hoopla has died down…

If you will recall, back in September of last year Greensboro was embroiled in a debate over whether or not a new baseball stadium should be constructed downtown.  There was a referendum on the matter scheduled for the city-wide primaries on October 5th to decide the question.  The vote defeated the referendum and the new stadium is under construction.


I drive by the construction site most days and note its progress.  Most of the excavation is completed and much of the foundation has been laid.  On the Eddgeworth Street side, the brick veneer is being applied to the concrete block walls that you can see forming via Action Greensboro’s live stadium cam.


In the days leading up to the stadium referendum some of the folks working on my City Council campaign attended a meeting of the Greensboro NAACP.  During this meeting leaders of the Simkins PAC, which directs much of Greensboro’s black vote, rose to announce that they were endorsing the new stadium because the folks building it had provided “written guarantees” that many of the construction contracts would be awarded to “minority owned businesses”.  Specifically mentioned was the extensive masonry work on the project.


On September 30th, I posted that the Simkins PAC endorsement of the new stadium had been reported in the N&R and that the endorsement was probably the nail in the coffin for the referendum supporters.  The article, which is available on NCLIVE (password required), noted Simkins PAC head Steve Bowden’s reasons for the endorsement:



“Bowden said that the Simkins PAC made its decision because it saw the stadium as a way to spark both short-term construction jobs and help prompt long-term economic development.   ‘I don’t see how anyone can be against jobs,’ Bowden said.”

“Primarily, our voice is for black people, although not strictly,” Bowden said. “We try to promote what we think will aid people in our community. If we support something, we certainly expect that the leaders of that effort will be equitable and fair to the entire community, including ours.”


I tell you all of that, to tell you this:


So far all the masonry work at the new stadium has been performed by Proffitt Brick and Stone Works, Inc. out of Burlington which is a firm owned by Dayton Proffit.  Although I am confident they employ several “minority” masons – few of them were visible at the work site this morning.  What I saw were a bunch of white guys laying block and brick.


There is a difference between “written guarantees” made, and “written guarantees” fulfilled I suppose.  If I were a member of the Simkins PAC, I’d be raising holy hell.

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