Article examines Patrick’s representation of blacks

Gov. Deval Patrick has successfully represented black interests on Beacon Hill with legislation, executive orders, and the appointment of more than 200 African-Americans to positions in state government, according to a Clark University political scientist.

Writing in the Trotter Review, a publication of the University of Massachusetts Boston, Ravi Perry says Patrick has been able to serve the 7 percent of the state’s population that is black without alienating the rest of his constituents.

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Bruce Mohl

Editor, CommonWealth

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

“While he may have campaigned as a deracialized candidate, he has governed, not exclusively but in episodes of significance, in the interests of blacks,” the Worcester-based professor writes. “From his symbolic oath of office on the famous Mendi Bible to his appointment of the state’s first black chief justice of the Supreme Judicial Court, to his many executive orders and legislative introductions that benefited black interests, Patrick, the nation’s only reelected black governor, is an example of a politician who governs utilizing a targeted universalistic strategy that frames black interests as interests that matter to all citizens.”

Among Patrick’s most significant actions benefitting blacks, Perry points to a $1 million grant to revive Freedom House, a Roxbury social action agency; the appointment of a black chief of staff, and the reinstatement of affirmative action policies that previously had been removed by former Gov. Mitt Romney, the expected Republican nominee for president.

Perry says Patrick has also brought significant color to state government. He quotes Patrick administration officials as saying say 14.5 percent of all senior managers in state government are minorities and 9 percent of them are blacks. He also says 198 blacks have been appointed to state boards, councils, and commissions.