If You Think the FDNY is Ethnically Imbalanced, Take a Look at These New York City Agencies…..

TODAY, the ONLY ethnic group that is over-represented in the New York City Municipal workforce by MORE than 10% of their numbers in the city’s population is non-Latino blacks, who are 23% of NYC’s population and 36% of the city’s Municipal workforce! That’s an over-representation on the order of appx. 56% ABOVE their numbers in New York City’s population.
Merit Matters believes that people gravitate to the jobs they have an interest and aptitude for. The fact that until 2007 and over $20 MILLION spent on targeted recruitment non-Latino blacks accounted for LESS than 10% of all FDNY applicants seems to attest to that fact.
BUT IF proportionalism (“NYC’s workforce should mirror/look like NYC’s population”) is going to be the standard, than it MUST BE the standard for ALL…for ALL ethnic groups and for ALL city agencies!
By that measure the Garaufis-CCR-Vulcan Society view INSISTS on reducing the non-Latino black portion of the NYC workforce FROM its current 36% down to appx. 25%! That is what “Making NYC’s workforce look like NYC” would actually mean. While we’d rather see people gravitate to the jobs they have an interest and aptitude for, we also insist that proportionalism can’t just be targeted to one agency, when the city’s entire workforce is so ethnically imbalanced!
Consider that the FDNY’s uniformed firefighting force (excluding EMS and clerical/administrative staff) is 89% white, which is about  2.5X more whites than there are in NYC’s population. Overall (including EMS and clerical/administrative staff) it’s 77% white or about 2.2X as many whites as in NYC’s population.
BUT if you think that demographic is blatantly ethnically imbalanced, wait until you get a look at some of these other New York City agencies!
There are at least 7 city agencies in which a given ethnic group is over-represented by MORE than 2.5X times their numbers in NYC’s population.
The Corrections Department is 65% non-Latino black, 2.9X the number of non-Latino blacks as in the population of NYC, making it even MORE ethnically imbalanced than the FDNY is right now.
Six other New York City agencies are over 60% non-Latino black, meaning OVER 2.5X as many non-Latino blacks as there are in New York City’s population!
These are;
(*) Human Resources Administration (61% non-Latino black)
(*) Equal Employment Practices Commission (63% non-Latino black)
(*) The Department of Probation (64% non-Latino black)
(*) The Department of Homeless Services (64% non-Latino black)
(*) Administration for Children Services (67% non-Latino black)
(*) The Department of Juvenile Justice (78% non-Latino black), which holds 3.4X as many non-Latino black workers as are in New York City’s population, taking the prize as the MOST ethnically imbalanced agency in New York City!
There are at least FOUR other new York City agencies in which non-Latino blacks are 2X or TWICE their numbers in New York City’s population, including the the Dept of Health and Hygiene (45%), Dept of Finance (46%), the Dept of Housing, Preservation and Development (47%) and the Parks Dept (49%).
It would certainly be much more neat and orderly IF every group were proportionally represented within each and every New York City agency, but lowering standards and barring the hiring of some groups until the numbers of others can be brought up, smacks of a kind of “Stalinist authoritarianism” that only the likes of Nicholas Garaufis could embrace.
STILL, that is the charge that the Garaufis-Vulcan Society decision makes clear – within the “zero-sum game” that is municipal Employment, the primary reason for the dirth of Asians and Hispanic workers relative to their numbers in New York City’s population, is the singular and significant OVER-representation of non-Latino blacks within the New York City workforce.
Again, there are ONLY two ethnic groups that are over-represented in the NYC Municipal workforce, non-Latino blacks and non-Latino whites. ONLY non-Latino blacks are over-represented by more than 10% of their numbers within New York City’s population!
Non-Latino whites are 35% of New York City’s population and 38% of its workforce (about 9% ABOVE their numbers in the city’s population), while non-Latino blacks are 23% of city’s the population and 36% (appx. 56% ABOVE their numbers in NYC’s population) of its Municipal workforce!
Both Asians and Hispanics are UNDER-represented in New York City’s Municipal workforce. The sizable over-representation of one ethnic group (non-Latino blacks) is the primary reason for that. Without diminishing the existing number of non-Latino blacks in New York City’s Municipal workforce, there is simply no way to balance out that workforce and allow it to closely mirror New York City’s population.
It certainly appears that there are a lot of New York City agencies that need monitoring, targeted recruitment and demographic scrutiny…BUT only IF “proportionalism” (“New York City’s workforce should mirror/look like New York City”) is to be the standard we adopt.
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About jmk444

I've worked in the FDNY for the past 29 years. I've written freelance commentary for the past twenty-five years and have one book published "Looking Up (A Working View)," Quiet Storm Publishers. For those of you with whom my ideas resonate, we probably share a common love of Liberty. For those of you who don't like my views, that may be because you see LICENSE (“being able to do whatever we want, so long as we don't harm others") as "freedom," instead of LIBERTY (self-ownership) and the grinding burden of responsibility that comes with self-ownership.
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