A newly revived Pittsfield committee on human rights took up its first complaint this week: discrimination charges against mayor Dan Bianchi, who’s responsible for the committee’s re-birth.
Eight residents were appointed to Pittsfield’s Human Rights Commission in April, just over a year after a meeting between Mayor Bianchi, and Doreen Wade, owner of an internet magazine, looking to re-locate her business to Pittsfield. Wade, who is African-American, alleges that Bianchi made racially insensitive remarks to her at that meeting, and she says she was discriminated against while applying for a job with the city. Wade says right now she’s not looking for an apology or compensation.
“I would really like to be vindicated and shown that this is not a lie,” Wade says.
Meanwhile, Bianchi says Wade’s accusations are “totally unfounded,” and he says he’s not the first Pittsfield mayor to face discrimination complaints.
“Unfortunately, when you’re a public official, you’re a target in many cases, and I feel as though I was victimized by this whole situation,” says Bianchi.
Pittsfield’s Human Rights Commission will discuss the complaint again in June.