Welcome to Brockton

 Brockton  City Hall, a Romanesque pile built in 1892-94 as the city was moving toward its most prosperous period, albeit with such horrors as child labor and gruesome industrial accidents.

Brockton  City Hall, a Romanesque pile built in 1892-94 as the city was moving toward its most prosperous period, albeit with such horrors as child labor and gruesome industrial accidents.

Adapted from an item in Robert Whitcomb's Dec. 1 "Digital Diary'' in GoLocal24.

Brockton, once the shoemaking capital of the world, is another mostly deindustrialized area. But immigrants have moved there in large numbers, drawn by cheap rents and Massachusetts’s relatively generous social services, including healthcare.

MayorWilliam Carpenter was recently under fire for spending $585 in city money to pay for a community college course for himself in Cape Verdean Creole to better communicate with a major ethnic group there. The City Council eventually approved the expenditure after some grumbling that he should have paid for it himself.

Of course, immigrants used to flock to such cities as Brockton for jobs, many of them relatively high-paying skilled positions. No more. Now the large number of low-income immigrants, many with little or no skills in English, serve to irritate many of the sort of people who voted for Donald Trump. They make some Americans feel that they are strangers in their own land.

But just up the road, Boston and Cambridge get richer and richer with 21st Century high tech and an embrace of a global economy.

-- Robert Whitcomb