Report reveals lack of city contracts with women and minorities

Listen to the audio story:


Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and other city leaders gathered at the Los Angeles City Hall to show support for the Minority Business Contracting Reforms, which would award more contracts to minority businesses.

The Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce unveiled a report that showed small, minority and women-owned businesses do not receive an adequate share of business contracts from the city.

“We just wanted to point out that there were so many deficiencies in the lack of contracts being awarded to minorities,” said Gene Hale, Chairman of the organization, which is also known as the GLAACC.

The chamber proposed the reform by making a series of step-by-step recommendations to the city’s leaders.

Hale said the city needs to implement a series of strong programs that would be in accord with the legal aspect of minority contracting. One of those programs, he added, should be a comprehensive review of past discrimination cases.

“They need to do what’s known as a disparity study that will discover any past discrimination against women and minorities,” he said. “If there is, then the city can implement some set-aside programs for those groups. It’s just some things that other cities are doing, that the city of LA is not doing.”

The Los Angeles City Controller said city leaders will begin taking steps to improve the situation because minority business owners play a crucial role in the city’s economic recovery.

“In Los Angeles, small businesses, and in particular, minority- and women-owned businesses, are the backbone of the city and the backbone of our economy,” Greuel said. “[We are] invested in their future.”

Gale said he hopes this initiative will be the first step to starting a dialogue with the mayor and opening more doors of opportunity for minority businesses.