July 24, 2019
office nearly four years ago, I have made diversity and inclusion a top
priority for my administration, pressing for stronger recruitment strategies,
improving employee training, addressing procurement policies, and tasking senior
leadership to champion the value of diversity. We cannot become America’s
Opportunity City until we become America’s Equal Opportunity City.
In 2017, we
commissioned Mason Tillman Associates to conduct a disparity study that would
measure disparity in city prime and subcontracts between 2012 and 2015. This
study, released to the public today, allows us to look at where we have been,
and will inform our path forward as we continue to work to increase the number
of City contracts with minority businesses.
We’ve not been
standing idly by waiting for the results of the study to begin our work. In
2017, we saw a 50% increase in city spending with minority- and women-owned
businesses. In 2018, we saw another 24% increase over 2017. Last year, nearly
16% of our contracts were awarded to minority- and women-owned businesses.
We are off
to a good start, but the findings of the disparity study show there is still
much room for improvement. The study found statistically significant
disparities exist for African American businesses, Hispanic American, Asian American
businesses and Native American businesses in prime contracts. Additionally, the
study showed disparities for African-American, Asian-American, and women-owned
businesses for subcontracts.
Over the course
of the next several months, I will work with the Office of Diversity and
Inclusion to further develop the recommendations offered in the disparity study,
and with feedback from community stakeholders, develop an implementation
strategy focused on areas where we can make the greatest impact and increase
minority participation in City contracts.
I remain committed
to working to eradicate disparity where it exists, and ensuring contractors,
subcontractors and other city service providers reflect the beautiful diversity
of our city.
community stakeholder meetings have been scheduled for August 5, at 10 a.m. and
1 p.m. The locations have yet to be
determined. Representatives from Mason
Tillman and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion will be available to answer
to see the Executive Summary of the study.