The new Heritage Martin Luther King Gateway project might look pretty when finished but the fact that few African Americans worked on the project is ugly. It is an unfortunate reminder that Dr King’s dream and aspiration is far from being fulfilled.
We posted previously about the controversy in Washington about Grady Excavating and how the DBE program is failing minority contractors in the Seattle area.
Minority contractors were out in protest on the Washington State Dept. of Transportation’s Alaskan Way Viaduct project in Seattle on Monday. They say they’ve had enough of watching fraudulent activity take place in a program designed to help minority and women-owned contractors get work on big government transportation projects. Continue reading The situation with Grady Excavating continues
The head of the Federal Transit Authority, Peter Rogoff, visited Portland this week. This is important because this man runs the federal agency responsible for most of the current capacity of black contractors in the Portland area. Across the country, this agency is head and shoulders of above all the other federal transportation departments. Meeting him on several occasions, you get the sense he knows what he is doing and sees the disadvantage business enterprise (DBE) program as just good business and a way to ensure all citizens benefit from economic opportunities. Continue reading Lets not miss this opportunity
The chorus is getting louder. It is time for national collaboration. I have asked Tony Robinson from MBELDEF to give us a framework agenda to seek a national class action against the US DOT. I will correspond with other states across the country to seek input and support for this national effort. I anticipate the NW states will become the hub for this action. Continue reading The chorus is getting louder
To: Ray LaHood, Secretary US Department of Transportation
From: Eddie Rye, Jr.
The attached letter (click for attachment) from the Oregon State Chapter of the National Association of Minority Contractors (NAMC) documents the widespread abuse of the United States Department of Transportation’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program and there has been an alleged three year investigation by the FBI and the U. S. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General into DBE fraud in Seattle and Martin Luther King, Jr. County. Continue reading Eddie Rye, Jr. Letter to Ray LaHood, USDOT
If you have ever doubted how blacks are being abused in these disadvantage business enterprise (DBE) programs, take a look this story out of Seattle Washington. Washington trucking company Grady Excavating has collected nearly $40 million in state contracts since 2008 under a program intended to benefit disadvantaged businesses, despite the fact that several state employees, including investigators and auditors, raised serious concerns about whether the company should qualify for the program. Continue reading DBE abuses equal “Road Closed” for minority contractors
People ask me why I am supporting Charlie Hales for mayor. The answer is real simple: he’s the most qualified candidate in this field.
Both of his major opponents strike me as good people motivated to do right by Portland if elected. The problem is good intentions are not enough. I don’t think either Eileen Brady or Jefferson Smith has a clue about what a beast of a job it will be to lead Portland city government. Continue reading Why am I supporting Charlie Hales for mayor?
The black community should know that all unions are not created equal. The employee unions (SEUI), postal workers, transportation unions, etc., have a very stellar reputation for diversity and have often have been a showcase for inclusion. The craft construction unions give all unions a bad name when it comes to diversity and inclusion. Continue reading We have to deal with unions.
I was out of town when I got the news that Bob Caldwell had passed. It was even sadder when I heard a few days later of the circumstances of his death.
But those circumstances did not lessen my sense of loss or diminish my respect for what Bob had tried to do for the black community. Continue reading Portland’s black community lost a friend in Bob Caldwell
For more than a year a local contingent of the trades unions, led by The Carpenters and Operating Engineers union, have enlisted the services of a former city commissioner to fashion and sell what they call a “Community Benefits Agreement.” They are making all sorts of promises, assertions and exclusions for minorities, but their end game is to woo more public agencies to invoke exclusive union participation on all public projects. Continue reading The truth about the proposed Community Benefits Agreement in Portland