It seems like we have been marching and demonstrating forever in Portland. Indeed, during the civil right movement, one veteran demonstrator captured the feeling accurately in thought, saying, “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired”.
No one is sure that the local power structure gets it, but it is clear that there is not the urgency of action necessary to effectively deal with many conditions in Portland that so accurately mirror those in Ferguson, MO. The festering issues of racial profiling, gentrification, job and housing discrimination are acutely similar to Ferguson. What is even more frighting is the fact that some of our elected leaders seem to be gravitating towards a repeat of the mistakes of the past: positioning the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff instead of building the necessary barricades at the top. Continue reading In the wake of Ferguson, can Portland avoid the mistake of acting too little too late?
In the last few weeks there has been considerable discussion about minority contractor advocacy in the media. http://theskanner.com/article/Leadership-Changes-Rock-National-Association-of-Minority-Contractors-Oregon-2013-08-06. But a close examination of work sites around Portland will reveal that not much has changed since the mid-seventies in terms of participation by blacks and other minority contractors. There have been a few bright spots, like Tri-Met continued efforts to maximize the use of minorities. Continue reading Change is coming to Minority Contracting
Is there new hope for Portland Black’s economic future supported by PDC?
The controversy about PDC’s decision to sell property on the northwest corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd and Alberta to an out of state developer opens up a ton of questions about the economic future of Portland’s black citizens. The developers intend to build a Trader Joe store on the location and the proposal has sparked consternation from some community leaders and approval from others. Continue reading Is There New Hope for Portland Black’s Economic Future Supported by PDC?
Charlie Hales won the Mayoral election fair and square and we were happy to support him. The question is whether he will be able to govern the city fair and square after the mess Sam Adams made. Not only is he starting in a hole saddled with a 25 million dollar plus budget shot fall, he must resurrect some confidence in city government. The fact that he has chosen to cut his immediate staff in contrast Sam Adam’s army, is a good sign. Continue reading Welcome New Leadership
I was not in town when city council adopted the Community Benefit Agreement (CBA) which should have been called the Union Benefit Agreement (UBA). This crafty concept financed and promoted by the unions is explicitly designed to benefit the union agenda long-term. Because this nefarious effort was presented with a measure of good politics and cloaked intentions, its paid lobbyist (former city commissioner) could sell it to an unsuspecting naive community. It was good politics to involve the Urban League, who doesn’t have a clue of what is really going in the minority contracting community. Continue reading With friends like these…
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