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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

St. Paul contract reforms would ensure more minorities, women win bids for city projects

Please click onto the COMMENTS for the story.

34 Comments:

Blogger Bob said...

Minority-, women-owned firms don't win enough bids; new department would monitor deals
By Dave Orrick
dorrick@pioneerpress.com
Article Last Updated: 03/18/2008 11:58:57 PM CDT


A powerful new department and an expanded Human Rights Commission would oversee all St. Paul contracting operations under a series of reforms being drafted by the city attorney's office.

The goal is to increase the amount of money and contracts to minority- and women-owned businesses — groups currently left out of the loop, according to leaders in the black community and an independent audit of the city's minority contracting programs last year.

The reforms would be expensive and rocky for the bureaucracy and culture of City Hall, according to City Attorney John Choi, although no actual costs have been estimated.

The idea, floated by Choi publicly Monday evening, has the general support of an unofficial advisory panel of minority activists and leaders, including Human Rights Commission Chairman A.L. Brown, St. Paul NAACP President Nathaniel Khaliq, City Council Member Melvin Carter III and Caty Royce, whose efforts in public housing construction helped expose significant disparities in city contracts. The idea also has the blessing of the audit's author.

But details still need to be worked out. At Monday's community meeting, several black leaders said they feared the proposal would weaken the city Human Rights Department — a concern that underscores the sensitivity of the issue.

In 2003, the city's top minority business retention official was fired shortly after writing a memo stating the city wasn't living up to its minority contracting goals.

Choi has been promoting the idea of a new department at public and private meetings while he works on a report ordered by Mayor Chris Coleman on how to address city contracting disparities.

Those disparities, long perceived in the black community and the subject of two lawsuits, were substantiated in a November report by a Milwaukee law firm hired by the city to investigate.

That audit concluded that in 2007, less than 7 percent of $220 million in city contracts went to companies owned by women or minorities, and 0.3 percent went to firms owned by blacks. The audit didn't conclude the city was discriminating intentionally but rather that the bureaucracy lacked an effective structure to enforce its own goals of giving minority contractors a bigger piece of the contracting pie.

Coleman initially assigned Choi to complete the report by the end of February, but the process has continued because leaders wanted to ensure everyone had a chance to sound off.

"The recommendations in this report are bold and will take considerable leadership ... to become a reality," Choi wrote in a draft version of the idea, obtained by the Pioneer Press under the state's Data Practices Act.

Among Choi's ideas:

-- Create a new city department called "Human Rights and Economic (or Equal) Opportunities." The department would have authority over every city contract. Currently, those responsibilities are spread among so many departments that, according to Choi and the independent audit, addressing racial disparities is no one's core mission.

-- Make the director of the new department the buck-stops-here person for all issues of contracting fairness. Insulate the director from political retribution by giving him or her a term of office and ensuring that no one person or entity has the power to fire the director, who would answer to both the mayor and the Human Rights Commission. The director would be chosen in a public process similar to that used to select police and fire chiefs.

-- Expand the Human Rights Commission from seven members to 21 to better represent various constituents, from contractors to civil rights advocates.

-- Retool the city's current standard of picking the "lowest qualified bidder" to emphasize more than just the base price of a bid. Choi suggests creating a scoring system to rate contractors on a number of factors, including past performance, prior violations of labor and civil rights laws and status as a minority- or woman-owned business.

-- Strengthen the city's efforts to encourage many more small contractors of all stripes, including those owned by minorities, to apply for city projects.

Choi's proposals are hardly a done deal, and he emphasized Monday that more revisions are likely. At some point, he will submit a final plan to the mayor, and City Council approval would be needed to create a new department. Khaliq said he expects at least one more community meeting on the issue.

New Department?

A new entity, likely called the Human Rights and Economic (or Equal) Opportunities Department, could oversee the following city contracting operations:

-- The Department of Human Rights' enforcement of contractors' affirmative action plans.

-- The Department of Planning and Economic Development's efforts to recruit new contractors.

-- The Office of Financial Services' contract analysis division.

-- The Department of Safety and Inspections' policing of unlicensed contractors.

10:23 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

Choi, what do you think about a civilian review board over seeing DSI?

10:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As long as you made the comment here and someone also put it on another thread, I have a question for you.

Where will these Civilians come from that would make you happy?

Can't be appointed by the Mayor; you'd hate that, he's a DFL'er.

Can't be appointed by the Council;
more DFL'ers.

Can't be appointed by the Charter Commission; more DFL'ers.

Can't be appointed by Ramsey County Courts; you think the judges are worse than the politicians.

Can't be appointed by the District Councils; you think they are tools of the DFL Mayor and Council.

Can't stand for election; only DFL'ers would win.

Sounds like unless they were appointed by you and people that think like you, you wouldn't like the review board any better.

Because if Mr and MS Joe and Jane Minnesota was on a DSI review board the would be mostly upset with why it takes so long to get properties cleaned up, why people get away with multiple offenses, why it is so hard to condemn a property. That would be where any civilian group out of the general public would come from Bob. I doubt that you would be pleased.

I am out there on the streets meeting with the men and women that live in the neighborhoods and their anger against the owners of these properties is high. I had a wonderful senior citizen last night complaining about a vacant building and how slow the City is to take action on it, look at me and say, "well it could burn down."

We'll be having senior terrorist soon.

JMONTOMEPPOF

Chuck Repke

9:15 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

Chuck,

I know a few people off the top of my head that would do a honest fair evaluation. I don't know if they would do the job. And I will only mention them to show you I am not prejudice on this issue.

John Krenik (probably won't have the time, he is going to be the mayor)

Charlie Swope

Mitch Berg

These are of coarse personal choices.

In reality-

We need someone from the industry who will represent the bars. (we need to get back the trust of these businesses the police will be there for them without consquences for calling for help)

We need someone from the corner grocery store industry.(If the city insist these stores do not sell singles and rolling papers "legal product", then the city should compensate them with marketing procedures to build sales in these establishments. These businesses also need to learn to trust in the police once again that they can call the police for help with out consquences)

We need citizens who have NO political motivations or affiliations.

We need an independent structural engineer, chosen by the civilian review board.

We need someone from a minority advocacy group like the NAACP.

We need someone from a homeless advocacy group.

We need a contractor who can evaluate the cost of repairs to a structure in question.

We need at least 2 average Joe citizens who are blue collar working class and had to earn a living, support a family and maintain a home.

We need a citizen who is well informed of resources for immediate housing in the instance someone is condemned from their home. I'm sure there is some dumps out there that need to be torn down. So this will happen. This person should also be aware of resources in obtaining grants for repairs, insulating, furnaces, and windows. I know these programs are out there.

I don't care if they have their house painted blue to represent the democrat party. I just want honest people over seeing a code enforcement program that has done nothing but cause BIG trouble for this city and it's citizens.

I feel this would end as my young friend Mike said "the doubt and suspicions over code enforcement".

None of these appointments could come from the city council or mayor office. Politics must not be an issue with this civilian review board. In fact I think the board should be prohibited from building relationships with city government.

I also feel it the responsibility of the city to notify renters they have 4th amendment rights and do not have to consent to the search by housing inspectors.

5:36 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

I almost forgot... We would need a representative from the rental industry.

5:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The city could do 2 things that would immediately cut the inspections department in halfl

1. Renters do not get an inspection unless the rent is paid or in escrow. If you'r elaready in the middle of an "Unlawful Detainer," you get no inspection.

2. No inspection whatsoever until you have notified your landlord by certified mail of the reapirs to be done and given him/her a week to do the repairs.

If the city really wanted to make the city better they would issue criminal citations to the person living in the property who throws trash all over the damn neighborhood. They could also charge tenants criminally for the constant damage they do to the property they live in. It is a crime any where else if you break the wimdows or kick in the doors, so why isn't it a crime at the place where you live?

How about it Chuck?

9:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First to Bob's suggestions, fine by me (other than the first 3 you named) except who is going to pick them.

But a citizen who has no political affiliation is one of three things...

less than 12 years old

lazy (hasn't given a damn ever)

or lying

If the Mayor names the bar owner as someone from a decent bar are you going to complain that it isn't your kind of bar?

If the landlord they pick is someone like Bill Cullen everyone in the law suit would have a shit fit. They were ticked at him when he was president of SPARL because SPARL people don't have enough shitty property.

If the tennant advocate is someone like Caty Royce another shit fit from you guys.

What you want is a bar owner that put half his money up his nose and the rest to hoes.

A landlord who sees his property every year or too.

A tennant advocate that doesn't care what the place looks like.

JMONTOMEPPOF

Chuck Repke

10:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Minneapolis has a civilian review board for rental properties. I don't know the scope of their authority, but I know they are the group that decides when a rental license is pulled.

They have a diverse group of people on the board. Tenant advocates, community advocates and landlords. I know Steve Schachtman and Paul Knornes (both landlords) serve(d) on the board.

I wonder if any readers out here have experience with the Mpls board? I have no data to draw a conclusion.

I am nervous about the idea of putting my rental license in the hands of my competitors and unaccountable activists. The decisions might be unpredictable (or more political than politicians!).

IMHO. Bill Cullen.

10:48 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

What you want is a bar owner that put half his money up his nose and the rest to hoes.

A landlord who sees his property every year or too.

A tenant advocate that doesn't care what the place looks like.

JMONTOMEPPOF

Chuck Repke

my response;
Nobody said any such thing Chuck.

Chuck is doing what he does best. SPINNING..

And Chuck, you know as well as I do the vast majority of citizens don't even know the name of our mayor or city coumcil members. I bet you can find a great number of citizens who don't even know who the president is for that matter.

Bill, you must have given this some thought. What would you do to insure civil rights weren't violated?

I don't see any other way than a civilian review board. How would the group of folks I mentioned be a threat to landlords?

11:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob,

I do not have an answer. I just am not sure a civilian review board is it. Holding our elected officials is what voting is suppose to do!

My memory is fading with age, but don't we have a civilian review board in St. Paul too? I remember a lawsuit filed by Rep Phil Krinkie a few years back against LIEP. The issued involved alleged retaliation against Rep Krinkie's plumbing business due to legislation he proposed. What happened to that review board? I have never heard a peep from them... Anyone?

Regards, Bill Cullen.

7:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

People were not ticked at sparl because they did not have enough shitty property, they were ticked at sparl because sparl didn't give a damn about what was happening to anyone else unless it was happening to them personally.

10:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chuck are you really an idiot?Or are you just kidding?You are completely wrong.Dave Thune should be thrown out of City Hall on his head for eating dinner with you.

Chuck said,"If the landlord they pick is someone like Bill Cullen everyone in the law suit would have a shit fit. They were ticked at him when he was president of SPARL because SPARL people don't have enough shitty property."


Ciani Says,"I think Bill is comming around and what I gather from landlords is he'd be great.I think Bill was blinded by the fact that he trusted our current leadership and they'd do the right things.Lets ask Bill.Bill Cullen how has your view changed about code enforcement since your involvement with SPARL and now after you've heard evidence of city abusing their power?


Chuck your the lazy one with his hand out to the city for free money.Your the lazy one that only hears one side of the story.CHUCK YOU ARE LAZY.Yes neighbors are mad,but my friend there is a right way and a wrong way to do things.You can not trample peoples civil rights just to make your voters happy.


Have a great day!


Tim Ciani

11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chuck are you going on a vacation soon?Please you make me sick with all your spinning.

12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob said... "And Chuck, you know as well as I do the vast majority of citizens don't even know the name of our mayor or city coumcil members. I bet you can find a great number of citizens who don't even know who the president is for that matter."

Oh sure those are the exact people that we want to be in charge of things. The less attention they pay to the world around them, clearly that makes them the best to understand the complexities of a property code violation or a landlord/tennent issue.

Bob, you guys just keep proving my points.

You honestly believe that people would judge best if they had no information, that knowledge currupts them.

I don't have any problem with the idea of a civilian review board concerning property issues. I think that what you would find is that the citizens that would apply would be those who are concerned about problem properties, and who have suffered from their adverse effects.

You still haven't said who would appoint these people that have no knowledge and have never shown any interest in the government before.

Or should I have assumed it would be you.

JMONTOMEPPOF

Chuck Repke

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guess Bob can't answer that one.

6:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only way to have a fair "civilian review board" would be to bring them in from outside of the city so there would be people that haven'r been exposed to the propaganda spewed out of the City Council offices about landlords.

It would be interesting to have some of these behavior issues before such a review board and see if they think the city should be holding the landlords responsible for the actions of the tenants, or if the city should be arresting and charging the tenants who cause the problems.

7:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK 7:52 Now what we are saying is that we need people with no knowledge of the issue who have never been involved in anything to do with civic involvement who will decide out of the blue that this issue is what the all of a sudden want to have an interest in.

And, back at you, who appoints these uninformed, noninvolved people from out of town?

JMONTOMEPPOF

Chuck Repke

8:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who appoints themn is a real problem Chuck. I don't trust any government enity that would appoint them. I also wouldn't feel confortable if the landlords themselves appointed them. It's too nad EVERYTHING has to be so damn "political" that NO ONE is willing to do their job without all this political BS in the mix.

11:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With regard to civilian review boards… Has anyone had experience with the Mpls civilian review board? That board has reviewed rental license revocations for a few years. I am curious if it is working…

I have answered the SPARL question before. But it keeps coming up.

I never controlled SPARL. The organization is guided by a member elected board. From the best of my knowledge, SPARL continues to remain on the sidelines as the city continues with the same or similar processes/procedures.

SPARL did have some control over me. I spoke out a few times (once published in the Pioneer Press against the Mayor) and the SPARL board slapped me for it. They made it clear that if I speak as the President of SPARL, my comments must first be approved by the board.

The SPARL board is elected by the members. I personally tried to recruit new board members so SPARL could become more aggressive towards the city. Two of those recruits are plaintiffs in these lawsuits. Everyone declined and the board remained with members who prefer a more passive/educational role.

If you really want to change SPARL (and not just whine or toss about conspiracy theories or blame me/Patricia), then contact myself or Patricia Whitney and I suspect we can get you on the board. Of course that does require significant unpaid work.

Regards, Bill Cullen

5:12 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

Chuck said;
You honestly believe that people would judge best if they had no information, that knowledge corrupts them.

my response;
Chuck, what we don't need on a civilian review board is puppets appointed by people with political interest.

It really is that simple folks.

We need a group of people who can't be bought off or influences by outside enities. This civilian review board shouldn't be dependant upon the city for ANY funding.

In your perfect world Chuck, your like minded friends would over see the civilian review board so they could shore up the city council and mayors positions. Then you and your friends could point to this board and say, "the civilian review board agrees with us"!

Sorry I didn't get back in a timely manner to respond to you Chuck. I am baby sitting my grandson for 2 weeks. I have been spending a lot of time with him.
He's almost 4. He's very intelligent and a lot of fun.

9:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The political influence would most certainly have anb effect......the effect the city wanted....another sham like they have now with the Legislative Hearing process. Just look at the planning commission....someone voted the wrong way on the Holeman Field fiasco and Mayor Coleman got rid of them. Someone else voted wrong on something else just recently and Lee Helgen saw to it that they were removed.

What do we do?

11:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob

Who will appoint these people?

You won't answer the question, because there is no way to answer it. You say that you don't want anyone appointed by the City to be on the Civilian Review board of a City agency. You don't want the people to have ever shown any interest in City government.

Who would these people be that would all of a sudden have an interest in this topic but not have a bias?

Sorry Bob, I live in the real world. If you were going to have a review board for a City agency it is going to be a board appointed by the City. It isn't going to be appointed by space men or by the devine power of the universe.

That is how the government works.

JMONTOMEPPOF

Chuck Repke

4:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's another way Government works Repke. How about if the Federal Courts appoint someone to over see these rouge housing inspectors? Perhaps the FBI or HUD could also lend a hand.

4:48 PM  
Blogger Swiftee said...

"Currently, those responsibilities are spread among so many departments that, according to Choi and the independent audit, addressing racial disparities is no one's core mission."

So instead of simply making better use of one of the many existing departments, St. Paul's answer to the Shriner Circus proposes what?

Triple the size of one, evidently incapable department and create yet another, completely new department.

And, while the rest of the country is rejecting racial quotas for the inherently counter productive,racist pandering they are, St. Paul's inherently counter productive, racist Democrats welcomes them with open arms.

Wow.

Those new taxes must be pouring in so fast the mayor and the council had to find a new place to spend them.

"The reforms would be expensive and rocky for the bureaucracy and culture of City Hall, according to City Attorney John Choi, although no actual costs have been estimated."

Hell, who needs a stinkin' estimate? The saintly city has found the golden tax tap and put a Democrat in position to open it WIDE...there is no end in sight!

"At Monday's community meeting, several black leaders said they feared the proposal would weaken the city Human Rights Department — a concern that underscores the sensitivity of the issue."

Right. So next year, surrounded by the usual suspects at the podium, Mayor Coleman will simply announce the formation of a new department to oversee disputes between the Department of Racial Quotas and the Human Rights Department.

Really, this is good news for the rest of too; St. Paul is signaling that it has found a way to make due without LGA, so we won't expect to have to witness any more teary eyed, tin cup rattling from Chris Coleman next year.

Heh.

9:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Morning Chuck.
Repke is a person that would stand up and be counted, as long as you don't step on the toes of the crooks that run St.Paul Government.
He is one that helped the city council cover the backs of misuse of money intended for the good of the city.
Lets all stand up and thank Chuck for being the biggest brown noise in St.Paul.

7:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So do you believe discrimination against women and minority contracts exist or not swiftee?

8:02 AM  
Blogger Swiftee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:15 AM  
Blogger Swiftee said...

Of course there is discrimination in St. Paul!

When it comes to reducing black Americans to de-facto serfs, the Democrat Party has a record that puts the Klan to shame.

The illiteracy rate among St. Paul public school's minority population alone is enough to make the Grand Kluxer swoon with envy.

The last thing that any Democrat wants to see is a successful minority. Because every time someone, irregardless of color or gender, raises themselves to achieve what they are capable of, it means one less vote for the party of poverty and pandering.

Which is why the notion that expanding a government ruled by Democrats will "even things up" for minorities is so...damn....amusing!

9:19 AM  
Anonymous Jeff Matiatos said...

I am a frequent rider on the MTC bus and ride to many areas of the metro from minneapolis and St.Paul to communitys surrounding and in the richest neighborhoods.

I cant help notice that a great majority of busses to these white and rich neighborhoods have white drivers.

I also can see that in areas on MTC routes, say to areas of the city where persons of Asian decent
live, MTC drivers are asian and so on.

Seems to me like St.Paul segregates communities by race.

Isn't that why Frogtown seems to be have turned over to the Asians ?

St.Paul Government has done this with the Blacks as well !

In a strange way, one can say that by giving certain races their own communities and giving them jobs in areas where their kin folk live is the cities way of ensuring that these folks are not forgotten ?

I can see some positives but also some negatives the way this city
divys up the jobs and invents communities by race.




Jeff Matiatos

10:39 AM  
Anonymous I said said...

Thats right, put people of color and race in their own communities and when civil war breaks out, call in the police and national guard and surround them.

Its alot easier that way and they dont have to go door to door in order round em up.

This is probably the view of Government not mine.

10:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Swiftee, that's pretty sweeping of you, considering that we all know many successful minorities who are active Democrats. Allow me to drop the insults and give you a reason why.

First, no one gives a crap about the poor really, every individual politician has a self serving angle. That is not bound by party. You invest your be all in an individual you will be disappointed or an apologist.

Policies are what matter. A party who's policy (or platform) is about fiscal tightness and small government won't change with the election of one who spends like crazy or grows the government. There is usually a correction eventually from within and a move back to the core policies.

Hence, the GOP sticking by Bush but, not really liking his some of his moves. To the small government crowd, he's been a disappointment but, they haven't left the party, they are now trying to correct that with someone who promises to shrink the government and its burden.

On the other side of the aisle its not about how to shrink government, but how to make it work for the greater good. In the Democrats case for the most part, we believe that. It's why we spearheaded some pretty good programs that have been very successful over the years like Social Security, Medicare, Food Stamp Program, FDA,FDIC for your money, WIC, Medicaid, G.I. Bill, Student Loan Programs and the Pell Grant to name a few. These have all been very successful in helping Americans move up.

In that process of searching for solutions to our ills we have had a lot of bad and counter-productive programs. (I know ol' T. Swift keeps a list nearby he'll be happy to share). The Democrats however, were first to support programs that not only addressed poverty but discrimination(Civil Rights Act, Voter Rights Act, Justice Department going after civil rights violations).

While true that:
1. many would not have passed without some, I repeat- some republican support, they were Democratic ideals tied into our policies (platform).
2. democrats, especially in the South, were some of the historical biggest perpetrators of these right, minorities view (and hear) Democrats giving voice these issues that affect almost everyone of us minorities now matter where you are in life. We hear republicans like Swiftee twisting that into some kind of alter logic.

What Swiftee doesn't understand is that after you become successful (whatever that means) discrimination doesn't disappear. As a matter of fact, the more you become successful the more its there in a clear manner. You see these things, and hear them and watch how people act and some of notice its no different than when you were in another economic bracket. Bob posted a great example of this on here. Scroll down and look at the story of the judge and how his family was treated by the cops. Look up the testimony of Supreme Court Justice Alan Page on racial profiling.

Discrimination for many African American is the only thing that actually binds us together. Many have different life experiences, economic advantages, education and so forth. The only thing we have in common is discriminatory action directed upon us an that's not in our control.

So, when it happens. Like it happened here. You see Democrats trying to figure out how to resolve this for now, and I hear Republicans basically saying nothing. Or, when they do, its a partisan shot at Democrats. I never see them in front of any racial discrimination issue unless its their perception of reverse racism or Democratic abuse.

That inconsistency does not go unnoticed here or in the country.

I do believe that one of the Givens family's business is part of this suit (Thor Construction). They are black and being one the richest families in Minnesota, also successful. Sort of blows Swiftee's theory out of the water.

Eric

11:24 AM  
Blogger Swiftee said...

That would be interesting, since Thor Construction built the Excel Center in a partnership with Mortenson.

The very idea that one can eliminate racial discrimination by codifying it, which is exactly what racial quotas are, is a uniquely leftist perspective.

BTW, did I really see you put up welfare as a successful Democrat program? Are you nuts?

Set aside the utter destruction of the public school system, and welfare stands first among the most devestating effects of having Democrats in office.

The Democrats took a marginally good idea and expanded it into a legacy of failure and despair for more families than could be counted.

Living "on the dole" has been turned into a family tradition for many people. It has utterly destroyed at least three generations of black Americans whose life experiences revolve around AFDC and WIC.

You should read up on your own history before you decide to defend the indefensable Eric.

3:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, this is not a bad response from you Swiftee. Before I tackle the welfare issue, lets tackle the democrats believe that “one can eliminate racial discrimination by codifying it, which is exactly what racial quotas are, is a uniquely leftist perspective.”

Yes you can. The point is to codify procedures not outcomes. When you get into outcomes, then it is a quota system and you can debate on the relativism of that. You can’t change what people think of others or, to and extent, what they say. But, you can put a check on how they act (reviewing job applicants, soliciting bids, enforcing the law etc)So, if you force a check on actions, then that is one step in evening the playing field and setting the table correctly. I support that, I guess you don’t.

Fact is, Welfare has helped more people almost ten-fold over the ones that have become lifetime members. The vast majority of people use it for what's for, a temporary support tool.

When welfare reform was being debated before it passed, many stats came out reveling some surprising truths. 56 percent of AFDC support ended within 12 months, 70 percent within 24 months, and almost 85 percent within 4 years (Research staff, House Committee on Ways and Means). These exit rates clearly contradict the widespread myth that AFDC recipients wanted to remain on public assistance or that welfare dependency was permanent. So starting with that, you are willing to trash it because of a small percentage who cannot or will not do better?

Thor Construction is owned by Richard Copeland (married into the Givens family), was involved in a few suits over the years. So, if you see them building, then the system works. Suits are not always about money, sometimes and many times in the cases of discrimination, it’s about access or policy.

Its also utterly insulting, but telling of your nature, to indicate that MY history is people on welfare. Last I checked, about 2% of our national budget goes to welfare, and we should all be aware of these programs and their impact, not just black people who you assume by far are the moochers of welfare. Children, not women, are the largest group of people receiving public assistance. Less than 5 million of the 14 million public assistance recipients are adults, and 90 percent of those adults are women (U.S. Bureau of Census). The majority of the recipients are White (40 percent). So, you should read up on YOUR peoples history.

For those who care, public schools have been the biggest failure to minorities and urban poor. I can write a book on why and a lot of it will circle back to the break down of the family, funding system of the schools, and unfunded federal mandates. Another discussion on another thread

The best government programs have been adjusted over the years to be more reflective of their initial mission. Just like the Constitution has been adjusted over the years to better reflect its mission (Preamble).

So you do admit that people are discriminated against based on who they are? Then what do you propose we do about it, and who decides who makes that decision?

Eric

5:29 PM  
Blogger Swiftee said...

"The point is to codify procedures not outcomes. When you get into outcomes, then it is a quota system and you can debate on the relativism of that."

Eric, take a moment and re-read that statement.

We're talking about a supposed lack of minority contractors here.

The proceedure in every municipal contract I've ever seen is:

A) A published RFQ from the city.

B) A review of submitted proposals.

C) Awarding a contract.

Reviewing proposals includes not only the price, but checking on the past projects a contractor has submitted as a sample of their work. Also a review of the credentials of the persons that want to do the job (licensure, experience etc.)

Schedules, guarantees, a company's ability to pay liquidated damages in the event the project goes south; these are what sells a proposal.

Skin color and gender are not blanks that I've ever been required to fill in.

The Thor\Mortenson partnership on the Excel project is an example of how a minority firm becomes successful.

Thor, by itself, wasn't big enough to tackle the job; so they partnered with a much larger firm and got the job.

Now they have a success to put on their resume the next time around.

The city has a Human Rights department to enforce anti-discrimination laws. If minority contractors believe that they have been systymaticly excluded they should file a complaint.

If they do not get satisfaction from the city, and have evidence that they have been discriminated against because of their race or gender they can sue.

I'm not saying that racism does not play a roll in American life, especially where Democrats are concerned. I'm saying that adding to a bureauracy that is already failing to do it's job makes absolutely no sense.

I'm also saying that this new department will be enforcing a quota system, and I think you know that's true.

It is also a huge waste of taxpayers dollars.

Which is why the Democrat government of St. Paul can be counted upon to persue it with vigor.

I can't wait until Coleman threatens to cut the police and-or fire department budgets again to extort another tax increase next year.

12:14 PM  

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