Mayor Bloomberg and the New York City Council Make Strides to Remove Barriers for Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises

Introduction 911-A Signed Into Law to Expand City Contracts

Jan 07, 2013, 14:57 ET from The New Agenda

NEW YORK, Jan. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Today Mayor Bloomberg signed into law Introduction 911-A, groundbreaking legislation to improve opportunities for Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs) in New York City.

The new law eliminates the $1 million cap on program eligible contracts set forth by Local Law 129 of 2005 and calls for increased city procurement contracts in areas of goods, professional services, construction, standard services, and architectural and engineering services. This is estimated to triple the total value of contracts from $433 million to a projected $2.2 billion. The legislation also calls for the establishment of a tracking system for contracts, tighter procedures to weed out noncompliant M/WBE firms, and more on-site visits for pre-certification while allowing cross-certification from other governmental agencies. An accountability program will be created with mandatory meetings for agency leaders to discuss their progress towards achieving M/WBE goals and their efforts to increase participation, and capacity building throughout the M/WBE community will be encouraged through joint ventures.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and members of the New York City Council voted to pass Introduction 911-A on December 18 with 48 affirmative, 2 abstention, and 2 negative. Speaker Quinn was a champion of the legislation, which rose out of an unprecedented conference held by The New Agenda coalition and City & State newspaper last June. Never before had all of the mayoral candidates gathered together prior to the election to discuss issues relating to Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises and how they would be addressed by their administrations were they to be elected.

The Reverend Jacques Andre DeGraff, First Vice President of 100 Black Men and Co-Chair of The New Agenda, said, "Local Law 911-A marks a bold step for the rights of Minority and Women-Owned Businesses. This far-reaching legislation will set the standard for increased opportunities for M/WBEs, not just in New York City but in the nation."

"Today will be remembered throughout history in the M/WBE community," said Sandra Wilkin, Co-Founder and President Emeritus of the Women Builders Council and Co-Chair of The New Agenda. "As a woman who owns a construction firm in New York, I am both proud and elated to say we have broken the concrete ceiling with this legislation."

About The New Agenda: The New Agenda is a broad-based coalition of longstanding leadership organizations in the Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises community.

Ali Sirota

SOURCE The New Agenda