Press Release - Campbell Calls for Action After WGBH Report Documenting Decline in Contracts Awarded to Minority-Owned Businesses; Supports Call for Specific Actions Made by Black Economic Council
BOSTON - Today, Boston City Councilor Andrea J. Campbell called on Mayor Walsh to make specific commitments to improve the number of city contracts being awarded to minority-owned businesses.
Despite the fact that Boston is a majority-minority city, less than five percent of city contracts are awarded to minority-owned businesses. A recent report from WGBH News found that the percentage of City and State contracts awarded to minority-owned businesses has actually declined over the past twenty years. In response, the Black Economic Council - a group of Massachusetts’ business leaders of color - called on city and state leaders to make specific, tangible commitments to reverse this disturbing trend.
“In a city whose residents are more than 50 percent people of color, it’s unacceptable that fewer than five percent of City contracts are being awarded to minority-owned businesses,” said Councilor Campbell. “The Black Economic Council is right - as we celebrate the life and work of Dr. King this weekend, it’s time for City Hall to practice the values we preach, and make real, tangible commitments to increasing diversity in our contract process.”
Specifically, Councilor Campbell called on Mayor Walsh to commit to the following actions before Martin Luther King Day - two of which were originally proposed by the Black Economic Council:
The City of Boston should commit to specific, numeric targets for increasing the percentage of City contracts awarded to minority-owned businesses, to 7 percent, 14 percent and 20 percent of City contracts over the next three years.
The City of Boston should adopt the pilot program currently being used by Massport, which requires that developers submitting bids for major projects have a minority-owned business partner from the time they submit their bid - instead of pledging to find one after being awarded a contract.
The City of Boston should host a symposium with leaders from other cities designed to solicit feedback on Boston’s procurement process and develop a list of concrete recommendations for how to make it more equitable.
About Councilor Campbell:
Councilor Andrea Campbell represents District 4 on the Council, which includes parts of Dorchester, Mattapan, Roslindale and Jamaica Plain. In 2018, she became the first African American woman to serve as Boston City Council President.
Contact: Elizabeth Pimentel