04-26-2018  6:10 am      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

Ballots Out For Delivery Today

USPS delivers ballots Wednesday, April 25 for the May 15 Primary Election ...

GFO Announces Upcoming Classes, Workshops & Special Interest Groups

Upcoming events include regional special interest groups, Cuban genealogy talk and a DNA workshop ...

Event: Going Beyond the Flint Water & Housing Crises

Recode invites speakers to discuss the Flint water crisis and its relationship to gentrification, displacement, and housing crises ...

Think & Drink with Rinku Sen and Mary Li

Event takes place Wednesday, May 16, at Alberta Rose Theater ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

The Skanner News Endorsements for May 2018 Elections

Read The Skanner News' endorsements for Oregon, Multnomah County, Portland City Council and more ...

Will HUD Secretary Ben Carson Enforce the Fair Housing Act?

Julianne Malveaux questions HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s ability to enforce the Fair Housing Act ...

Waiting While Black in Philadelphia Can Get You Arrested

Reggie Shuford on the daily indignities African-Americans face in Philadelphia and around the country ...

Black People Must Vote or Reap the Consequences

Jeffrey Boney on the importance of voting in the Black community ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

By The Skanner News

A group of minority business owners demanded Wednesday that the federal government withhold more than $3 billion in funding for California's bullet train project while they investigate claims of unfair contracting practices by high-speed rail officials.

Associated Professionals and Contractors filed an administrative complaint with the U.S. Department of Transportation alleging that small firms, many of which are owned by minorities, were largely excluded in the bidding process for design and engineering contracts worth millions of dollars.

The complaint alleged that of 134 firms that benefited from lucrative contracts awarded by the California High-Speed Rail Authority, only about a dozen are minority-owned. It claims that the authority's "restrictive procurement system and a laissez-faire attitude" has funneled nearly all contracting dollars to large firms instead of small firms.

The group claims such practices violate civil rights law.

Fred Jordan, president of an engineering and construction management firm who also heads the San Francisco African American Chamber of Commerce, said the authority has ignored the pleas of minority business owners.

"It just doesn't seem to be their priority or concern that all qualified businesses in this state have an opportunity to participate," he said.

The authority said it has complied with the law.

"Our contracts are awarded in a very public and transparent manner by our board, in public meetings," Valerie Martinez, the authority's small business liaison said.

A transportation department spokesman said he couldn't comment because he hadn't seen the complaint.



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