09-19-2017  5:25 pm      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Tim Burgess Inaugurated as 55th Mayor of Seattle

Burgess, a former radio journalist, served as Seattle City Councilmember from 2008 to 2017 ...

Mobile Mammography Van Comes to Health Fair, Oct. 7

Onsite mammograms, music, food, health information, and fun ...

Humboldt Sewer Repair Project Update: September 15, 2017

Environmental Services continues a project to repair more than 3 miles of public sewer pipes ...

NAACP Portland Branch Invites Community to Monthly General Membership Meeting

Meeting takes place from noon to 2 p.m. Sept. 23 ...

Portland to Launch Online Platform to Ease Rental Applications

One App Oregon will reduce barriers to accessing affordable housing for the city's renters ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Jeff Trades an Unknown Known for a Known Known

Jeff Tryens reflects on life in Central Oregon ...

We Must Have A New Poor People's Campaign and Moral Revival

Bishop William J. Barber II pens an exclusive op-ed about the need for a New Poor People's Campaign and Moral Revival. ...

Rebuilding the Gulf Coast, Preparing for the Next Harvey

Bill Fletcher talks about impact of Hurricane Harvey on poor workers on the the Gulf Coast. ...

It’s Time for Congress to Pass a Hurricane Harvey Emergency Funding Package

Congressional Black Caucus Members talk about recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey ...

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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