While the city gets ready to bore a 5.5-mile tunnel 120 feet under Portland's east side, minority contractors should be sharpening their pencils to compete for at least $26 million in construction contracts.
The Portland City Council last week approved a $426 million construction project for the eastside Big Pipe, which will divert untreated sewage and stormwater from the Willamette River.
The company hired to do the project, Kiewit/Bilfinger Berger, has identified $53 million in "opportunities" for local subcontractors, and of that, at least $26 million could go to minority- or women-owned businesses, said Bill Mariucci, the company's project director.
The campaign to repeal Portland's public campaign finance program failed to collect the required number of valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.
A group of shoppers moves impatiently through the checkout line at the supermarket. Two women of African descent wearing colorful headscarves reach the front of the line, where the cashier, a White woman, tells them they can't purchase non-food items with the card they're using.