The long awaited “disparities” study to help us understand how women-owned and minority-owned businesses compete for contracts offered by the City and in the private sector is now complete. The Disparity Study looked at the City’s procurement process, the locations and ownership of companies that do business with the city and at the overall marketplace and experiences of women-owned and minority-owned businesses that seek contracts in both the public and private sector. It has confirmed that we continue to have a significant problem with racial and gender discrimination on all levels of the hiring contracting and procurement ladder in the region. Institutional racism and sexism appear to continue to pose serious obstacles in access to contracts in our marketplace. The study also made a number of recommendations to remedy the situation, including the enhancement of current City efforts to fight discrimination and the addition of new initiatives. These initiatives involve both race- and gender-conscious remedies as well as some race- and gender-neutral initiatives. You can view the study here: and the recommendations here.
The City Council is now seeking public comments on the Disparity Study. All comments must be made in writing to the Civil Rights Department in one of two ways: E-mail comments to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 4:30 p.m. (CST) on Friday, December 3. Mail to: Minneapolis Civil Rights Department, Attn: Cynthia Govan, 250 S. 4th Street, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55415. The Council act on any recommendations based on the report following the comment period. This is the second Disparity Study completed by the City.
The original study was completed in 1995 and the new study is required if we are to operate a Small and Underutilized Business Program to address the effects of past discrimination in contracting and to promote equal opportunities for all to participate in contracts generated by the City.