Tonight City Council President David A. Salvatore and Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune introduced an amendment in support of Providence’s policy to ensure in the fullest possible participation of firms owned and controlled by minorities (MBEs) or women (WBEs) in City-funded and -directed public construction programs, as well as in municipal purchases of goods and services.
“Providence is a rich and diverse city, and more than half of our population is made up of women, so we should not be struggling to meet the 10% standard of doing business with MBEs and WBEs,” stated Council President David A. Salvatore. “We have committed to ensuring that we hire local, diverse, and skilled companies to serve the needs of our city and these amendments help to make it easier to do so.”
The amendment reforms the long-dormant Commission on Minority and Women Business Development, codifying its powers and duties and properly establishing staggered terms for its members. It also strengthens the role of the MBE/WBE Outreach Director,empowering that person to set internal Women and Minority Business Enterprise (WMBE) goals, track and report on MBE/WBE purchasing, conduct trainings for City staff, conduct outreach to MBEs/WBEs, establish and finally, adopt rules and regulations ensuring compliance and enforcement of the ordinance.
Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune stated, “As an immigrant, woman of color, and a mom to a daughter, it is imperative that we as elected officials work to lift up these local businesses that are run by minorities and women. Helping them find a path to success shows our children that we are committed to making our city a place where everyone can succeed despite the color of their skin, their sex, or their nation of origin.”
The amendment also updates its “summary of factual findings” section, which listed information from 1987-1990, and now includes data from the 2012 MWBE Procurement Task Force report. It also requires mandatory Council reviews of the MWBE ordinance and program beginning in 2020 and every 10 years thereafter.