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Black Caucus claims Rauner paying “lip service” to black vendors

Friday, May 18, 2018

* Wednesday

Gov. Bruce Rauner is joining humanitarian and mayoral candidate Dr. Willie Wilson at 3:30 p.m. Thursday at the Bruce Montgomery Operation HOPE, 815 W. 63rd St., 4th Floor, Chicago, IL, to sign an executive order that will give African Americans a fair share of all state contracts.

* Legislative Black Caucus members wanted to get their own views on record before that press pop with Wilson...

The Illinois Black Legislative Caucus accuses him of showboating for political gain. They say, in reality, his administration only made this problem worse by failing to enforce laws they’ve already passed.

At a press conference Thursday morning, the caucus shared data from the Business Enterprise Program (BEP), a state program designed to help women, minorities and disabled business owners partner with the state. While participation has grown, it shows over the last two years, the amount of money spent on black vendors has dropped 22%.

“All we’re trying to do is ask him to be fair and honest instead of playing lip service with these very important issues and pay attention to a lot of things we put into that bill,“ says Rep. Al Riley (D- Chicago). […]

Most of the suggestions found in the commission were made by Black Caucus members, outlined in a 2016 law and a task force. Members say he sat on these initiative for two years and could’ve delivered on his promise then.

“It’s appalling that the governor would try to come out as our champion today when he had an opportunity to actually become the champion if he wanted to solve this over the years,” Sen. Kimberly Lightford (D- Maywood).

* Rauner press release…

The Task Force was formed recognizing that African Americans represent 10% of business ownership in Illinois, yet only 1% of the total spending of the State of Illinois on state contracts. “This disparity is unacceptable,” Rauner said in announcing the order.

The Rauner administration is a staunch ally of minority business development. In recent years, African-American businesses have been growing under the Business Enterprise Program. Though they earned only $210.4 million from FY12-14, African-American businesses have earned $243.1 million from FY15-17 through BEP. Rauner’s executive order is intended to further accelerate growth of African-American businesses in state contracting. […]

“This Task Force was a bipartisan effort for which I would like to thank Gov. Rauner, Sen. Mattie Hunter, and Rep. Will Davis,” said Wilson. “We recognized that these important measures needed to be taken to strengthen economic development and job creation in the African-American community. The State’s engagement with African-American vendors will help lead to reduced unemployment and crime in areas that need job opportunities the most.” […]

“Thanks to the governor for giving us this unique opportunity,” said Rep. Will Davis, D-Hazel Crest. “I appreciate his desire to help and support African-American businesses. This executive order is a great first step in the right direction.”

* Perhaps stung by the criticism, Wilson sent out a press release yesterday after the event on a totally different topic…

Mayoral Candidate Willie Wilson stands up to condemn Governor Bruce Rauner’s recent proposal to reinstate the Illinois death penalty that was outlawed nearly a decade ago.

* And the governor had to deal with a bit of heckling at Wilson’s event yesterday

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Juice - Friday, May 18, 18 @ 11:48 am:

    In the article, Rauner claims that the state is spending $32.7 million more with African American vendors than when Quinn was Governor.

    In FY 15 (Quinn’s final year in office)- total BEP spending was $557 million. $96 million was with African American vendors.

    In FY 17- total BEP spending was $495 million. $75 million was with African American vendors. (a 22% decrease, as stated by the black caucus).

    How come whenever math is somehow involved, the Governor seems to always be wrong?

  2. - 47th Ward - Friday, May 18, 18 @ 11:55 am:

    Yay Black Caucus!

  3. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, May 18, 18 @ 12:05 pm:

    Of course, the Black Caucus never wants to discuss the billions, with a b, of State funds allocated to minority investment managers. The most notable comment comes from the irreplaceable Monique Davis, who observed, “It ain’t enough. “

  4. - Carhartt Union Negotiating Team - Friday, May 18, 18 @ 12:10 pm:

    Couldn’t hear what the heckler was saying, but Rauner deserves to be heckled everywhere he goes. He’s so transparently phony in his actions these days. He’s floundering and he’s showing it.

    Remember, he’s the force behind conflict in everything. He designed and promoted chaos and conflict and crisis. The only thing that’s different is that the outrage people have is real. He likely doesn’t understand that, because he is incapable of being real.

  5. - Henry Francis - Friday, May 18, 18 @ 12:11 pm:

    The Guv has had over 3 months to issue this EO? Why did he wait until 5 months before Election Day to issue it?

    What did the Guv’s handpicked minority business outreach guy (Jimmy Odom) tell us when he quit last year?

    “Prior to accepting this position, I always stated I would step down in my role if I believed the Illinois leadership towards helping the community was no longer a genuine priority. Unfortunately, that day has come.”

  6. - Henry Francis - Friday, May 18, 18 @ 12:16 pm:

    The Guv has had over 3 years (not months) to issue this EO - apologies.

  7. - DuPage Bard - Friday, May 18, 18 @ 12:23 pm:

    Sometimes you just gotta say Yay

  8. - Anonymous - Friday, May 18, 18 @ 12:32 pm:

    Of course, what the State won’t tell you is that to make those numbers as large as possible, they give contracts to minority vendors that are simply pass-throughs: instead of the state buying x from x company, they do minority set asides with “companies” that simply buy x from x company, put an upcharge on it, and sell it to the State. When you google the location of some of these “companies” it is the owner’s house or apartment.

    Contracts don’t go to qualified vendors giving the state the best price, but rather people that know how to play the game.

    I know this goes on at all levels of procurement, but the State doesn’t brag about how much they are spending except when it comes to situations like this, where a lot of the numbers are contrived.

  9. - RNUG - Friday, May 18, 18 @ 1:41 pm:

    == They say, in reality, his administration only made this problem worse by failing to enforce laws they’ve already passed. ==

    Rauner’s legacy …

  10. - Rocky Rosi - Friday, May 18, 18 @ 2:06 pm:

    @ Arthur Andersen “Black Caucus never wants to discuss the billions,allocated to minority investment managers…”
    AA paper pushers aka RIA/Investment managers invest less than 2.9% of IL pension funds. Just saying. The system is not working on the same playing field for all of IL business owners.

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