Airport board adopts policies to boost minority contracts

Friday, September 21, 2007 at 2:32am

The Metro Nashville Airport Authority (MNAA) has adopted a set of policies geared to improving the diversity of companies contracted to complete airport work.

The policies, according to the MNAA, follow the recommendation of a recently completed disparity study aimed at broadening opportunities for business partnerships with small minority women’s business enterprises, subject to further legal review.

Marilyn Robinson, president of the Nashville branch of the NAACP, said she considers the new policies to be a positive addition to MNAA practices. The issue of improving diversity of contracted companies is a major issue locally that is being addressed by entities ranging from Metro government to the Nashville Electric Service, she said.

“Many cities are far ahead of us, but we’re going to get there,” Robinson said. “We are very pleased.”

The study’s recommendations — which were unanimously endorsed by the MNAA board of commissioners Wednesday — call for the MNAA to develop “comprehensive policies and procedures” for its existing Small, Minority and Women Business Enterprise (SMWBE) program including unbundling large projects and bidding them based on their components, and review and lowering of insurance and bonding requirements on all contracts if it is determined that MNAA’s interests will still be protected.

“Our primary purpose in doing this study was to make our existing SMWBE program as strong as possible,” said Raul Regalado, president and CEO of the MNAA, in a statement. “We plan to aggressively address the issues raised in the study, including our outreach efforts, which we are already increasing. We have also begun the comprehensive policy review recommended by the report.”

Program unique to BNA

The MNAA’s existing SMWBE program was created in 2002 to foster contracting minority-owned businesses for locally funded airport projects. The SMWBE loosely mirrors a federally mandated program that serves a similar purpose for projects funded by federal grants.

Airport officials say BNA is unique in having a program that applies exclusively to locally funded projects. The City Paper could not find statistics to support this, but a spokesperson for the Washington, D.C.-based Airport Minority Advisory Council said she did not know of other cities with similar programs.

By airport accounts, the SMWBE has been a success — by 2006, the airport had surpassed its previously set minority contract percentage goals.

In September 2006, the airport’s setting of numerical goals was suspended. Robert Watson, MNAA senior vice president and chief legal officer, said in February that the airport had received one letter from an activist group. Without a statistically sound disparity study on file, Watson said, MNAA officials were concerned the program was an invitation for a lawsuit.

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By: idgaf on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Awarding contracts based on race and gender flies in the face of just what the Civil Rights Movement was all about.As a public or semi public entity their first responsibility is to get the public the most bang for their bucks not to hand out money for perceived inequities of the past.We have come a long way in forty years so step into the present. Any real discrimination can be addressed in the courts. Frankly in todays environment especially when it comes to public contracts I would say little if any exists. A contract is put up for bid for goods or services and the best company should get the contract not an inferior one based on race or gender.If that is going to be the measuring stick then blacks lose again as hispanics are a bigger minority then they are so their claimed "handicap" or whatever you want to call it will comeback to bite them.Contracts need to be judged by the quality of the work and the bid price or everyone loses. Can they cut the mustard and stand on their own or do they want scraps thrown on the floor from the Masters table?I can see Martin rolling in his grave and hear him moaning.

By: theplantsman on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Ah, yes. Racism is alive and well at the (NAACP) National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. An organization fostered by ministers of historical, predominantly black churches who preach a sermon of oppression and entitlement. BTW, what “Color” are they referencing? Why that would be Black, of course. Ah, yes. Racism is alive and well in Nashville, Tennessee.

By: MsTyphani on 12/31/69 at 6:00

BTW, the article says that the airport adopts policies to boost minority contracts...not change current policies or do away with them, and not to give all the contracts to minority business owners, which include women, but simply boost minority contracts or in other words give the small business owner a chance in the race by taking the "shackles" off their ankles and giving them running shoes like the rest of the runners on the track; not giving them a one minute headstart...:

By: MsTyphani on 12/31/69 at 6:00

That BTW was in reponse to IDGAF's statement:Contracts need to be judged by the quality of the work and the bid price or everyone loses. Can they cut the mustard and stand on their own or do they want scraps thrown on the floor from the Masters table?PLEASE READ THIS EXCERPT FROM A SPEECH LBJ MADE IN 1965.Freedom is Not EnoughBut freedom is not enough. You do not wipe away the scars of centuries by saying: Now you are free to go where you want, and do as you desire, and choose the leaders you please.You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say, "you are free to compete with all the others," and still justly believe that you have been completely fair.Thus it is not enough just to open the gates of opportunity. All our citizens must have the ability to walk through those gates.This is the next and the more profound stage of the battle for civil rights. We seek not just freedom but opportunity. We seek not just legal equity but human ability, not just equality as a right and a theory but equality as a fact and equality as a result.

By: gdiafante on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Most Caucasian people aren't the color of this page.

By: MsTyphani on 12/31/69 at 6:00

yes gd i understand that, but they chose to refer to themselves as (white) a very long time ago... and they, meaning Caucasians, chose to refer to us as black a very long time ago...I am most sure that my ancestors would not have chosen a term which when defined means: "the abscence of all light"on a lighter note: Happy Friday!

By: idgaf on 12/31/69 at 6:00

We don't need to look beyond Ludye Wallace and other black council members when it comes to minority set asides. They sell out the city for a few coins of gold.The bum don't even live in "his district". He is another racial pimp like JJ and Mr Sharpie without the juice. Need I mention the Fords too?

By: gdiafante on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I think the difference is that most Caucasians don’t care. I know I don’t. If I did, I would make you call me Irish-German-Welsh American, not white.Better yet, just call me American.

By: idgaf on 12/31/69 at 6:00

The segrigation this time is by choice to keep playing victim to lay white guilt on the liberals.Real successfull people who should be their childrens role models are mocked like , Clarence Thomas, Uncle Tom Powell and Aunt Jemima Rice and how about Thomas Sowell who I cite as an authority many times.

By: Chucky on 12/31/69 at 6:00

How long MsTyphani?40 years?50 years?100 years?Who decides when "affirmative action" will be done with?

By: idgaf on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Its already been 40 yrs.My guess is when the two race pimps die.They are the only ones that depend on conflict to support themselves in the manner they are accustomed too.

By: MsTyphani on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Lets see...I can surely count the 100 years of oppression from 1800-1900 + 1900-1960...so that rounds up to be about 140 years of affirmative action due IMO minus the 40 you already said we've received...Does that work for you?

By: gdiafante on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Why start at 1800? Surely you can count further back than that?

By: MsTyphani on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Yes gdiafante I can since the first colony of African slaves in America was in 1670; but in realistic terms 100 more years of quality affirmative action would suffice if enforced as it should be...

By: NewYorker1 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I just read the article and no where did it say the minority group was black, but some of you automatically assumed it was. The Nashville chapter of the NAACP was not involved, but just stated they thought the new policies of MNAA were positive. You guy need to READ the articles instead of making assumptions based on your own opinions.

By: MsTyphani on 12/31/69 at 6:00

NewYorker1 i agree with you...I just let ID and Plantsman get me fired up on affirmative action and it just went on and on... I mentioned earlier about the contracts dealing with women(see below)~ But for the simple minded, minority=black most often.By: MsTyphani on 9/21/07 [Delete] BTW, the article says that the airport adopts policies to boost minority contracts...not change current policies or do away with them, and not to give all the contracts to minority business owners, which includes women, hispanics, etc.~ but simply boost minority contracts or in other words give the small business owner a chance in the race by taking the shackles off their ankles and giving them running shoes like the rest of the runners on the track; not giving them a one minute headstart...:

By: gdiafante on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I believe this all got started by Plant questioning what color is referred to in the NAACP. Maybe you need to read the posts.

By: gdiafante on 12/31/69 at 6:00

There's no need to insult MsTyphani. I believe most people associate "black" when a minority is mentioned, especially when the NAACP is involved.

By: MsTyphani on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Didn't mean to offend. People should associate Blacks with the NAACP. They should also be made aware that a minority is anyone who is not the majority. The type minority contracts discussed in the article address women which seems kind of ironic since the majority of the population in this country is white female. But it just goes to prove that they are a minority in the corporate world. Like whites would be the minority in the prison system, while Black men are the majority. The point is that minority is a word based on context.

By: gdiafante on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I agree completely.

By: idgaf on 12/31/69 at 6:00

To my knowledge the NAACP never represented any minority group except blacks.MsTyphani and others are tying themslves to the role of victim who need protection (or in fact she may be part of the NAACP) of organizations and have to be led around by "leaders" of the likes of JJ and sharption.They have to shed their own imaginary chains and break out of their slave mentality. Is it whites that make their kids drop out of school, glorify rap take rugs and have children out of wedlock or are they fitting the box they are keeping themselves in?The people that should be leaders or at least examples are shuned, like Powell, Rice,Thomas,Walter Williams and Sowell.You can't get off the plantation unless you walk off the plantation through the open gate and stop looking for a free handout.

By: idgaf on 12/31/69 at 6:00

NYer did you make it on your own or are you a quota baby?Look at the Ford Tribe. They are the chiefs who prosper and rule and the people that put them in office time after time indictment after indictment are satisfied with the crumbs from under the table.

By: MsTyphani on 12/31/69 at 6:00

idgaf you are so callous, however, you did say something that I say to the people of my race quite often which is you have to break the psychological chain of slavery and that is true, but can you even fathom the thought of being black and what that means...Its much easier for you to say that to someone then to really understand.And what is a handout huh? What is the U.S. gov't giving blacks in america so great to be considered a handout? Some of the richest people would not be so unless it was given to them by their predecessors. My ancestors had absolutely nothing for centuries while we made these people richer...its owed, its not handout, its compensation! FYI, I don't eat crumbs sir and I never will!

By: MsTyphani on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Powell, Rice...man you are so simple. U need to lighten up on that conservative starch! All of your opinions of blacks are based on stereotypes and your examples of good leaders are a mockery of what makes a good black person, let me guess...they should be republican!

By: idgaf on 12/31/69 at 6:00

You are a victim and don't even know it.You don't want to be equal you want to be submissive, which is fine in an alternative lifestyle but not in the real world.Compensation for what? were you a slave? By what right do you claim the authority to take from others? Can you or they not compete on equal footing?If not you are declareing yourself as being inferior.

By: idgaf on 12/31/69 at 6:00

No not republicans but not slaves either that pull the party line while the party pulls your chain the same as they do to the gays and other special interests groups.They/you should be an American first and black second. What they can do for the country as a whole should be more important then what they can do for you personally or as a race.The country prospers we all prosper. Your race gets special treatment you have balkinization and we know what happens there.

By: gdiafante on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I can't believe I'm saying this, but well said Id.

By: J.D. on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I'm glad to see that the bidding process is going to be even more complicated and skewed towards minorities. Everybody knows that people of color and women just don't get the same oppurtunities as others in AMerica. Everybody also knows that minorities are simply not as smart as the white caucasian male, so they need a little extra help competing. Isn't that what America is about? Strenghtening the weak by weakening the strong?

By: theplantsman on 12/31/69 at 6:00

“Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You, But Ask What You Can Do For Your Country”, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

By: theplantsman on 12/31/69 at 6:00

MsTyphani, I apologize that I have not responded sooner, but frankly, I have been enjoying Oktoberfest in Cincinnati, Ohio. Prost!If you are more Ghetto than Black probably you would not know that the vast majority of American businesses are small businesses, not “Corporate America” (Instead of condemning Corporate America you should consider investing in these corporations and building wealth). More so, that you would think that “Whites in America” have not and do not experienced racism simply enforces my belief that you are Ghetto. Regardless, if contracts are increased or decreased that is not the issue. That st asides are in place is proof of Government/institutional racism, and so-called reverse racism is racism. More so, your passive/aggressive inference of “shackles” simply enforces my contention that Ghetto America has drank much entitlement Kool-Aid served by its Ghetto Ministers. More so, do not you find it odd that Asian and Hispanics did not have the “luxury” of Ghetto Ministers and their sermons of misery, oppression and despair? Yet, have managed to build their wealth in spite of the absence these Ghetto Ministers and their sermons of misery, oppression and despair. BTW, quoting President Lyndon B. Johnson whom I believe is tied with Jimmy “I Have Lusted” Carter further condemns your rhetoric. The worst legislation in American history was and is the Civil Rights Legislation. As to the oppression of the American Negro, perhaps, you should begin looking into your ancestor’s mirror and stop looking out of history’s window for the truth. Arabs and Negro’s were your enslavers that sold you into a better life than you would have experienced had you stayed in your “native” country and culture (Ironically, it was the W.A.S.P. - White Anglo-Saxon Protestant that began the fight against slavery – not the Negro). Moreover, percentage wise, American Negro plantation owners owned a higher percentage of African Negro salves than did White plantation owners. Yet, American media has had a difficult time exonerating American Whites. (Probably, because if the descendants of American Whites, especially Southern Whites, were to sue for defamation and slander it would make the claims of those who want reparations compare to peanuts) In summation, racism will not end in America until Ghetto America accepts it responsibility and guilt in their role in the Slave trade, not as slaves, but has the enslaver, slave trader and slave owner. It is then we can begin a civil dialog, but not until then.As Pogo quiped "I have seen the enemy and he is us". Ghetto America should take a lesson from Pogo.

By: theplantsman on 12/31/69 at 6:00

NewYorker1, good morning. I am the one that stated that Minority set asides are being primarily intended for Blacks because historically that is the group the Black Caucus in Congress intended. Especially in large municipalities such as Atlanta, New York, Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, etc. That is an undeniable fact, as is the fact that the NAACP has a few token Hispanics, Asian East Europeans, etc. but the vast majority are Blacks.