Open Letter Re: 2019 MACC Contractor Outreach Event & Job Fair

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Open Letter:

Re: 2019 MACC Contractor Outreach Event & Job Fair

Ms. Claudia C. Abarca
Deputy Director
City of San Diego
Public Works Department, Contracts

Claudia, the outreach announcement for the MACC, should be ran in the San Diego Voice and Viewpoint Community Newspaper. I just saw your announcement and thought that it was a Project MAAC (Metropolitan Area Advisory Committee) announcement of the non-profit Chula Vista well respected Latino group. Although this is a well-intended initiative, and it may not be targeted toward the underrepresented African Americans in contracting and employment (that is so-called prohibited by a Prop 209 law), it may miss the objective as a Dog and Pony show. The City has been doing these kinds of events and we are seeing decreasing numbers of underrepresented African Americans, women and other excluded groups. Although Latinos are eating well, which we are grateful that one of our minority groups is getting a brake, it’s now creating another set of problems where throughout San Diego’s construction industry a wall has been built to exclude non-Spanish speaking workers.

The National Black Contractors Association (NBCA) as in our last year’s construction industry summit 2018, was to open the dialog with Unions, for greater inclusion of urban inner-city youth in apprenticeships and underrepresented workers is still a work in progress. Claudia, as a Latina Deputy Director of the City of San Diego Public Works Department, and Contracts, you know your people are over represented by all these cities Multiple Award Construction Contract. (MACC) “no low” bid contractors includes; “Burtech Pipeline/Infrastructure Engineering Corporation (IEC), KTA Construction/Nasland Engineering, Orion Construction Corporation/Harris & Associates/GHD, Shimmick Construction/David Evans & Associates Inc., and TC Construction Company/Michael Baker International.” We feel that they are being indirectly told that the community’s well stated concerns on exclusion of district 4 (35% African American population,) is not of concern to your office nor the city’s, when the city turns around and host an event like the one you are promoting, without showing a collaboration with the community stakeholders such as the NBCA. NBCA is the voice for the voiceless African Americans in construction.

This will inadvertently send a message that the city does not respect our community’s concerns, and doesn’t care whether or not, there are ongoing practices of exclusion of underrepresented groups. Although I will say this is the first time that this group of historic excluders have ever been brought to District 4, which shows that District 4 Council member Monica Montgomery, means what she says and says what she means, that: “District 4 will not be underrepresented.” This kind of Dog and Pony show does not allow a dialogue, given the severity of the history. this should be an event that could build relationships with intended outcomes of inclusion. This history of exclusion is the city’s fault, and the MACC contractors are not all to blame. This shows that when the city hosts a community outreach event, its watered down and sends a mix-message, that the city is not supporting an open dialogue, which must be done first if we are to come to real resolutions.

The NBCA will not promote this event, nor seek the MAAC contractor’s membership in lieu of true inclusion of African Americans. We feel that we are being slighted as a group with a history of leadership that resulted in team building. It is our hope that the city will collaborate with community stakeholders in a future NBCA summit or Chat n’ Chew to outline the way forward, for greater inclusion.

Sincerely,

Brother Hameed – National President NBCA

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