Councilmember Loren Taylor Stands With Black Business Owner Against Continued Contracting Disparities In The City of Oakland

Date Posted: January 19th, 2022 @ 10:18 AM
Last Updated: January 20th, 2022 @ 9:47 AM
Group shot at black contractors press conference

Oakland, CA – Councilmember Loren Taylor stands in solidarity with black contractors, who are calling out the Department of Transportation (OakDOT) for its attempt to waive the City’s local and small business requirements. Last year, following the release of the 2017 Race and Gender Disparity Study, Councilmember Taylor championed an ordinance and resolution amending language in the City’s Code to establish an even playing field in Oakland’s contracting space. Since adoption of Taylor’s legislation, a coalition of department leaders and business stakeholders meet bi-weekly to deliver against the mandates of his policy. Some of their successes include the following:

  • Revising the Local and Small Local Business Enterprise Program (L/SLBE) to incorporate a significant number of recommendations from the Race and Gender Disparity Study
  • Dedicating $1M to contractor development programs that ensure diverse local businesses are prepared to competitively respond to City of Oakland opportunities
  • Conducting diverse supplier workshops to assist diverse contractors with City contracting processes & systems
  • Simplifying Oakland’s vendor management software, iSupplier, to make contracting opportunities more accessible

When reflecting on OakDOT’s proposal, Councilmember Taylor noted, “If we were to approve this waiver without pushing for higher levels of participation from our local, small, and diverse contractors, it would undermine the work that we have been doing for over the past year. That is why I proudly stand with the community members calling for us to have a more concerted effort to seek out diverse contractors and will not support the requested waivers.”

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Portrait of Director of Communications & Engagement, Kiana Gums

Kiana Gums
Director of Communications & Engagement
Inspector General

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