Dominion of New York


August 17, 2012

Mayoral Hopeful Takes Stand for “Minority” Contractors

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Written by: Kelly Virella

Christine Quinn. Photo courtesy of Flickr/Mat McDermott


he amount of city government contacts awarded to people of color and white women, who make up the majority of NYC residents, is minuscule, and while that’s just the way white supremacists want to keep it, it’s not what mayoral candidate and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn wants.

She told The New York Times, she would be introducing a bill to make some modest changes to “minority” contracting, saying, “I’m certainly not satisfied with the results, and I don’t think there’s anybody in government who is.”

Currently city agencies aren’t required to contract with any businesses owned by people of color and white women. They are merely recommended to award a certain percentages of their contracts under $1 million to companies owned by white women, Asian-Americans or African-Americans.

Theoretically, because city agencies are legally required to select the lowest responsible bids, the playing field should be level. But in practice, few “minority” contractors win jobs. Last year, the Times reports, the city met only 48 percent of its minority contacting goals. About 4.5 percent of city contract are awarded to “minorities,” according to the Queens Chronicle.

In addition, the current system contains no recommended set asides of contracts above $1 million. Quinn’s bill would have the city set goals for all contracts — including the bigs ones — and require each agency to report quarterly on its progress toward meeting its goals.


About the Author

Kelly Virella
Kelly Virella lives in an East Harlem walk-up with her husband, her bicycle and her books. She's worked as a journalist for 11 years and started this website during the summer of 2011. She fell in love with New York City during her first visit here as a 16-year-old and finally made good on her promise to move here in April 2010.


Official portrait from his tenure as US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.