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Black Contractors: “We’ve Been Left Out of Katrina Rebuilding”

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Saturday, September 1, 2007

By CAIN BURDEAU
Associated Press Writer

NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ Black contractors on Tuesday said they have been frozen out of the rebuilding of New Orleans because federal agencies continue to dole out millions of dollars to large corporations.

At a news conference, the local chapter of the National Association of Minority Contractors called on the U.S. Congress and federal prosecutors to investigate the contracting practices of the Army Corps of Engineers and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The group also said they may resort to protests to get their message out.

“There’s something wrong with this cozy relationship between the Army Corps and major corporations,” said Ernest Stalberte, an association board member.

Stalberte delivered his remarks in a parking lot in a hard-hit part of New Orleans and he was surrounded by large digging and dirt-moving equipment brought in by black construction companies to show off their companies’ prowess.

The government’s reliance on major companies, such as AshBritt Inc., Phillips and Jordan Inc. and ECC Operating Services Inc., to do the cleanup after Katrina has been a source of contention since Katrina hit on Aug. 29, 2005.

A congressional committee has been calling for government agencies to do more business with small companies.

According to House Small Business Committee, the Department of Defense awarded 8 percent of its Gulf Coast recovery contracts to small businesses in Louisiana between August 2005, when Hurricane Katrina hit, and October 4, 2006. However, that number dropped to 1 percent since then, committee figures show. The committee only had figures for the Department of Defense as a whole, but corps contracts have far outweighed other military branches for Katrina work.

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Posted in African American Business, African American Contractors, African American Entrepreneur, African American Wealth, Black, Black Business, Black Contractors, Black Entrepreneur, Black Wealth, Katrina, Race | Leave a Comment »

‘All American Presidential Forums On PBS’ Moderated by Tavis Smiley

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Monday, August 27, 2007

Republican Candidates to Appear on Live Broadcast From Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD, Airing Nationwide on PBS on September 27

WASHINGTON, Aug. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The following release is being issued by PBS:

WHAT: The “All-American Presidential Forums on PBS,” moderated by Tavis Smiley, is a historic broadcast marking the first time that a panel exclusively comprised of journalists of color will be questioning the Republican candidates.

Tavis Smiley, along with journalists Cynthia Tucker of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Ray Suarez of PBS’ THE NEWSHOUR WITH JIM LEHRER and NPR’s Juan Williams, will pose questions on issues ranging from healthcare and housing to Katrina relief, the economy and the environment, among others, as outlined in the #1 The New York Times best-seller, The Covenant With Black America. This forum will provide the first major opportunity for the Republican candidates to present a detailed discourse and dialogue on their social agendas.

WHO: All Announced Candidates Expected to Appear

WHERE AND WHEN: Thursday, September 27, 2007
Morgan State University Murphy Fine Arts Center
9:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. EDT

Posted in 08' Presidential Election, 2008 Presidential Election, African American, African American Politics, Black, Black Politics, Elections, Katrina, Politics, Race, Republican, Tavis Smiley, The Covenant With Black America | Leave a Comment »