Friday, March 9, 2012

Alderman Witkowiak Proposed Resolution Establishing A Milwaukee Minority Programs Advisory Committee

James N. Witkowiak

Photo: HNG

Milwaukee Common Council to take up Alderman Witkowiak's resolution on March 20th.

By H. Nelson Goodson
March 9, 2012

Milwaukee - On Friday, Alderman James N. Witkowaik from the 12th Aldermanic District announced in his Facebook page that he has introduced a resolution establishing a Minority, Woman and Small Business Enterprise Programs Advisory Committee. The new programs advisory committee is a result from the 370 Ordinance, which had been misinterpretate by many members of the Milwaukee minority community, especially in the predominately Hispanic south side 12th district. Witkowiak's resolution will be brought up in the March 20th, Common Council meeting for approval.
Misinformation had spread in the 12th Aldermanic District that Hispanics had been removed as minority status under the revised 370 ordinance to bid for city contracts. But, Witkowiak explained that under the old 370 ordinance version the most the Latino contractors achieved was only 8% from 18% available, but Hispanics are still considered a minority status under the revised version and their share of the pot increased to 12.5%, which includes Native Americans. The rest of the percentage is reserved for Asians, Blacks and women totaling 25% and is not a cap, but a goal. If, more Hispanic contractors come forth and exceed the goal of 12.5%, they will still be awarded contracts under the revised version.
Witkowiak said, the advisory committee will be “a great asset” as the Council makes key decisions in the near future about city enterprise programs. According to Witkowiak, implementing the recommendations of the city disparity study, and replacing the City’s Emerging Business Enterprise Program with Minority, Woman and Small Business Enterprise Programs – approved by the Council in October 2011 (file # 110086) – established that an advisory committee could be established to review the 370 ordinance annually and make recommendations concerning the appropriate percentage goals for minority woman and small business enterprise participation in city contracting activities.
“The advisory committee will be composed of representatives of the area’s minority, woman and small businesses, and would provide vital information and recommendations about how the programs are doing in terms of goals, and whether adjustments need to be made.
"Having that level of focus and scrutiny by the advisory committee is also timely because Chapter 370 of the Code of Ordinances -- which provides for the creation of the enterprise programs -- is set to expire on January 1, 2015, unless the Common Council determines the necessity for the continuation of the programs, ” Alderman Witkowiak said.
The advisory committee would make recommendations to the Common Council by November 30, 2014, concerning the continuation of the programs and applicable percentage goals. The advisory committee will be composed of  representatives from the African American Chamber of Commerce, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin, the US Pan Asian Chamber of Commerce, the American Indian Chamber of Commerce, and others. Appointments would also be made by the Common Council president and the Mayor, according to Witkowiak.

Connected by MOTOBLUR™ on T-Mobile

No comments: