Support SF BayView
Donate or Subscribe to SF Bay View
Follow Us Twitter Facebook

National Black leaders decry economic exclusion from 49ers’ stadium construction

April 30, 2013

by Mary Ratcliff

Dominated by Blacks at the player level, sports is a $500 billion a year industry. Aside from players’ salaries during their brief careers, however, what is the Black community’s share?

“We must leverage our athletic success for economic development in our community,” says Magic Johnson. Everett L. Glenn, president of the National Sports Authority, a division of ESP Education & Leadership Institute, is applying that principle to construction of the 49ers’ new stadium under construction in Santa Clara.

Santa Clara 49ers' stadium a year into construction no Black contractors 041813 by Gary Reyes, Bay Area News Group
As of April 18, 2013, when this photo was taken, the first year of construction of the new 49ers’ stadium in Santa Clara has involved no Black or other contractors of color, even though the 49ers’ players roster is nearly 70 percent Black. – Photo: Gary Reyes, Bay Area News Group
In a letter addressed to the Stadium Authority, comprised of the mayor and Santa Clara City Council, and signed by a consortium of organizations under the leadership of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and ESP Education & Leadership Institute, attention was called to the virtual exclusion of minority-owned businesses from contracting opportunities for the new stadium. Uncovered was a process reminiscent of a proverbial “good old boys’” network that circulated information about bidding and getting pre-qualified for subcontracts to an inner circle of businesses, already known by the developers.

As a result, communities of color have been precluded from the enormous financial benefit of participating in this project and the pride associated with contributing to building an edifice for a home team that has much love and support in the communities they represent.

“We are challenging the lack of minority participation on the $1.2 billion new Santa Clara stadium,” says Glenn, who points out that “the 49ers’ roster is nearly 70 percent Black.”

“The challenge is supported by civil rights and economic development organizations representing over 15 million members of the minority community, including the National Urban League, National Action Network, National Association of Minority Contractors, National Hispanic Contractors Association and the U.S. Black Chamber.

“The initial response to our inquiry about minority participation on the project by Robert Rayborn of Turner Construction, co-project director, was that minority participation was ‘not on our radar.’ When pressed by media outlets following the story, Turner and city officials claimed that under Proposition 209, an anti-affirmative-action law passed by California voters in 1996, they were required to be ‘color blind’ when they selected the firms that won roughly 60 public subcontracts, ranging from plumbing to electrical work to steel fabrication, worth more than $700 million,” Glenn explained. The new stadium is partially funded by tax dollars.

Communities of color have been precluded from the enormous financial benefit of participating in this project and the pride associated with contributing to building an edifice for a home team that has much love and support in the communities they represent.

“Dave Hatheway, a consultant representing the city on the project, said project officials were worried about running afoul of Proposition 209’s ‘color blind’ policy by reaching out to minority-owned contractors separately, creating a quota for them or even tracking the race of the owners that won contracts. These same officials claim that Proposition 209 makes illegal any outreach to minority groups, which it doesn’t.

“Moreover, we have written documentation that the parties affirmatively reached out to majority contractors but did not reach out to minority contractors even though they have fully developed databases of minority contractors based on working with minority contractors on projects funded by federal dollars that include minority participation goals,” Glenn declared.

Lawyers Committee exec dir Kimberly Thomas Rapp decries minority exclusion from 49ers stadium construction 042613 by NBC
Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Executive Director Kimberly Thomas Rapp tells NBC News why they and 20 mostly Black national and local organizations are challenging the exclusion of contractors of color from construction of the Santa Clara 49ers’ stadium. – Video frame: NBC News
“When pressed further, and even though they claimed that they could not track the race of the owners that won contracts, city officials and developers now claim that tens of millions of dollars of contracts have been awarded to minority firms. However, neither Turner Construction nor city officials nor the 49ers could provide specific examples beyond their claim that more than half of the 1,000-plus workers on site are members of minority groups, amounting to more than half a million hours of employment after a year on the job.

“Compare that to the effort made by the developers of the Giants-Jets stadium in New Jersey, financed with private dollars, which included a robust effort to involve all contactors and resulted in significant minority contractor participation.”

Organizations “representing over 12 million individuals including many fans of the San Francisco 49ers and the NFL write to call your attention to the virtual exclusion of minority-owned businesses from contracting opportunities for the new Santa Clara Stadium and to demand that remedial measures be undertaken immediately to rectify this situation,” wrote the Lawyers Committee on April 19 to the Santa Clara Stadium Authority Governing Board.

Practices “approved by the Stadium Authority and carried out by Turner-Devcon joint venture design builder have led to abysmally low minority business participation … Such exclusion is not only bad public policy; it also exposes the Authority to legal liability under California’s anti-discrimination laws.”

“In fact, the under-signed have analyzed all of the approved subcontractor bid lists and are not aware of a single minority-owned firm on the list. This is astounding, particularly in light of the tremendous availability of minority-owned businesses in Northern California.”

“Under California’s anti-discrimination laws,” the Lawyers Committee wrote, citing Government Code Section 111135, “a recipient of state funding may not engage in practices that have a disparate impact on minority groups.”

“The Stadium Authority’s contracting practices also violate Article 1, Section 1, of the California Constitution, passed by the California electorate as Proposition 209. The provision prohibits public agencies in the state from granting ‘preferential treatment’ on the basis of race or ethnicity,” the Lawyers Committee told the Stadium Authority.

So, contrary to county officials’ and the contractors’ claims that efforts to include minority contractors would violate Prop 209, their exclusion of Black contractors and other contractors of color by giving preference to white contractors is itself a violation of that same constitutional mandate.

Everett L. Glenn
Everett L. Glenn brings a level of expertise and sophistication not generally found on the athlete side of the table. A former athlete, he holds a degree in psychology from Oberlin College and a law degree from Case-Western Reserve University School of Law.
“Remedies for a violation of Government Code Section 111135 and its regulations include injunctive and declaratory relief, as well as termination of state funding. Such relief may be secured in a court of law or through administrative proceedings,” the Lawyers Committee warned, adding, “Proposition 209 also allows for injunctive and declaratory relief.”

The letter, signed by 20 local and national organizations, calls for the Stadium Authority to comply with the laws voluntarily so to avoid a court battle, insisting that “the Authority must immediately take all available steps to open up its contracting process, including making a specific commitment to involve minority-owned businesses in the remaining work on the stadium project and in future contracting opportunities under the Authority’s purview.”

The 49ers’ long residence at Candlestick Stadium in San Francisco’s Black heartland, Bayview Hunters Point, generated few economic opportunities for that poorest of all San Francisco neighborhoods. Will the team’s move to Santa Clara end exclusion and improve the economic prospects for the communities that produce the football stars whose talent and sacrifice earn billions for an almost totally non-Black industry?

To learn more, contact Everett L. Glenn, president of the National Sports Authority, a division of ESP Education & Leadership Institute, at eglenn@thensa.org and visit nationalsportsauthority.org. Bay View editor Mary Ratcliff can be reached at editor@sfbayview.com or (415) 671-0789.

 

View more videos at: http://nbcbayarea.com.

Tags

Filed Under: SF Bay Area
Tags:

10 thoughts on “National Black leaders decry economic exclusion from 49ers’ stadium construction

  1. Nick

    So, I don't see any Asian "representative" groups, does this mean Asians are not minorities, or does it mean they are ignored, or does it mean all the hroups listed in the article won't help them or does it mean they don't need special "considerations" when it comes to winning jobs?

    Reply
  2. SantaClaraJay

    The fact that they sent a letter and did not sue first shows you they have no case… simple extortion. Threaten to sue to get what you want… So suddenly a high profile project just appeared? no minority owned company knew about it… what? a stadium? never heard them building that? whaaaat?

    So i guess for the year and a half they were accepting bids minorities ( only means black) were not allowed to apply or if they did want to apply they had to have their hands held through the process. Because if you do not hold the minorities hands through the process you are giving preferential treatment to white contractors!

    So what about the public companies (owned by stockholders) that won bids? do you put them under the category of white owned? I think we need to look at how many minorities own stock in them to figure out if they are minority or white owned.

    Reply
  3. panerai prices range from low to middle

    Remember some uses of a girls to smile ideal, most of these Produce|Make|Cast|Mould|Conformation|fashion} Jsshan Cocktail Dresses are actually specially made to subject something that most women wants of that. In deed, your quotidian value for coin all these evening dresses subject to your ladieses is definitely under 1 and 2 Pertaining to gaining an supplementary beam as well as zing against persona, available Way reception dresses at satisfactory batches. Brew evening dresses tender you that broad make an entry of from which you maybe can peck out along with experiment with your spell.Turn of expression and even glow travel hand in poker hand. The fitting among the stylish evening gowns as well as junto dresses is just not some thing it is fit to be advised to immolate for that exercise.

    Reply
  4. panerai speaking canton of jura

    Remember some uses of a girls to smile mental, most of these Make|Make|Cast|Mould|Conformation|fashion} Jsshan Cocktail Dresses are actually specially made to subject something that most women wants of that. In thing done, your diurnal value for cash all these going down of the sun dresses subject to your ladieses is definitely under 1 and 2 Pertaining to gaining an additional shine as well as zing against persona, available Way receiving dresses at satisfactory batches. Brew going down of the sun dresses proffer you that broad make an entry of from which you mayhap can strike at out along with experiment with your sorcery.Turn of expression and even warmth walk hand in poker hand. The fitting among the Courtly going down of the sun gowns as well as circle dresses is just not some thing it is proper to offer up for that diligent practice.

    Reply
  5. dress quarter length and has side vents as well as epaulets and patch pockets

    You have on all these Quinceaneras Outfits empty of decorations in adding on every of the strict parties at the same duration look the top astounding particular individual soon there. Which satin and then yarn generated dress will be also the chief with an prosperous of a sound constitution so that you can create somebody look sensuous effectively. Sweep prom dresses are probably your own uncomplicated draw near|pull nigh|come near|be at palm and fingers|approach} out and about. At economical rates, you can get one gamut on Way prom outfits from where you are able to opt for you associated with ones option. Of course, pungent or sharp pain finding is actually nearly all which anyone must derive on this step.

    Reply
  6. emilio pucci swimwear on sale

    Deciding on an authority options will certainly skip a huge role in this geographical division, there are in the direction of tug near|haul nigh|come near|be at hand|approach}|entrance|entranceway|adit|access} an pace|stage|grade} hamper, and then habits etc draw, but your quotidian least take away from across almost all suppliers.

    Reply
  7. clothes maybe sans serif fonts which are clean and easy to understand

    Both the Tuscan strapless align armed a cyclopean align yourself in during the alliance on Quinceaneras Garb.Devise going down of the sun dresses extent a big create from which it is possible to prefer and even try a somebody’s grace.discipline and then loosening walk to hand in side. The fitting of the Stretch going down of the sun outfits and also birthday laudation dresses isn’t a little something you have to offer up for that create. Stretch birthday laudation dresses are usually generated by finest regarding fabrics, across other colorings, other styles and then habits. Your favorite dresses is always efficiently made to help strong an users with their particular telephone turn of expression|designate|dub|call}.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

BayView Classifieds - ads, opportunities, announcements
San Francisco Comcast