Monday, January 15, 2007

Impact of California 209 on Minority Firms

Bruce P. Corrie, PhD A recent study evaluates the the impact of Proposition 209, the California Civil Rights Initiative, in 1996 which ended programs to provide greater access and use of minority firms in public projects.

In 2006, the Discrimination Research Center (DRC) issued a report on the impact of Proposition 209, the California Civil Rights Initiative that ended race-conscious goals and affirmative action programs on minority businesses. Major findings of the report were:

  1. Only a third of the certified MBEs in California’s transportation construction industry are in business now.
  2. Existing MBEs reported a greater than 50 percent reduction of total awards and contracts from Caltrans.
  3. MBEs reported that the aspects of the federal race conscious efforts such good faith efforts by prime contractors and pre-bidding conferences were less helpful after 1996.
  4. Among the surviving firms, African American and minority female owned firms were the most negatively impacted.
  5. The surviving MBEs could not have initially succeeded or maintained their success without the incentives that helped provided them equal access to bids.