Following a disparity study conducted on behalf of the Metro Government of Nashville and Davidson County (Metro), the results of which were presented to Metro in 2018, Nashville Mayor David Briley has announced the filing of legislation containing proposed policy chanes for Metro's procurement program, with the aim of reducing race and gender disparities.
The Equal Business Opportunity Ordinance contains a number of measures, including setting annual participation goals for all of Metro's projects for minority-owned businesses (MBEs) and woman-owned businesses (WBEs), setting aside certain contracts for small businesses, a new and more responsive support services program in order to foster greater outreach to MWBEs, adding race- and gender-conscious inclusion tools (where before such tools were race- and gender-neutral), and allowing a longer period of time for which primes and subcontractors can form joint ventures.
"Without exception, all potential contractors deserve equal access to Metro projects, regardless of race or gender," said Mayor Briley in a statement. "Unfortunately, this study - the first since 2005 - found that the playing field has not been equitable over time. These measures will seek to change that. For our city to continue to thrive, everyone needs to be at the table."
The proposed changes have the support of multiple advocacy groups and other parties, including the NAACP, the Urban League, and members of the Minority Caucus of the Metro Council. The Metro Council will need to hold a series of votes on the proposed changes for them to become law, a process that is not expected to be completed until January 2019.
Read Mayor Briley's statement on the proposed ordinance in full at https://www.nashville.gov/News-Media/News-Article/ID/8123/Mayor-David-Briley-Announces-Major-Policy-Changes-to-Level-Playing-Field-Related-to-Procurement-Access.aspx