Race-neutrality in California

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The State of California is finally going to stop racially discriminating in awarding Caltrans contracts for highway construction. Reluctantly complying with a ruling from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, over five billion dollars in projects over the next five years will trate contactors of all racers equally. The San Francisco Chronicle reports:

State Transportation Director Will Kempton, in a letter posted on the agency's Web site, said Caltrans must make its policy race—neutral because it could not show sufficient evidence that minority groups have suffered discrimination in the state's contracting industry, a standard required under a recent decision by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

The Chronicle states in the very first sentence of the story

...minority groups are vowing to fight the move that they say will harm thousands of California businesses.

It then expands on the theme with heart—rending stories:

Some contractors fear the change will damage their businesses.

For nearly a decade, Michael Seals has worked to carve a niche for his small Oakland business in California's competitive construction industry.

"I have worked on some Caltrans contracts as a subcontractor," said Seals, 58, who is African American. "I can say pretty safely that if it had not been for this program, I wouldn't have been on those projects."

A decade in business should offer enough time for Mr. Seals to meet the competition on a level field. If he can't perhaps his talents would be better applied elsewhere.

Thomas Lifson   5 05 06

The State of California is finally going to stop racially discriminating in awarding Caltrans contracts for highway construction. Reluctantly complying with a ruling from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, over five billion dollars in projects over the next five years will trate contactors of all racers equally. The San Francisco Chronicle reports:

State Transportation Director Will Kempton, in a letter posted on the agency's Web site, said Caltrans must make its policy race—neutral because it could not show sufficient evidence that minority groups have suffered discrimination in the state's contracting industry, a standard required under a recent decision by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

The Chronicle states in the very first sentence of the story

...minority groups are vowing to fight the move that they say will harm thousands of California businesses.

It then expands on the theme with heart—rending stories:

Some contractors fear the change will damage their businesses.

For nearly a decade, Michael Seals has worked to carve a niche for his small Oakland business in California's competitive construction industry.

"I have worked on some Caltrans contracts as a subcontractor," said Seals, 58, who is African American. "I can say pretty safely that if it had not been for this program, I wouldn't have been on those projects."

A decade in business should offer enough time for Mr. Seals to meet the competition on a level field. If he can't perhaps his talents would be better applied elsewhere.

Thomas Lifson   5 05 06