MnDOT says NO! to Minnesota’s Black Women Owned Businesses

The Whole of Zeroness.

The Whole of Zeroness.

In spite of governor Mark Dayton’s black hires, black women and their business cannot catch a break from the brothers and sister “overseers.” Hell, that’s how the plantation is run. See report below this post.

By Don Allen and Lennie Chism. Publisher and Guest Columnist

St. Paul, Minn. – In breaking news, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) awarded $221,420,826 of federally funded contracts from Oct 1, 2015 to May 31, 2016 provided from collected $.184 cents per gasoline gallon (FHWA Funds). Black men (contractors) were awarded $451,772, whereas Black women contractors) were awarded zero (0). The billionaire governor of Minnesota Mark Dayton has made a far-reaching mistake in the hiring and supporting of current state point-persons who are perceived as leaders for economic outcomes in the black community.

Governor Mark Dayton and Lt. Governor Tina Smith hired several high profile Blacks to head the effort to bolster diversity in Minnesota’s workforce and close long-standing racial disparities. These state employees are charged with helping increase the state’s share of minority and disabled workers, improving state contracting with diverse businesses and boosting outreach to communities of color. All were hired because they are BLACK first and foremost as their first qualification, right?

  • Shawntera Hardy, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), while new in her position has not formally introduced any new processes to assist small businesses or communities with large populations of blacks who need a hand up to move forwards. DEED’s “Minn. Pathways to Prosperity” grant rejected proposals from north Minneapolis’ Education Explosion who has been instrumental in putting over 100 community members in college and facilitating a computer lab and GED courses.

Education Explosion’s executive director Angela Edwards told OBN, “Nola Speiser, Director Adult Career Pathways continued to send emails to me. This was all a big joke. DEED never intended to finance, support or collaborate with anything in the black community. I feel they have taken my data and proposal and used it to form new programming because they have run out of ideas.

  • Karen Francois, Assistant Commissioner, Career and Business Opportunity, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development – silence is golden.
  • Kevin Lindsey, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Human Rights –doesn’t have the staff or the support of the black, Hispanic or Asian community. Lindsey, responsible for changing the requirements of workforce goals in Minnesota to 32 percent, still has not provided any compelling evidence the new US Bank Stadium met or exceeded its goals. If you look at workforce by zip code, (City Data), you will see that zip codes 55411 and 55405, a mostly black community has unemployment levels in the double-digits.
  • Kim Collins, Civil Rights Director, Minnesota Department of Civil Rights (MnDOT), this is a tough one. While we hoped Ms. Collins would be the great replacement for Mary Prescott, Kim’s continued failure to answer emails inquiring about pilot programs and ways to assist MnDOT in reaching expected goals is the norm.
  • Alice Roberts-Davis, Assistant Commissioner, Property and Purchasing, Minnesota Department of Administration, while it is hard to get in to the DFL social club, Ms. Davis has tried hard to change the process within the department.
  • James C. Burroughs, Chief Inclusion Officer for the State of Minnesota. Burroughs, former Minneapolis Public Schools equity personnel is a safe bet to keep things the same way.
  • Louis Porter, Director, Council for Minnesotans of African Heritage, needs to become more aggressive. His position should enable him to bypass local politicians and go straight to Dayton.

With the end of the legislative session and governor Dayton hoodwinking the black community…you remember: $100 million; then $75 million, then $35 million, when in reality, the agency called EMERGE received funding of $4.2 (est.) million for communities of color in a deal cut by senator’s Champion and Hayden, Minnesota’s black community has been abandoned. It is now time for the type of revolution that Paulo Freire talks about – a revolution that brings better minds to the table to circumvent the chaos currently in charge.

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1 Comment on "MnDOT says NO! to Minnesota’s Black Women Owned Businesses"

  1. Larry Shilota | June 22, 2016 at 5:05 pm | Reply

    Don, how come MNDOT will not work with you and Lennie. It seems you have the right ideas and you’re both educated men. Is that what their scared of?

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