minority business enterprises, MBEs, government, municipal, cities, contracting, construction, local government, race-conscious contracting programs
Despite the dismal record cities have compiled of late in defending their race-conscious contracting programs, this article seeks "to dispel the notion that strict scrutiny is 'strict in theory but fatal in fact.'" If a local government follows the course outlined above, and combines the ability to monitor and analyze all relevant contracting data with the enactment and implementation of a multi-faceted race-neutral program, it has laid a sound foundation for the subsequent enactment of race-conscious remedies that are narrowly-tailored to address statistically valid disparities in utilization of specific categories of MBEs that remain after the race-neutral program has been in operation for a reasonable period of time. Based on the standards established by the caselaw to date, such a narrowly-tailored race-conscious remedy should survive strict scrutiny.
Alan C. Weinstein, The "Race-Neutral" Option for Local Government Contracting Programs, Municipal Lawyer (November-December 2000)
This article was first published by the International Municipal Lawyers Association (IMLA), 7910 Woodmont Ave., Bethesda, MD. 20814, and is reproduced with the permission of IMLA. IMLA is a non-profit, professional organization that has been an advocate and resource for local government attorneys since 1935. IMLA serves more than 3,400 member municipalities and local government entities in the United States and Canada,and is the only international organization devoted exclusively to addressing the needs of local government lawyers. Further information about IMLA is available at IMLA's website,www.imla.org