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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.