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By Chinta Strausberg

CHICAGO, IL — Doubting the city’s recent announcement that African Americans are now receiving 21 percent of Chicago’s $1.2 billion contractual pie, business icon Ed Gardner is meeting with Chicago’s Chief Procurement Officer Jamie Rhee Thursday, October 25, 2012, at her City Hall office.

Garner, who will be accompanied by his longtime friend and confidante, Carl McFarren, and Clarence Wood, president of the Coalition of African American Leaders (C.O.A.L.), said he doesn’t believe the 21 percent figure that was recently published.

They are meeting with Rhee at 1 p.m. in Room 406 at City Hall.

“I want to know who are these African American contractors who are getting this 21 percent of the city’s contractual pie,” said Gardner. “How big are these contracts?  “I want to know what types of contracts did they get, and if they are successful, we want them to help other African Americans achieve the same goals,” Gardner said.

Gardner wants to know how the percentage jumped from 8 percent last year to 21 percent this year and whether the African Americans were general contractors or sub-contractors.

“Frankly, I don’t believe this 21 percent figure because there is no evidence in the streets of Chicago to reflect this 21 percent figure.” Gardner said the playing field is not even for black contractors or workers.

“Contractors are paying Latino’s under the table money. This is why some contractors can bid low because they are paying their workers under the table. They pay them cash, and they don’t pay union dues,” charged Gardner.

“As I continue to ride around the city inspecting these construction sites, there are still few African American workers, and that is unacceptable,” Gardner said. “What I see does not reflect a 21 percent increase in city contracts for African Americans.”

Gardner will answer questions after he meets with the Chief Procurement Officer.

For more information, contact Chinta Strausberg at 773.667.5165.

Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host. You can e-mail Strausberg at: Chintabernie@aol.com.

 

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