Olympic Commitee agreement looks out for communities, minorities

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Black aldermen are breathing a sigh of relief after the city’s Olympic committee, Chicago 2016, agreed to increase the percentage of minority contracts–for such things as construction, procurement and hiring–should the city win its bid t

Black aldermen are breathing a sigh of relief after the city’s Olympic committee, Chicago 2016, agreed to increase the percentage of minority contracts–for such things as construction, procurement and hiring–should the city win its bid to host the Games.

The news came after the committee and its Outreach Advisory Council–comprised of local community groups–signed a memorandum of understanding, spelling out major economic and community considerations as part of the 2016 Olympic Games.

The memorandum made provisions for communities in and around proposed Olympic venues, minorities, women, veterans and disabled persons.

“I am satisfied with this memorandum of agreement. It goes above and beyond what we were looking for,” said Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd).

Thursday, Chicago 2016 agreed to increase its target for minority- and disabled persons-owned business contracts to 30 percent from 25 percent and to 10 percent from 5 percent for women-owned businesses.

Chicago 2016 President Lori Healey said she is committed to making sure everyone affected is involved.

“This agreement helps cement the spirit of inclusiveness and equality within the areas of hiring, contracting and housing,” she said.

And because there will be Olympic venues built in several Black communities, Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) said it’s important to include those communities in the planning process.

“Chicago 2016 is clear that those affected communities must equally benefit from the Olympics,” she said. “This memorandum was the only way to guarantee that we (Blacks) do not miss out on the Olympics.”

“We are serious about diversity. There is a great spirit of partnership here,” Healey told the Defender.

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