City Council approves Olympics agreement

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An Olympics agreement that guarantees minority set asides and hiring preferences should Chicago win the 2016 Games was affirmed Wednesday by the City Council.

An Olympics agreement that guarantees minority set asides and hiring preferences should Chicago win the 2016 Games was affirmed Wednesday by the City Council. In January, Alds. Robert Fioretti (2nd), Pat Dowell, (3rd), Toni Preckwinkle (4th), Leslie Hairston (5th) and Willie Cochran (20th) sponsored a resolution that sought to ensure minority participation in hiring, procurement and other aspects, should the city host the Olympics. But the aldermen’s resolution folded into and supports the Memorandum of Understanding that was finalized last month between the city’s Olympic committee–Chicago 2016–and its Outreach Advisory Council–comprised of local community groups. Among the things the legally binding agreement guarantees is a 30 percent target for minority- and disabled persons-owned business contracts and 10 percent for women-owned firms. And minority/low or moderate-income apprentices from Chicago Public Schools or City Colleges of Chicago would perform 10 percent of construction work hours. Hairston said this is a work in progress agreement and should Chicago win the Games more changes are bound to happen. “This a good starting point for us. If we are selected as the host city, I’m sure more concessions will be made to ensure for more minority participation,” she said. “And it’s never too late for those who may feel that this Memorandum of Understanding did not go far enough to join in and help make it better.” Former state Senate President Emil Jones Jr. criticized the Memorandum by saying it is a “sham” and does not go far enough to ensure that Blacks will get a fair share of the Olympic pie. “In the current memorandum of agreement under the project labor agreement, it states that 10 percent of construction hours would be performed by minority apprentices,” Jones told the Defender. “Well, Blacks are not the only minority group so that means Blacks would get less than 10 percent once the work is divided up among the other minority groups and that’s unacceptable.” Chicago is competing against Tokyo, Madrid and Rio de Janerio to host the Games. The International Olympic Committee is set to make a decision on the host city in October. ______ Copyright 2009 Chicago Defender. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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