July 7, 2014
Joset B. Wright-Lacy, President
National Minority Supplier Development Council, Inc.
1359 Broadway, Tenth Floor, Suite 1000
New York, NY 10018
Dear Ms. Wright-Lacy:
In the throes of building a more productive and effective network, sometimes the fundamental reason for doing so can become cloudy in the selected course of action. Clearly, quality inclusion is the goal of achieving global leadership in minority supplier development. Conversely, the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) is increasingly becoming a bottleneck in developing equal procurement opportunities in the State of California.
Mainly, the NMSDC is discriminating in its unreal compliance to certify Asian, Black, Hispanic and Native American businesses and thereby falsely promoting a value in completed certifications. The long-term value proposition of inclusive global corporate supply chain management system created by the NMSDC’s 1,750 corporate members and estimated 13,000 certified minority business enterprises (MBE) is mistaken in its approach toward equal opportunity.
By applying and enforcing a double standard and a different set of principles for white versus MBE to access the same procurement opportunities is intrinsically dishonest. For instance, NMSDC corporate members do not practice (nor should they) extending contract opportunities based on a company’s ethnic ownership. Accordingly, current NMSDC certification procedures push more requirements for MBE to conduct business over those in place for white-owned business competitors.
The NMSDC is charging a monetary fee to access contracting opportunities, comparable to how in the 20th Century racist southerners charged a fee, just to blacks, in order for them to proceed in the voting of governmental elections. Likewise, the NMSDC’s certification process fosters a barrier to entry pursuant to contracting opportunities. Public Laws prohibit the practice to limit, segregate, or classify business owners in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of equal opportunities or otherwise adversely affect their status as a prospective bidder, because of such business owner’s race.
The manner in which the NMSDC embraces the power of NMSDC’s certification to access opportunities goes against the grain of equal opportunity. A major objective of supplier development is to equally encourage, recruit and utilize the targeted firms in a totally barrier-free market, yet, the existing NMSDC certification procedure places an undue prerequisite inconsistent with that of white male-owned firms who are characteristically accepted to more freely enter the competitive arena.
The clarity of supplier development is to enforce, not detract from, judicial protection for economic liberty. The courts may find that the NMSDC California affiliates are in violation of Proposition 209 by capriciously charging fees against minorities in their pursuit to free trade. The most effective course of action for our economy to stay competitive is to seek best viable practices of greater inclusion.
I am sharing this with you to see if you would consider removing the barriers set forth by the NMSDC California affiliates. Paying $500.00 has become morally sad and it does not fit the legal engagement rules for California universities and government organizations, particularly following Proposition 209 (California Civil Rights Initiative) that prohibits such governmental institutions from considering race, sex, or ethnicity, specifically in the areas of public contracting.
Dean L. Jones