EMPOWERING MINORITIES TO BE “AT THE TABLE”, NOT UNDER IT!
Unlike other major cities across the country, Portland, Oregon has elevated the city in the area of ethnic minority inclusion. December 19, the all white city council passed a resolution which was the original brainchild of business entrepreneur Roy Jay, who also serves as president of the African American Chamber of Commerce, which calls for at least one ethnic minority to serve on all evaluation panels involving RFP and RFQ’s for the millions of dollars of professional and technical contracts that are awarded each year.
Jay is also the founder of the Alliance of Minority Chambers which was been instrumental in various business and community empowerment projects for well over a decade.
“This resolution is 25 years past due and only a small step toward parity, but it’s a good first step”, says Jay.
Portland, Oregon is the first known city in the county to implement such a resolution. “They actually backed up what they have committed” to says Irwin Mandell. Some attributed the success of the resolution not just to the message, but also the messenger that was guiding the matter for a unanimous vote.
Jay plays down his role by simply indicating that all of the chambers and business organizations participated in some way, shape or form. It constantly demonstrates that we all have a common goal and can work together, especially when our entire community can benefit.
Jay’s phrase of “finally having ethnic minorities AT THE TABLE, instead of under the table was repeated by nearly every city council member as they voted “yes” for the resolution.
The Alliance of minority chambers will be the “go to” agency in helping to cultivate candidates to serve on various review and evaluation committees. This includes everyone from any ethnic organization as well as mainstream small business owners and professionals.
Portland business entrepreneur, Roy Jay-Roy@AllianceofMinorityChambers.Org
Jay is also the founder of the National Alliance of African American Chambers of Commerce based in Washington DC which is involved in government contract awards for their members and associates.