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Mayor Villraigosa Mandates MTA Hold Contractors Accountable for Lack of Blacks Hired

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villraigosa

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villraigosa

By Kenneth Miller

The Metro Transportation Authority (MTA) pledged significant African American participation during the construction phase of the Metro Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor and also signed a project labor agreement to ensure that Blacks received adequate employment representation, but contractors have drastically under performed in the hiring of African Americans in the first phase of the Crenshaw Advanced Utilities Relocation PLA for Targeted Worker Attainment.

According to MTA internal documents obtained by the Sentinel, which revealed the number of individual hires, Blacks ranked lower than any other demographic group.

The Executive order on the Crenshaw Advanced Utilities relocation summary showed an appalling percentage of Blacks contracted. The report indicated that no Blacks were hired during the month of December 2012 when the bids went out and only 2.65 percent in the month of January 2013.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villraigosa and local Black community activist were outraged and the mayor demanded a more aggressive campaign to ensure Black participation and increase employment among African Americans as part of advanced utility relocation activities for the Crenshaw/LAX

Transit Corridor Project
After the mayor mandated the promoting of African American hiring during the construction phase, the number of Blacks hired in the month of February nearly doubled the percentage of the previous two months to 5.81 for February and escalated again in March to report its greatest gains yet reaching almost 8 percent.

“Finally, I think we are moving in the right direction because more African Americans are now included in the work force,” said Mayor Villraigosa. “However, I am not satisfied and will not be until I see that African Americans who live in this community are employed and reflected in the bottom line. I believe that it is only appropriate that residents of this community be active participants and work on this rail system being built. I want to see the number of people hired that represents the population of the community. They deserve it and I demand it. My legacy as mayor of the City of Los Angeles rides on it, and my commitment to Leimert Park and the entire Crenshaw community will not waiver.”

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