This week the US Senate averted an attempt to eliminate funding for the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program for transportation construction, an affirmative action program for women and minorities. A last minute amendment to the Department of Transportation/HUD appropriations bill, introduced by Rep Tim Walberg (R-MI), wiping out funding for the DBE program passed the House without even a voice vote.
In a procedural move, the Democratic leadership prevented such an amendment from coming to the Senate floor. A large coalition of women’s rights and civil rights organizations, worked to alert senators of the serious impact of cutting the DBE funding which the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights described as "one of the federal government's most successful small business development programs, and has helped to expand competition and create opportunities for tens of thousands of new businesses in the construction market."
Similar funding cuts in California resulting from the passage of Proposition 209 resulted in more than 50 percent reduction in transportation construction contracts to women and minority-owned businesses over a ten year period according to the Discrimination Research Center.
Media Resources: Discrimination Research Center 9/13/07
5/20/2013 Walmart, American Retailers Refuse to Join Bangladesh Accord - Walmart, along with 13 other major North American companies, refused to sign a legally binding agreement to improve working conditions for overseas factory workers that manufacture their clothes after a garment factory collapsed in Bangladesh killing an estimated 1300 workers, the New York Times reports.
The agreement requires retailers pay $500,000 to improve worker safety measures over a five year period. . . .
5/17/2013 Another Military Sexual Assault Prevention Officer Arrested - On Wednesday night the manager of the Sexual Harassment and Assault Response and Prevention program for Fort Campbell, Kentucky, was arrested for stalking.
Army Lieutenant Colonel Darin Haas was arrested around 6:30 pm Wednesday night when his ex-wife called the authorities after receiving threatening text messages that violated her order of protection against Haas. . . .