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Chamber files lawsuit against Florida governor in Census ad contracts By Marimer Matos Courthouse
News Service (March 19, 2010) Gov. Charlie Crist and Florida discriminate against
black-owned businesses by awarding state contracts for marketing to
black communities to white-owned businesses, the Florida Black Chamber
of Commerce claims in Federal Court. Gov. Jeb Bush signed an allegedly
race-neutral executive order called "One Florida" in 1999, and state
"spending with African American vendors has seen an 88 percent decline
between 2003 and 2009," according to the complaint.
Florida awarded the Moore/Ketchum Partnership a contract to advertise
the 2010 Census in black communities, though it "lacked the plaintiffs'
vast depth and varied experiences with respect to service and outreach
to the targeted communities," according to the complaint.
"To date there has been no articulation or explanation as to how a firm
that lacks the depth and breadth of experience as the non-winning firms
with respect to the target populations was deemed to be more qualified,"
say the plaintiffs, which include the N-Tersections Communications
Group, the Steele Communications Group, and two others, as well as the
Gov. Jeb Bush's "One Florida" executive order in 1999 allegedly was
meant to "eliminate race and other classifications as measures in the
awards of state contracts," the complaint states.
The Black Chamber of Commerce says that "lingering aspects of
discrimination remain in Florida" and the problem with One Florida is
that "there are no race-neutral tests, studies or measures in place to
ensure that federally funded state contract at issue was so allocated on
an equal basis."
In fact, "over the past four fiscal years, evidence shows a decrease in
spending with minority firms," and "with respect to contractual
services, spending with African American vendors has seen an 88 percent
decline between 2003 and 2009."
The plaintiffs seek declaratory and injunctive relief for racial and
The Florida Black Chamber of Commerce is represented by Chuck Hobbs of
Annual Edition 'Buying Power of Black America' report
breaks down billions in expenditures (January
19, 2010) Black consumers are responding to tighter economic
condition by focusing more of their spending on items and services
that improve their homes and lifestyle. That's one of the trends
revealed in the 15th annual report, "The Buying Power of Black
America," published by Target Market News. The report analyzes
spending for black households in 2008 and finds that