Join us Monday December 10th beginning at 6:00 PM until 7:30 PM at our offices at 4655 South King Drive, Suite 203 for a National Black Wall Street Chicago Strategic Forum on how we can develop and sustain the movement to support Mr. Ed Gardner's call for local Black community contractors and workers on city contracts, especially in majority Black communities. Lots of people SAY they are with Mr. Gardner and the program BUT how many will show up and help to build and sustain the ongoing organizing movement. 773-268-6900
Mr. Gardner appeared at The National Black Wall Street Chicago Black Business Summit on November 10th and asked the crowd to step up and organize around his leadership and so we are following up on our pledge to host community forums for people who say they want to help so lets get it started, NOT for Mr. Gardner but for the Black community.
While their has been a lot of press coverage with some good photo opportunities and media sound bites, nothing really has changed to any great degree when it comes to the fact that while the Black community used to enjoy almost 30% of city contracts under former Mayor 's Harold Washington and Eugene Sawyer that over 20 years later that number is down to under 10% and even worse in majority Black communities led by a majority of Black elected officials. The fact remains that the Black community is going through the motions of an old James Brown song called "talking loud and saying nothing." While there are thousands who may come to a rally and thousands more that really speak out on social media and radio talk shows, but the problem is that you still find the same handful of community people trying to successfully address this issue and its not working for as we speak today you can still go to almost any job site, especially in majority Black communities and see every other ethnic group working and not qualified Black contractors and workers. And we still look at good people still being caught up in the gang, drug, and other illegal economies battling to make ends meet for themselves and their families when they have the proper credentials to be doing part of the construction and other local development jobs.
Then you have this issue or "Minority" versus "Black" in that when one raises the question about the lack of "Black" on contracts etc , you repeatedly get the "Minority" answer which means as one White general contractor put it, that by law and under the new definition of "minority" that even in majority Black communities a general contractor or developer can meet AND even exceed their "Minority" contracting and hiring objective almost WITHOUT even including Black contractors and workers. Now this answer is being given to majority Black communities in Chicago and all over this country as to why Black contractors and workers are not working according to their numbers city-wide and even in majority Black communities, while our crime rate soars from far too many Black residents falling for battling to survive over illegal economies.
SIMPLY PUT, its "put up" or "shut up" time for real in the Black community. Time to stop asking what has to be done and yet dont show u[p for the real organizing work that has to be done. As the old saying goes, "power concedes NOTHING without a demand - never has and never will" And so while there has been a lot of symbolic support for our Black business icon Mr. Ed Gardner, the substance in real organizing support to sustain and achieve the Black contracting and employment goals is almost invisible, for far too many in the Black community have been "talking loud and saying nothing." And it should be crystal clear that majority White contractors could care less than a damn about the Black communities symbolic protests behind Mr. Gardner when that same community is almost silent when it come s to the commitment to create and sustain the proper parity organizing movement to achieve the hiring, contracting, and public policy to ensure that qualified Black contractors, service providers, and workers are working according to our city population of over 32%, and over 50% in majority Black communities.