UPDATED – REACTION FROM BLACK CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: The Administration of Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard refuses to reveal how much city contract dollars have been spent with Black-owned businesses. Last month, Mayor Ballard told an audience at a Black Expo Breakfast that the City had spent a half billion dollars with minority businesses since 2008. Afternoons with Amos and The Indianapolis Recorder requested from the Mayor’s Office a breakdown of how much of that $500 million was spent with Black-owned and other categories of minority businesses. After the close of business Thursday, August 16, the City responded to the request by saying that the City of Indianapolis doesn’t keep records of how much of the $492.7 million was spent with Black-owned (and Hispanic-owned and Asian-owned) businesses. But, the city was able to compile data on how much was spent with women-owned businesses (158.4 million) and veteran-owned businesses ($9.8 million). In a letter, Chief Deputy Corporation Counsel Andrea Brandes Newsom said that the city “does not track spending “by racial categories. Many leaders and Black business owners have questioned how much City business has actually gone to Black-owned businesses. The refusal of the City to provide this data will raise new questions about the Ballard Administration’s real commitment to spending with Black-owned businesses; which comprise 70.8% of all minority-owned businesses in Indianapolis/Marion County. Afternoons with Amos Host/Managing Editor and Indianapolis Recorder columnist Amos Brown has sent the City a new Public Records request to the city asking for detailed documentation of all contracts awarded to minority-owned businesses (including Black-owned businesses) since 2008. UPDATED INFO: On Afternoons with Amos, Tarea Dabney, head of the Indianapolis Black Chamber of Commerce reacted to the City’s stunning decision. Click below to read the City’s formal refusal to provide the requested public information on spending with Black-owned businesses. Click to read Amos’ response and new public records request. Click to Hear reaction from Black Chamber of Commerce.
Click Arrow to Hear Reaction from Indpls Black Chamber of Commerce to Mayor’s decision. Runs 11 Minutes ©2012 WTLC/Radio One.