Date: Tue, 4 Mar 97 11:18:31 CST
From: john lindsay <JCLIND1@UKCC.uky.edu>
Subject: feds zap minority survey (fwd)
Date: Mon, 3 Mar 1997 16:56:22 EST
Sender: Students for Social Justice Mobilization List
Subject: feds zap minority survey
To: Multiple recipients of list MOBILIZE <MOBILIZE@LSV.UKY.EDU>
Subject: Feds to kill Survey of Minority Businesses
Feds to kill Survey of Minority Businesses
3 March 1997
I am a professional economist affiliated with the University of Texas at
Austin. For the past five years I have been actively involved assisting
public agencies around the country in improving and defending their
affirmative action programs for businesses owned by racial and ethnic
I am writing to express my grave concern regarding the impending
eradication of the federal government's Survey of Minority Owned
Businesses. This survey has been conducted by the U.S. Department of
Commerce every five years, in conjunction with other elements of the
Economic Censuses. With all the current debate regarding affirmative
action in public contracting and procurement, the reliable and objective
information provided by this survey regarding the structure and status of
the minority business community in the United States is absolutely crucial,
to both proponents and opponents alike.
The Survey of Minority Owned Businesses was the cornerstone of a large
number of disparity studies conducted throughout the country, including
several in California. State and local governments throughout the U.S.
have come to rely heavily on access to this statistical information so that
they may insure that they are in compliance with the rigorous new standards
for affirmative action laid down by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Please pass this along to members of your list, and urge them to contact
their congressional representatives and demand that this program be
restored, and be restored immediately. Remeber how the Reagan
administration solved the urban minority youth unemployment problem? They
stopped the federal government from collecting statistics in this category.
Presto! No more urban minority youth unemployment problem. It would be
tragic if the same fate befalls minority business enterprise.
Ask your readers to urge their representatives to do everything in their
power to restore funding to this important statistical program. If their
situation does not change immediately, they will be unable to carry out
this survey in conjunction with the general data collection effort for the
1997 Economic Censuses that is scheduled to begin this month. If funding is
restored at a later date, the survey will be reduced to a voluntary (rather
than mandatory) data collection effort and its quality and reliability
would be severely compromised.
If anything, this particular survey program needs more funding, certainly
not less. If it falls by the wayside, there will be no publicly available
information on this important sector of the economic. Without such
information, many of the existing minority business initiatives are doomed.
Thank you for your consideration of this important issue.