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Sender: o-imap@webmap.missouri.edu
Date: Tue, 4 Mar 97 11:18:31 CST
From: john lindsay <JCLIND1@UKCC.uky.edu>
Subject: feds zap minority survey (fwd)
Article: 6644

--------------------Original message----------------
Date: Mon, 3 Mar 1997 16:56:22 EST
Sender: Students for Social Justice Mobilization List <MOBILIZE@LSV.UKY.EDU>
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

Dear Sir:

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 minorities.

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.