Statement from Bertha Lewis (The Black Institute):
“With the departure of Maya Wiley, Mayor de Blasio is losing a member of his administration who essentially wore four hats: Counsel to the Mayor, head of special projects, liaison to the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on the Judiciary, and, most importantly, the City’s Minority/Women Owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE) Director.
The Black Institute wishes her better luck in her new position at the Civilian Complaint Review Board than in her previous one. Hopefully her departure will allow Mayor de Blasio to focus on appointing a full-time Chief Diversity Officer with Deputy Mayor status to actually deal with the crisis of M/WBE contracting.
Unfortunately, even though Ms. Wiley did her best, this administration made woeful progress in addressing the egregious disadvantage that M/WBEs face in this city. This administration cannot continue to talk about income inequality as a plight of low-income and minority workers without recognizing the circumstances surrounding M/WBEs.
In the past year, Mayor de Blasio has promised to convene the depository banks that have redlined M/WBEs and not given them fair loans, and address the City Council legislation that has been put forth by The Black Leadership Action Coalition – supported by The Black Institute – to fundamentally change M/WBE contracting.
The Black Institute demands that the Mayor keep his promises to the voters of color in the City that elected him and appoint an experienced individual to become the point person for M/WBEs,” said Bertha Lewis, President and Founder of The Black Institute.