Sanders visited ABC studios in Manhattan for the taped segment that will appear on the New York ABC TV network on a September Sunday morning to be announced. ‘Here and Now’ is a weekly one-hour program that is dedicated to covering the issues and interest of the Black community, airing Sundays at noon.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has set the nation's highest goal for Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises procurement at 30 percent as part of the JFK Vision Plan. Senator Sanders has vowed to help him reach that goal by connecting the State with businesses that can compete for contracts, but to make it happen, more MWBES need to be ready.
Minorities are more than 50 percent of New York City's population. Queens is considered the most ethnically diverse urban area in the entire world.
“The goal should not be difficult to reach then?” Bookman asked the Senator during her interview.
“If we have real leadership we will get to that goal,” Sanders responded.
Senator Sanders during the discussion called on locals to work with their elected officials so they are well informed of the JFK Vision Plan. Sanders has hosted a number of community forums on redevelopment plans and has been working with MWBEs to prepare for the redevelopment coming in the near future.
Sanders was joined on set by Ray Emmanuel, President/CEO of Amethyst Environmental Consulting, LLC, a certified Minority Business Enterprise. Emmanuel, a construction safety trainer, has worked on government projects as a sub-contractor and hopes to have an opportunity to work on the JFK redevelopment.
“The Senator has a strong concern about minority businesses getting a fair share or opportunity to bid on contracts,” said Emmanuel. “I am definitely a small business and I appreciate the fact that Sandra Bookman recognized who I am and what I do.”
An MWBE is a business that has a specific ownership composition of minimally 51 percent. Many such firms operating in New York may not be looking at government as an opportunity for diversifying their revenue source, but the Kennedy investment presents a unique opportunity. Sanders said work will last more than 10 years, creating regional job growth and new business ventures that will benefit generations to come.
Senator James Sanders Jr. heads the Senate Task Force on Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise (MWBE). The Task Force is charged with working to find innovative ways to better encourage and support MWBEs as a valuable part of growing the New York economy. In addition, Sanders is a member of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Advisory Council on MWBEs. The Advisory Council guides policymaking and strategy to aggressively assist the City in reaching its pledge to award more than $16 billion dollars to MWBEs over a 10-year period. It was Sanders, who in his City Council tenure, set the stage as author of MWBE NYC Local Law 1 to help strengthen the MWBE program, and Local Law 129 that established participation goals for MWBEs to help increase the number of certified firms from 700 to over 3,500 program participants, and win over $3 billion dollars in City contracts. Sanders also serves as the ranking Democrat for the Senate Committee on Banks.