Tag Archives: obama

Congress Passed a Bill Addressing Police Killings

black congress

While it will likely take a long time once more to get a usably large picture of police killings across the country, the federal government has an enforcement mechanism to make sure agencies submit: The Department of Justice can withhold federal funds from any states that don’t comply.

There’s other legislation in the pipeline aimed at combating police brutality following the deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and Tamir Rice, including bills that would require police departments to comply with federal racial profiling standards and stop local agencies from receiving military weapons and equipment. “It’s not a new issue … it’s not isolated incidents by rogue police,” Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) said during a Capitol Hill briefing featuring mothers of son who were killed by police. “We have a lot of work to do.”


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DBE contracting opportunities


WSDOT is committed to seeing that all Washingtonians have access to the thousands of family-wage jobs generated by our projects. We establish goals for each project for disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) participation, so that smaller, minority-owned businesses have a level playing field when competing for work.

This page contains information about active contracts within the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program. If you have questions or concerns, or would like to learn more about DBE opportunities within the program, please contact Bobby Forch, DBE Administrator for the AWV Program, at 206-805-5418 or Forchbo@consultant.wsdot.wa.gov.

SR 99 Tunnel Project (main contract)
Prime contractor: Seattle Tunnel Partners
Contract type: Design-build
Construction period: Early 2011 to late 2016 (contingent on STP meeting its proposed schedule)
Contract amount (base value): $1.14 billion
DBE goal: $91.2 million, or 8 percent
DBE requirement: $96 million (contract modified by change order to establish this requirement)

DBE opportunities on this project: To learn about upcoming DBE opportunities with Seattle Tunnel Partners, receive information about their procurement process, obtain a list of subcontractors, or request any other information or assistance, please contact Erin Lopez Nielsen, STP’s DBE Compliance Manager, at 206-971-8214 or elopez@stp-jv.com. STP also hosts monthly meetings (pdf 220 kb) to discuss DBE opportunities on the project.

Seattle Tunnel Partners is launching a series of monthly meetings that will update community stakeholders on overall project status,DBE goal accountability,future opportunities, bid dates, and otherongoing opportunities for involvement. Join project staff andpartners for these monthly interactions.
For project updates, visit http://www.alaskanwayviaduct.org
For employment opportunities or business information please contact Seattle Tunnel Partners at
info@stp-jv.com or 206-971-8210.

93 DBE firms have received contracts with STP

1 Alliance Geomatics Lorache CAD/IT Services LLC
3D InFusion Maks Dump Truck
AAR Testing Laboratories Inc. Marshbank
Adept Mechanical Marine Vacuum Service Inc.
Advanced Underground Utilities MindSeekers LLC
Amaya Electric Mobile Electrical Distributors Inc.
BC Traffic Neppel Electrical
Bear Wood Windows Nolan Morrison
Berona Engineers Inc. Novito Construction Inc.
BEST CCLS Inc. NVL Laboratories
Birch Equipment Rental & Sales Inc. Oatridge Security Group Inc.
Bolima Drafting & Design Inc OMA
C & E Transport Corp. Oneill Service Group
C2PM On-Site Environmental Inc.
Cascade Concrete Products Co. Inc. Osborn Consulting Inc.
Casseday Consulting Osborn Pacific Group Inc.
Catherine Bassetti Osiris Enterprises LLC
Chudgar Engineering Company Pacific Geo Engineering
CivilTech Engineering Ponglia Trucking Inc.
Convergent Pacific Pro USA
DBE Electric PRR Inc.
DHD Trucking Puget Sound Utilities
DKA Quality Discount Supplies & Services
Duncan Asphalt Rebar International Inc.
Earth Mechanics Inc. Rose Super Clean and Park Mgmt. Inc.
Emerald City Weatherproofers Saez Consulting Engineers Inc.
Environmental Management Training Savage Logistics LLC
EPC Consultants Inc. Scheduling and Information Services
Excel Supply Company Schemata Workshop
Exeltech Consulting Inc. Sea-Tac Sweeping Service
Fryer-Knowles Inc. SSB Trucking & Construction
Garner Construction ST Fabrication/Jabez
Gibson Door & Millwork Steelkorr
Global Concrete Cutting Sundancer
Global Geophysics Sunset Welding Inc.
Grady Excavating Tan Trucking
Greylock Consulting LLC The Bag Lady Inc.
Highway Specialties LLC Transcon
Integrated Design Engineers, LLC Trinity Development
J. Harper Contractors Inc. TripleNet Technologies
J. Keiser & Associates United Professional Caulking
JMR Trucking Wakerobin
JP Francis & Associates Washington State Trucking
KBA Inc/Kristen Betty & Associates Inc. Wayron
Kiawa Trucking LLC West Coast Printing
Leajak Concrete Construction Inc. Yonemitsu Geological Services
Magnum Crane LLC


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New York City Councilman Jumaane D. Williams


Jumaane D. Williams
District 45 – Council Member – Democrat
Chair – Committee on Housing and Buildings
Entered City Council: 01/01/2010
Re-elected: 11/05/2013
Represents: Flatbush, East Flatbush, Flatlands, parts of Midwood and Canarsie
Council Member Williams is co-chair of the Gun Violence Task Force, a member of the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus and a founding member of the Progressive Caucus.

Background Information
New York City Council Member Jumaane D. Williams (D-Brooklyn) represents the people of the 45th Council District in Brooklyn, having originally been elected in 2009, and re-elected in 2013. Williams serves as Deputy Leader of the New York City Council, and chair of the council’s Committee on Housing and Buildings. Williams is co-chair of the council’s Task Force to Combat Gun Violence, a co-founding member of the Progressive Caucus, and a member of the Black, Latino & Asian Caucus.

Council Member Williams, is a first-generation Brooklynite of West Indian parentage and a proud product of our city’s public school system, including the Philippa Schuyler Middle School for the Gifted and Talented and Brooklyn Technical High School. It was while earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science at Brooklyn College that Jumaane realized civic engagement and community empowerment would be his professional focus. He received a Master’s Degree, also from Brooklyn College, in Urban Policy and Administration. While there, he served as Graduate Student Body President.

Immediately after college, Jumaane was hired as the assistant director for the Greater Flatbush Beacon School where he provided leadership for its first successful summer. Subsequently, he became the interim executive director of East Flatbush Community Development Corporation. As a community organizer, Jumaane worked in the buildings of Vanderveer Estates, now known as Flatbush Gardens, and successfully secured city funding for a new youth program. He continued fighting for affordable housing as the Housing Director for the Flatbush Development Corporation, where he reconstituted a defunct housing program. Jumaane then became the Executive Director of the New York State Tenants & Neighbors, a statewide organization that stands for tenants’ rights and affordable housing through organizing and advocacy.

District Office Address
4517 Avenue D Brooklyn, NY 11203
District Office Phone
District Office Fax
Legislative Office Address
250 Broadway Suite 1754 New York, NY 10007
Legislative Office Phone
Legislative Office Fax

Read more Jumanne Williams Official Website

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Mel Watt Lowers Mortgage Down Payment Requirement


Marc H. Morial
President and CEO
National Urban League

“Every American lives in safe, decent, affordable and energy efficient housing on fair terms.” National Urban League 2025 housing empowerment goal

Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Mel Watt is taking action to turn the American dream of homeownership into reality for many more people. Director Watt recently announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which he regulates and which are linchpins of the nation’s residential mortgage market, will reduce down payment requirements from 5 percent to 3 percent. This will enable many more low-income, but credit-worthy, consumers to become homeowners while helping the nation’s faltering housing market regain its traction.

We enthusiastically applaud this move and believe that as a result, more African American, Latino and working class borrowers of all races, who face an especially tough time securing mortgages, will have greater access to conventional loans, which are more affordable than other financing options. We are also encouraged that Director Watt’s plan will allow housing counseling in lieu of costly mortgage insurance to be a compensating factor to help make up for low down payments or low credit scores.

Saving the necessary down payment to purchase a home is one of the biggest obstacles to attaining the American Dream, especially for communities of color. African Americans and Latinos typically have lower incomes and are less likely to receive an inheritance or first-time buying help from their parents than white Americans. According to the Center for Responsible Lending, while it takes the typical white family 14 years to save for a 5 percent down payment, plus closing costs, it takes the typical Latino family 17 years and the typical African American family 21 years to save those amounts.

The National Urban League has long supported a reasonable and affordable “skin in the game” down payment requirement, but the ability to save a lump sum of money does not translate to the ability to pay a monthly mortgage. As Director Watt said at a Senate Banking Committee hearing recently, “The problem is that the down payment itself is not necessarily a reliable indicator of whether somebody will pay a loan. If they have good credit, if they have housing counseling… and know how to be responsible homeowners — those can mitigate the perceived increased risk.”

Forty years of National Urban League housing counseling experience and independent research indicate that borrowers who receive housing counseling services are one-third less likely to be seriously delinquent on their mortgage than non-counseled borrowers. We have seen first-hand how housing counseling benefits borrowers, lenders, Fannie and Freddie, and communities. Nearly 50 of the National Urban League’s 95 affiliates provide home buyer education to ensure communities of color are well-informed of their housing rights and options. Since 2008, we have provided pre-and-post purchase counseling to nearly 180,000 clients.

Director Watt has been rolling out this policy for several months. On October 20, he told the Mortgage Bankers Association Annual Meeting, “To increase access for creditworthy but lower-wealth borrowers, FHFA is also working with the Enterprises [Fannie and Freddie] to develop sensible and responsible guidelines for mortgages with loan-to-value ratios between 95 and 97 percent. Through these revised guidelines, we believe that the Enterprises will be able to responsibly serve a targeted segment of creditworthy borrowers with lower-down payment mortgages by taking into account compensating factors. It is yet another much needed piece to the broader-access-to-credit puzzle.”

Director Watt recognizes that low down payments did not cause the housing crisis, but that irresponsible products and predatory lending did. Lowering Fannie and Freddie down payment requirements will allow tens of thousands of African Americans, Latinos and working class Americans to purchase lower cost mortgages and become homeowners. That is good for our communities and good for America.


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The Startup Making Money on 30B Online Ads Each Day

Oct. 23 (Bloomberg) — Online advertising is the bread and butter of the internet and New York-based startup Appnexus is serving as its middleman. CEO Brian O’Kelley discusses the business with Bloomberg’s Alex Barinka at the company’s Manhattan headquarters as part of the “New Hack City” series.

See the VIDEO

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Middle East Congress 2015


H.E. Hussein Rasheed Jamal al-Kaf
Oil & Minerals Minister YEMEN

H.E. Reem Al-Hashimi
MD WORLD EXPO 2020 & Minister of State

Middle East Congress
Investment in world-class infrastructure will play a critical factor in supporting change across the Middle East. The Middle East Congress will bring together business leaders and key figures from government to explore how the international community can nurture an economic revival across the region.


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Jay Williams: U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development



U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development

Jay Williams was appointed by President Obama to serve as the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development and was sworn into office on Tuesday, May 20, 2014.

As the Administrator of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), Williams is charged with leading the federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness, preparing American regions for growth and success in the global economy.

Prior to joining the Department of Commerce, Jay served as the executive director of the Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers. In this capacity, he worked directly with state and local stakeholders in areas affected by the changing American automotive industry to deliver federal support to ensure they returned to better economic condition.

He also served in the White House as Deputy Director for the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. In this position, he led efforts to engage mayors, city council members, and county officials around the country.

Williams served as the Mayor of Youngstown, Ohio from 2006 to August 1, 2011. During his tenure as Mayor of Youngstown, Williams led efforts that had a direct impact on improving the quality of life for the citizens of Youngstown.

Williams is the recipient of the 2007 John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award. The JFK Library Foundation, in conjunction with the Harvard University Institute of Politics, annually recognizes two exceptional young Americans- under the age of 40, whose contributions in elective office, community service or advocacy demonstrate the impact and value of public service in the spirit of President John F. Kennedy.

Prior to being elected, Williams spent five years as the Director of Community Development for the city. Before transitioning into public service, Williams enjoyed a distinguished career in banking, which included stints at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland and First Place Bank, as a vice president.

Assistant Secretary Williams was born and raised in Youngstown. He graduated from Youngstown State University with a B.S.B.A., majoring in finance.


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