E-Mail Forum
Richmond Business Opportunity Ordinance
October 16, 2001
When Proposition 209 motivated the Richmond City Council to cease applying the Richmond Affirmative Action Ordinance, the City Council instructed staff to prepare a new ordinance that would provide incentives for the City of Richmond to do business with Richmond firms. The City Council was also sympathetic to including incentives for the City to do business with Richmond businesses owned by veterans.

The result is "AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF RICHMOND AMENDING CHAPTER 2.50 OF THE MUNICIPAL CODE OF THE CITY OF RICHMOND. THIS ORDINANCE ADDRESSES THE EXPANSION OF OPPORTUNITIES FOR RICHMOND AREA BUSINESSES TO COMPETE FOR AND PARTICIPATE IN CITY FUNDED CONTRACTS." The ordinance received its first reading in September and is scheduled for a second reading tonight. The staff version is viewed here as NEW BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY ORDINANCE (pdf format). The document was prepared by the City Attorney's Office, and in my opinion is too complex and cumbersome.

I have prepared a revised version, viewed here as NEW REVISED BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY ORDINANCE (pdf format). I believe it is much simpler and will be easier to use by business and less expensive to enforce by staff. A summary of my proposed revisions is viewed here as Alternative Business Ordinance Evaluation (pdf format).

So far, my suggestions have not been well received by the City Council, which prefers the more complex staff version. I am the only person on the City Council who has public contracting experience in the private sector and who has had to comply with similar ordinances in other jurisdictions over many years. Not one Richmond business owner has testified in favor of this ordinance during two hearings of the Public Safety and Public Services Committee and a first reading in the City Council.

If you support my version, you may want to contact City Council members to let them know before tonight or show up at the meeting.