Skip to main content
Default Image

Leveling the Playing Field in City Contracting

Oscar Perry, writing for Next City, highlights the work of the Democracy Collaborative in “Leveling the Playing Field in City Contracting.” In this long form piece, Perry writes about why New York City has doubled their contracts with women-and-minority-owned firm. As well as, the work of Democracy Collaborative’s thought leadership, direction, and work with anchor instutitons through the Healthcare Anchor Network: 

Corporations and anchor institutions like hospitals and universities are stepping up MWBE contracting commitments and programs, too. The Democracy Collaborative, a nonprofit that does research and builds leadership around equitable, inclusive and sustainable development, has been working with anchor institutions to support more diverse contracting through the lens of building stronger local economies. In January 2017, it formed the Healthcare Anchor Network, consisting of 30 healthcare systems nationwide.

“Healthcare systems are recognizing the need for intentionality to overcome the history of discrimination,” says David Zuckerman, who manages the network. Yet such programs remain in danger of going away when there’s a leadership change, he notes.

“If you can institutionalize it, and build it into your strategic plan, that’s what’s powerful,” he says. “We’re not there yet, but I think in the next year we’re going to see more health systems build this local impact work into their strategic plans.”

One way to institutionalize it: Make it someone’s job.

“There might be an official statement that ‘we’re going to prioritize the effort to increase our spend to MWBEs,’ but it’s not any one person’s job, it’s something extra,” Zuckerman says.

Read more in Next City

Publication date: 2018-03-25
Parent publication: Next City
Publication URL: Leveling the Playing Field in City Contracting

More related work

June 30, 2020
Community wealth summit

Community Wealth Summit

The summit is a week of virtual learning and place-based organizing to rebuild local economies around shared ownership and racial justice.
read more
June 23, 2020
Default Image

Racial & Ethnic Economic Inequality and the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Democracy Collaborative prepared a report, created for the Healthcare Anchor Network, that looked at how racial and ethnic disparities in the economy are showing up in the COVID-19 pandemic and in the public policy response to the pandemic. The report also covers how the economic effects of the pandemic will likely impact racial and ethnic inequality.

read more
June 10, 2020
Owning our future after COVID-19

Owning Our Future After COVID-19

The Democracy Collaborative is putting forward a five-point plan for national economic reconstruction and community transformation as the nation faces a once-in-a-generation opening to build a better world.
read more