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Affirmative action caught in tale of the two cities of Boston, Massachusetts and Denver, Colorado. Since the late 1980s, race and sex-based contracting preference programs in the U.S. cities have faced significant challenges in the courts (Rubin). On February 7th, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino announced his plan to eliminate a 15 year old program that required bidders on city construction contracts to subcontract 15% of work to minority-owned business enterprises and 5% to women-owned firms (Rubin). That program is being replaced by one that requires bidders to award 20% of subcontracts to local businesses and 20 % to firms with less than 20 employees both categories being race and gender neutral (Robin). While this Mayor announced his new plan, 3 days later on February 10th, the United States court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit went the other direction by overturning a lower court and upholding Denver’s constructions M/WBE program in a decade-long legal challenge by locally based Concrete Works of Colorado Inc. This program initially earmarked 16% of city construction contracts to MBE’s and 12% to WBEs (Robin). In this essay I will tell you my views on the two cities and their programs. Is minority set aside programs morally acceptable, is one of the questions I will be also answering in this essay and will set out the utilitarian and deontological considerations.
One of the most heated areas of affirmative actions is with jobs. I think that Mayor Thomas Menino of Boston, new plan shows that Affirmative action works (Robin). I think that was a really good decision to equal out the subcontracts for local businesses and firms with less than 20 employees and the categories being race and gender neutral.
This plan really lets you know that the program before was discriminating in a lot of ways against minorities and women. After reading this case study I never knew that programs like this even existed. I always thought it was equally distributed across the board. Programs that have been able to give only 5 % of there subcontracts to women owned business is wrong in every kind of way. The changing of the program by the Boston Mayor, will give a lot of minority and female business owners hope for the future. Are minority set aside programs morally acceptable? Affirmative action programs have been set up in the best interest of minorities.