White San Francisco Businesses are NOT Welcome!  Tom Taber was just trying to earn a living by bidding his company on a San Francisco city project, but his company is too white!  On July 13, 2000 the Court upheld San Francisco's illegal quotas.

Racial Preferences = Illegal Discrimination


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Case 13 - San Francisco Businesses Denied Contracts for Being White!
Updated September 17, 2000

Racial Preferences Cost!

San Francisco apparently hasn't heard about Proposition 209, which makes that illegal.   Pacific Legal Foundation sues.

(Jan. 20, 1999) - Tom Taber is a sales agent for Ford Graphics company in San Francisco.  He tried to bid his company on a city project requiring reprographic services, which, as fate would have it, Tom's company is very qualified to provide.  EXCEPT Ford Graphics isn't owned by a minority; San Francisco would NOT accept Tom's bid!  But what about Proposition 209, which makes that sort of thing illegal? 

GO:  Tom Taber, Ford Graphics case. San Francisco to Non-minority Businesses:  Forget doing business with us!

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Update July 13, 2000:   Court Upholds San Francisco Racial Quotas

Pacific Legal Foundation Sues
San Francisco and Mayor Willie Brown for
Violating Anti-Bias Initiative -- Proposition 209

Pacific Legal Foundation
(916) 362-2833
E-mail:  plf@pacificlegal.org

Sacramento, California; January 19, 1999:  The Sacramento-based Pacific Legal Foundation sued the City of San Francisco and its mayor, Willie Brown, for violating Proposition 209 by allowing only minority- or women-owned businesses to bid on certain public contracts (Taber v. City and County of San Francisco).

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          Amazingly enough, San Francisco has an ordinance - in defiance of Proposition 209 - which sets-aside a percentage of city contracts for companies owned by women or minorities.  The city notified Ford Graphics in July 1998 that it was ineligible to bid on a project calling for reprographic services because (a) Ford Graphics is owned by a "white male"; and (b) the contract in question was set-aside exclusively for minority or women owned businesses.

         Proposition 209 is now a part of the California State Constitution (Section 31 of Article I).  The law is modeled after the Civil Rights Act of 1964and prohibits state and local governments from discriminating against or granting preferential treatment to anyone on the basis of race and gender in public contracting.

          PLF's legal action against San Francisco's public contracting "set-aside" policy [Administrative Code Sec. 12D.6(B.7)] follows on the heel of the Board of Supervisors' recent endorsement of a plan to extend its race/gender preference policies into the year 2003.

          PLF's lawsuit was brought on behalf of a number of San Francisco taxpayers and Tom Taber, a sales representative for Ford Graphics in San Francisco. Taber was prohibited from bidding on a city project requiring reprographic services because the firm he worked for was not an "economically disadvantaged local business," which under the city's code means minority- or women-owned businesses.

          "Any government policy that outright prohibits certain people from bidding on a contract is, without question, discriminatory and therefore violates Proposition 209's equal treatment mandate," said Mark T. Gallagher, an attorney with PLF which helped win a major ruling in 1997 from the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upholding the constitutionality of Proposition 209. "Equal treatment under the law is impossible in San Francisco so long as city officials continue to grant special privileges and preferences to politically favored groups," said Gallagher. Click here to see the complaint.

          The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted last September to expand its decade-old Minority-Women-Local Business Enterprise Program to Arab Americans and Native Americans to increase the types of groups given contract preferences. Other groups given preferential treatment in contracting are African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, and women.

          Headquartered in Sacramento, California, PLF is a public interest, nonprofit organization dedicated to litigating nationwide in defense of private property rights, individual and economic freedoms, and limited government. PLF has opposed race and gender preferences, quotas, and set-asides in government contracting for nearly 25 years.

(Be sure to visit Pacific Legal Foundation's web site at http://www.pacificlegal.org )

San Francisco's minority contract quotas stand (07/13/00)

          Too bad for Tom Taber and other white business owners in San Francisco.  According to the San Francisco Examiner "The City's contracting preferences for women and minorities have survived another legal challenge.

          "The state Supreme Court denied a hearing Wednesday in an appeal by a white contractor's salesman and three other local residents, suing as taxpayers. Their suit was based on Proposition 209, the 1996 initiative that outlawed preferences based on race or sex in state and local contracting, employment and education.

          "A Superior Court judge and an appellate court refused to decide whether the set-asides would violate Prop. 209, instead saying the suit was premature because the ordinance had not been enforced and might never be needed. The state's high court unanimously denied review, without comment.

          "The issue isn't going away, said attorney John Findley of the Pacific Legal Foundation, which filed the suit. He said the foundation had another suit pending, in both U.S. District Court and San Mateo County Superior Court, claiming illegal preferences in San Francisco's airport hiring policies.   "I'm sure that there will be more to come, because San Francisco is one of the leaders in the massive resistance to the policies of non-discrimination set forth in Proposition 209," Findley said.

          Marc Slavin, an attorney for the city, said "We feel very strongly that the ordinance that we have is designed to remedy ongoing discrimination for which The City is directly responsible, and we have a constitutional obligation to correct that problem," Slavin said. "We don't think Prop. 209 changes that."

          "One plaintiff in the case decided Wednesday, salesman Tom Taber, said in the suit that he would lose commissions because his company would be unable to bid on city contracts on the same basis as firms owned by women and minorities.

          "Superior Court Judge Ronald Quidachay dismissed the suit without a trial. The 1st District Court of Appeal upheld his ruling this April, saying none of the plaintiffs had shown any likelihood of "imminent or significant hardship" from the mere presence of the set-aside ordinance on the books."

          Significantly, the Court did not comment on the racism inherent in city policies which give certain races preferential treatment in the award of city contracts.  (Based on the San Francisco Examiner, 07/13/00 by Bob Egelko)
[ link http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/examiner/hotnews/stories/13/Bpreference.dtl ]

Related:  Pacific Legal Foundation Sues Sacramento Utility District over Quotas (06/20/00)

          The racial quota lobby in California just doesn't get it:  Proposition 209 wiped out the use of racial quotas and preferences, but California agencies continue to ignore the law, and are repeatedly sued.

          In this case, a public contracting program that gives special preferences to minority- and women-owned businesses seeking contracts with the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) is unconstitutional and violates Proposition 209, according to a lawsuit filed today by the
Sacramento-based Pacific Legal Foundation.

          PLF sued on behalf of United Utilities, Inc., and C & C Construction, Inc., two firms that have been subjected to unequal treatment under SMUD's policies. "SMUD's public contracting program hurts everyone involved--the utility customers, prime contractors, and minority-owned firms," said PLF attorney Stephen McCutcheon.
[link http://www.adversity.net/Sacramento_Setasides/smud_plf_0.htm]

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