Educate, organize and mobilize – On Saturday, February 21, 2015, the Alliance of North Carolina Black Elected Officials (ANCBEO) reported on recent studies that were commissioned to gather data and information related to the issues pertinent to policymakers and their constituents in North Carolina. The mission of ANCBEO is to use the information and data to develop “empowering initiatives that improve the African American community.” One study was commissioned by ANCBEO and another commissioned by the North Carolina Caucus of Black School Board Members (NCCBSBM), an ANCBEO member.
The goal of the NCCBSBM project was to provide an analysis of the total Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) participation of minority spending for Public Schools, Community Colleges and State Universities in North Carolina, relative to the minority population in a county.
The studies were conducted by the Leadership Studies program and faculty of North Carolina A&T State University. A&T faculty member, Dr. Forest Toms supervised the studies and publication of the data.
I consider ANCBEO initiatives to potentially be the most important community empowerment initiatives of The Third Reconstruction Era. The projects should serve as a national model to be replicated by elected officials nationwide. Because ANCBEO is probably the best organized organization of Black officials nationwide they are uniquely suited to address the tasks they have chosen. It is also important to note that with a membership in excess of 600 officials, all with budgetary influence, their decisions have very real impact on the well-being of Black communities.
Overall, the results showed that most of the Public School Districts, Community Colleges and State Universities are not meeting the 10% HUB participation goal. Public School Districts and State Universities are exceeding the goal for Construction spending. Community Colleges are not meeting the goal. Over 50% of HUB dollars were spent on Women Business Enterprises and over 25% of the HUB dollars was awarded to Black Business. White Female businesses were awarded almost 60% of HUB dollars on Construction spending. Only two of five Historically Black Universities are meeting the 10% goal for HUB participation.
The target areas of the ANCBEO study included voter registration, income, Affordable Care Act (ACA) open enrollment, employment/unemployment, poverty, and ACA and Medicare. The implications, as noted by the study, suggest opportunities to improve the citizens’ capacity to attain socio-economic mobility through the Black Elected Officials (BEOs) engaging in human focused initiatives that impact the overall health, wealth, and access of the citizens who can influence their success through voting.
The point must be made that one of the greatest accomplishment of the Era of The Second Reconstruction was the election of thousands of Blacks to political offices, including President Barack Obama. What is viewed as our greatest Civil Rights Era failures has been our failure to deliver economic opportunities commensurate to our voting strength. If the projects of ANCBEO end up serving as national models, it is likely that our BEOs can effectively lead the way in addressing our past shortcomings.
ANCBEO leadership advised me that they are seeking public feedback and input into their project and are preparing their Internet sites to facilitate feedback. They will also have presentations at their April, 2015 Black Summit by the Leadership Studies students from A&T State University. I should mention that these students are doctoral students.
As we’ve reported, www.thethirdreconstruction.com is a blog whose goal is to help build a network of organizations and individuals committed to political, economic, and social justice. We referenced certain movements and entities that we will monitor and report on. We will provide ongoing coverage of the ANCBEO project and urge you to post your comments on our Internet sites.
Lastly, please join the growing numbers of people that are committing themselves to fight for political, economic and social justice and please ask your affiliated churches and organization to join in the efforts.
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Peter Grear, Esq. writes for Greater Diversity News and www.thethirdreconstruction.com with a primary focus on political, social and economic justice. To support our efforts, to unite our politics and economics, please “Like” and follow us at www.facebook.com/ThirdReconstruction. Please “Share” our articles and post your ideas and comments on Facebook or at our websites www.GreaterDiversity.com and www.thethirdreconstruction.com. Comments can also be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Finally, please ask all of your Facebook “Friends” to like and follow our pages. •