Secretary of State candidate Pat Dowell announced her plan to set a supplier diversity goal for the Secretary of State's office that is double the current goal for State of Illinois agencies.
"Increasing contracting opportunities for women, veterans, and Black and Brown entrepreneurs can be done," Ald. Dowell said. "I know, because I've done it in my ward and throughout the City of Chicago."
Currently, under the State's Business Enterprise Program, all state agencies have a goal to do 20% of their business with businesses owned and operated by women, minorities, and persons with disabilities. In January 2022, the BEP goal for state agencies is set to increase to 30%. If elected, Dowell would increase the goal for the Secretary of State's office to 40%.
"I'd like the Secretary of State's office to lead on this for the State of Illinois," Dowell said. "While the Secretary of State is an independent office and not a state agency, Secretary White has worked hard to increase supplier diversity. I want to continue that work and push it even further."
Dowell touted her track record in creating opportunities for underrepresented businesses. As a legislator in Chicago's City Council, she passed ordinances that created more transparency in the procurement process, enabling women and Black and Brown-owned businesses to find more opportunities for city contracts.
As Alderman, she is the chief sponsor of a new procurement law that requires that the City of Chicago have an up-to-date and comprehensive online list of qualified MBE/DBE businesses so that majority businesses can easily find Black and Brown firms to work with. She is also a sponsor of a new law that establishes a working group to maximize diversity in project participation associated with new lease and license agreements at Chicago O'Hare International Airport.
Dowell plans to implement similar programs at the Secretary of State's office. She would create and maintain a list of qualified underrepresented businesses, and establish a working group to maximize participation.
"Helping underrepresented businesses to grow and prosper has been a life-long commitment for me. It's something I talked about on the day I announced, and long before that," added Dowell. "And it's something I'm looking forward to tackling as Secretary of State."
Website: Citizens for Pat Dowell, Illinois Secretary of State (https://www.illinoisfordowell.com/)
Facebook: @IllinoisForDowell (https://www.facebook.com/illinoisfordowell)