By Raul Espinosa
At the start of his first term as President, Obama was quoted as saying, “I want you to hold our government accountable. I want you to hold me accountable.” The objective of this column is to demonstrate that Hispanics and other minorities were not satisfied with the Obama record during his first term, and they intend to hold him accountable for leveling the playing field for small businesses and minorities as he had promised he would do when he first became President.
A fellow advocate, Hank Wilfong, who had organized Black Republicans For Obama (BRO) summed up the Minority community discontent with the results of the Obama policies during his first term when, after his re-election he said, “I feel entitled to hold him (Obama) accountable and demand that he deliver on his promises.”
Although re-elected with 73% of the Hispanic vote and 93% of the Black vote, the Obama promises, during his first term, according to both Republicans and Democrat minority leaders and advocates, were not met. Prior to the election, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce had called for a review of federal contracting practices claiming that “President Obama minority business strategy has failed to achieve its goals.”
The Obama Administration has been promoting the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI) which was intended to provide savings in government procurement. FSSI is being fast-tracked by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to be mandated for all federal government agency procurement. There is a concern that Strategic Sourcing may precipitate unintended consequences and may be a self-inflicted wound as small businesses are displaced and precious jobs are lost which would negatively impact the US and State economies. FSSI must be reevaluated and modified so as to prevent this catastrophe which will impact all small business federal contractors. Professor Samuel D. Bornstein’s research on FSSI may provide guidance on this issue.
Minority leaders will be joining forces at an MBRT (Minority Business Roundtable) event this week on December 7th in DC to discuss changes in the Obama policies that affect their communities’ ability to create jobs. Some of these leaders are even asking the president to consider replacing those whom he had appointed to carry out his policies because they did not achieve the intended results and/or they had ignored the advice of the minority leaders.
As far as minority business issues are concerned, not to mention immigration reform, which is on everybody’s list, here are eight specific minotity business issues Obama must consider changing, during his second term: