Charge to Repeal Prop 209

Proposition 209 is a California ballot proposition (from 1996) that prohibits state governmental institutions from considering race, gender, or ethnicity, specifically in the areas of public employment, public contracting, and public education.  This legislation has been the norm for decades, however there is strong opposition to Prop 2019 that is swiftly gaining traction. California Assembly Constitutional Amendment No. 5 (ACA 5) …

$494B INVEST in America Act

Led by Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Peter DeFazio (D-OR), the INVEST in America Act is a proposed $494-billion, five-year surface transportation bill, which includes a 46% increase in spending for highway and transit programs. The prime components of the bill are: Highways: $319 billion Transit: $105 billion Highway safety: $10 billion Passenger rail: $60 billion …

$4.35M DBE/Small Business Fraud Settlement

On April 30, 2020, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York entered into a civil settlement agreement with Northland Associates, Inc. (Northland); JDS Construction (JDS); James Tyler, co-owner and president of Northland/JDS; and the Diverse Construction Group, LLC (Diverse). The four defendants agreed to pay a total of $4.35 million to resolve civil False Claims Act …

FTA Guidance For Transit Agencies and TVMs Rolling Stock Procurements

FTA issued guidance to help transit agencies and transit vehicle manufacturers understand and comply with the prohibitions on FTA-funded rolling stock procurements contained in the FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The NDAA frequently asked questions are based on inquiries from grantees and transit vehicle manufacturers. Questions include: Q1: Which manufacturers are affected by the restriction? Q2: When does the two-year phase-in …

FTA Guidance on COVID-19

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other federal partners to provide guidance to the public transportation industry in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Today, FTA posted 13 new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding COVID-19 on its website that cover Administrative Relief, Civil Rights, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) …

BART Hosts Virtual Speed Networking

BART has hosted virtual speed dating sessions where the agency interacts with up to 48 subcontractors to keep critical construction projects moving. The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) is working to increase opportunities available to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, helping to continue essential construction projects and keeping small business employees on the job. “We are actively soliciting as …

FAA Guidance: ACDBE Joint Venture Agreements

The Federal Aviation Administration Office of Civil Rights continues its effort to promote awareness of all the resources and information available to Airport Grant recipients and their representatives on matters pertaining to the DBE and ACDBE Programs (Programs). A Joint Venture isan association of an ACDBE firm and one or more other firms to carry out a single, for-profit business …

Why is it Hard for Minority Businesses to Win Government Contracts?

Understand How California’s Unique Business Landscape Impacts Minority-Owned Firms There are more minority-and-women-owned firms in California than in any other state. In fact, almost one in four of all minority businesses in the nation reside in California. Sure, we’re the most populous state in the county, but California’s total minority-owned businesses total over 228,000. That’s a lot of minority-owned businesses. …

Feds charge SF Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru with fraud

Federal authorities charged San Francisco Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru and high-profile restaurateur Nick Bovis with fraud Tuesday following a public corruption probe. The schemes involved an envelope of cash, fraudulent city contracts, improper gifts from a Chinese developer and a $2,000 bottle of wine, according to authorities. To read more, click here.

Pennsylvania Man Sentenced to Prison for DBE Fraud Scheme

On November 6, 2019, Stamatios “Tom” Kousisis was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to 70 months’ imprisonment, 36 months’ supervised release, and $18,600 in fines and fees for his role in a multimillion dollar Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) fraud scheme. In August 2018, Kousisis, and his employer, Alpha Painting and Construction, Inc. (Alpha), were found guilty of wire …