PHILADELPHIA— Mayor Jim Kenney joined Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) General Manager and CEO Leslie Richards today to sign the Pledge as part of the Equity in Infrastructure Project (EIP). EIP aims to improve public contracting practices by creating more opportunities for Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUBs) to build generational wealth and reduce the racial wealth gap by creating more prime, joint venture and equity contracting opportunities for these firms.
Pledge signers of the Equity in Infrastructure Project will work toward this effort by:
- Increasing the number, size and proportion of contracting opportunities going to HUBs;
- Increasing the number, size and proportion of contracting opportunities going to HUBs as prime contractors;
- Streamlining the administration of contracting with HUBs to centralize certification, improve payment time, and standardize transparent data collection;
- Increasing the amount and type of appropriate financing available to HUBs aiming to meet infrastructure contracts by working with private and public partners; and
- Expanding the number of signatories to this Pledge.
“Public agencies across the country have already signed the Pledge to increase the number, size and proportion of contracts going to Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUBs) in the infrastructure space and Philadelphia is no exception,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “We are proud to join SEPTA in reinforcing our commitment to equity in infrastructure, and look forward to continuing to support with real actions our diverse entrepreneurs and workers, especially in Philadelphia’s historically underserved communities.”
Through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Philadelphia will be able to address critical equity, safety and climate needs. This federal investment is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to grow Black and brown businesses.
In fact, Philadelphia is investing $20 million this year to prepare for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law so that it can compete successfully for federal dollars and deliver high-quality infrastructure projects all while elevating minority businesses by ensuring they get a fair, equitable shot at contracts on these projects.
“Who we contract with has always mattered in our efforts to advance equity. At this moment, we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create generational wealth for small, minority, and women-owned firms in the infrastructure space,” said SEPTA General Manager and CEO Leslie S. Richards. “SEPTA is not only committed, but we’re also excited to take this Pledge.”
SEPTA is one of the first five agencies that have already committed to equity in infrastructure to EIP’s pledge along with the Chicago Transit Authority, Denver International Airport, Port of Long Beach, and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
Learn more about the EIP Pledge at EquityInInfrastructure.org.