National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial, Dr. Hazel N. Dukes, President of the NAACP New York State Conference, Bertha Lewis, founder and president of The Black Institute, NAN Northeast Regional Director Kirsten John Foy, Rep. Yvette Clarke, Rep. Adriano Espaillat, Rep. Gregory W. Meeks, Rep. Grace Meng, Mayor Byron Brown, Bill Thompson, Former Governor David Paterson, The NYC District of Carpenters, and key clergy and business leaders across the state joined an initiative to provide thousands of opportunities to middle class minorities and women by ensuring Governor Cuomo’s MWBE program is successful.

The goals of the initiative—called North 30 NY—are the following:

1. Enhance wealth opportunities for minorities and women;
2. Open doors to thousands of middle class jobs for minorities and women through the “Building New York Together” campaign;
3. Address poverty through a pilot program within the NYC District of Carpenters;
4. Work to make New York State’s MWBE program a national model;
5. Achieve Governor Cuomo’s 30% MWBE goals and ensure they are felt within communities of color and among women.

Starting immediately, North 30 NY will undertake several strategies to achieve the above goals, including:

1. Launch the “Building New York Together” campaign, an all-out effort led by the NYC District of Carpenters and groups within North 30 NY to maximize MWBE union participation;
2. Design a pilot program to achieve 30% on large-scale infrastructure projects;
3. Convene standing monthly meetings with key Cuomo Administration officials on MWBE ideas and opportunities;
4. Convene bi-monthly sessions of the “Tuesday Breakfast Group,” a meeting of key MWBE business leaders to discuss MWBE issues;
5. Convene a bi-monthly clergy call to discuss MWBE issues, led by the Rev. Karim Camara, Rev. Darius Pridgen, and the Rev. Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson.
6. Expedite the NYS MWBE certification process through the use of pro bono attorneys and consultants;
7. Form a statewide MWBE Recommendations Committee, modeled after the MWBE Task Force chaired by Bill Thompson signed into executive order by Governor Cuomo.

Marc H. Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League stated “the National Urban League has always been at the forefront of providing economic opportunity for communities of color. North 30 NY, working with Governor Cuomo’s team, can create a national model for MWBE and create thousands of middle-class jobs and wealth opportunity for people of color.”

“New York is positioned to usher in a new era of economic opportunity for minorities and women. When Governor Cuomo’s MWBE goals are achieved, every other state will look to New York as the standard for creating economic prosperity for all,” stated former Governor David A. Paterson.

“The NYC District of Carpenters looks forward to creating union jobs and expanding the middle class for minorities and women through Governor Cuomo’s MWBE program and will work hard to make it a national model,” said Steve McInnis, President of the New York City District Council of Carpenters.

“North 30 NY will serve as a good vehicle for business, community and clergy leaders to receive ongoing information on MWBE opportunities as well as provide criticisms, suggestions, and opinions in real time as the MWBE programs and projects move forward,” said Rev. Darius Pridgen, Buffalo Common Council President.

Dr. Hazel N. Dukes, President of the NAACP New York State Conference, said “North 30 NY will bring us together to help Governor Cuomo achieve groundbreaking economic progress for minorities and women in New York.”

“The Black Institute is ready to step up and do its part to make the MWBE program work as Governor Cuomo envisions it for New York State. Change is never easy, but our goal is to make a real impact so that is to be expected,” noted Bertha Lewis, founder and president of The Black Institute.

“I look forward to taking a leadership role to make Governor Cuomo’s MWBE goals realities because they will lead to economic changes in communities of color. This initiative will go a long way to making the goals real and change the economic paradigm forever,” said Kirsten John Foy, Northeast Regional Director of the National Action Network.

“As the Bronx continues its economic revitalization, MWBE programs are important to providing hard working residents with job opportunities,” said Ruben Diaz Jr., Bronx Borough President.

Bill Thompson added, “North 30 NY will help continue the fight for economic opportunity for minorities and women in New York.”

“Members of the clergy have an important responsibility to share economic opportunities with parishioners. As such, clergy need to be active partners in strengthening the MWBE program for New York State,” added the Rev. Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson, Chairman of the National Action Network.

“As a young African American woman who has grown up in the civil rights movement and now has my own consulting firm, I look forward to working through North 30 NY to bring real opportunity to minority men and women in New York,” said Tamika Mallory of Mallory Consulting.

Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (NY-9) said ““By partnering with North 30 NY, we can help ensure more New Yorkers are given a fair shot at good paying jobs.”
“New Yorkers aren’t looking for a hand out, they are looking for an opportunity. Initiatives like North 30 NY can help provide jobs to working-class and middle-class New Yorkers,” said Congressman Adriano Espaillat (NY-13).

“MWBE programs are more than just state contracts, they provide real opportunities for job growth and community wealth building, added Congressman Gregory W. Meeks (NY-5).

Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY-6) said “strengthening New York’s MWBE program will help create thousands of middle-class jobs for people who are ready to get to work.”

“The goal is simple—we need to strengthen MWBE programs to create more jobs for hard working New Yorkers,” said Buffalo’s Mayor Byron Brown.