Two Californians are suing a Bay Area county for allegedly imposing race-based preferences in its public contracting programs, according to a complaint filed by the Pacific Legal Foundation.
Alameda County, near San Francisco, offers two public contracting programs that reportedly impose racial and gender quotas on public contracting work, according to a complaint. The Californians for Equal Rights Foundation and two co-plaintiffs represented by the Pacific Legal Foundation claim the county’s race-based preferences are a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Senior Attorney for the Pacific Legal Foundation Wen Fa said in a press release that the government is “depriving” citizens of opportunities by imposing “racial quotas.”
“Racial quotas in public contracting, just as racial quotas elsewhere, are wrong and unconstitutional,” Fa said. “The government should not be depriving opportunities for small businesses engaged in public contracting — and the Alameda County public contracting programs are particularly pernicious because they deprive opportunities based on race.”
⚡️We are suing Alameda County for violating the 14th Amendment & Prop. 209 with its 2 race-preferential construction programs. In 2020, 9.65 million California voters rejected an attempt to repeal 209. Now it is time to defend equality in courts. pic.twitter.com/ZKIhBDq9YX
— Wenyuan Wu, Ph.D. (@wu_wenyuan) July 25, 2022
The programs in question are the Construction Compliance Program (CCP) conducted in the county’s Public Works Agency and the Enhanced Construction Outreach Program conducted in the General Services Agency. (RELATED: ‘Insanity’: Student Petition Calls Out Principal Who Allegedly Wanted To Oust White Teachers)
The complaint alleges that each program imposes a “participation goal” that requires 15% of a project to be contracted through a minority-owned business or minority subcontractor. According to the Pacific Legal Foundation, the CCP must impose the racial quota for “projects with bids of $100,000 or more” and the Enhanced Construction Outreach Program must impose the quotas for sealed bid projects topping $125,000.
Chunhua Liao, a co-plaintiff in the lawsuit, said the government is “picking winners and losers” by dint of skin color by promoting these programs.
“The government should not be picking winners and losers on the basis of race or color,” Liao said in a press release. “Furthermore, no public agency should expend taxpayers’ money to hand out race-preferential construction contracts. Alameda County is clearly violating the California Constitution.”
Alameda County’s attorney did not respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment.