Historic progress was seen September 14, 2021, when Alderman Gilbert Villegas sponsored the MENA GOVERNMENTAL ADVISORY COUNCIL’s resolution to “include MENA Americans as a ‘minority group’, along with African Americans, Hispanics and Asian Americans” under the Minority Business Enterprise Ordinance of the City of Chicago.
If adopted, this will be the first time in the United States that a governmental body has recognized Arab-Americans as a “presumptive” minority for minority set aside contracts. In the past few months, Judge Haddad has met with elected officials including Cong. Raja, Kelly, Pres. Preckwinkle and Mayor Lightfoot. MENA presented expert empirical data to support our proposal, thanks to Prof. Louise Cainkar, and model resolutions drafted by our committees. The Next Step is for MENA COUNCIL, AMVOTE and several organizations to present testimony at hearings to Committees on Contracts and Oversight.