SAN FRANCISCO - NO WHITES NEED
APPLY The Sacramento-based Pacific Legal Foundation sued the City
of San Francisco and its mayor, Willie Brown, for violating
Proposition 209 by allowing only minority- or women-owned businesses
to bid on certain public contracts
Date sent: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 22:12:41 -0800
Send reply to: AADAP-L-Request@HOME.EASE.LSOFT.COM
Subject: PLF sues San Francisco and Mayor Willie Brown for violating Prop.
Note: a copy of PLF's complaint may be found at PLF's web site,
PACIFIC LEGAL FOUNDATION SUES SAN FRANCISCO AND MAYOR
WILLIE BROWN FOR VIOLATING ANTI-BIAS INITIATIVE--PROP. 209
Mark T. Gallagher
Sharon L. Browne
John H. Findley
January 19, 1999
The Sacramento-based Pacific Legal Foundation sued the City of San
Francisco and its mayor, Willie Brown, for violating Proposition 209 by
allowing only minority- or women-owned businesses to bid on certain public
contracts (Taber v. City and County of San Francisco). Modeled after the
Civil Rights Act of 1964, Proposition 209 (now section 31 of Article 1 in
the state constitution) prohibits state and local governments from
discriminating against or granting preferential treatment to anyone on the
basis of race and gender in public contracting. PLF's legal action against
San Francisco's public contracting "set-asides" policy [Administrative Code
S. 12D.6(B.7)] follows on the heels of the Board of Supervisors' recent
endorsement of a plan to extend its race/gender preference policies into
the year 2003.
PLF's lawsuit was brought on behalf of a number of San Francisco taxpayers
and Tom Taber, a sales representative for Ford Graphics in San Francisco.
Taber was prohibited from bidding on a city project requiring reprographic
services because the firm he worked for was not an "economically
disadvantaged local business," which under the city's code means minority-
or women-owned businesses.
"Any government policy that outright prohibits certain people from bidding
on a contract is, without question, discriminatory and therefore violates
Proposition 209's equal treatment mandate," said Mark T. Gallagher, an
attorney with PLF which helped win a major ruling in 1997 from the U.S.
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upholding the constitutionality of
"Equal treatment under the law is impossible in San Francisco so long as
city officials continue to grant special privileges and preferences to
politically favored groups," said Gallagher. A copy of PLF's complaint may
be found at PLF's web site, www.pacificlegal.org.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted last September to expand its
decade-old Minority-Women-Local Business Enterprise Program to Arab
Americans and native Americans to increase the types of groups given
contract preferences. Other groups given preferential treatment in
contracting are African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos and women.
Headquartered in Sacramento, California, PLF is a public interest,
nonprofit organization dedicated to litigating nationwide in defense of
private property rights, individual and economic freedoms, and limited
government. PLF has opposed race and gender preferences, quotas, and
set-asides in government contracting for nearly 25 years.
PLF is also participating in a case challenging San Francisco's race/gender
preference program before the First District Court of Appeal in Schindler
Elevator Company v. San Francisco. In addition, PLF successfully challenged
San Jose's public contracting ordinance under Proposition 209 (Hi-Voltage
Wire Works, Inc. v. City of San Jose), and is now before the Sixth District
Court of Appeal seeking to uphold the trial court ruling in that case.
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