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City Council looks to make the economic and inclusion plan an ordinance

It aims to encourage emerging businesses
Posted at 6:44 PM, Apr 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-13 19:45:16-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The economic equity and inclusion plan was passed as a resolution a few years ago, now the Omaha City Council is looking to make it an ordinance.

It requires city contractors to submit an economic equity and inclusion plan as part of their bid. They'd also be required to submit quarterly reports if awarded the contract.

The ordinance aims to address unemployment, expand opportunities for small and emerging businesses (SEB) and provide opportunities for the youth.

"We want to reach out to the less represented areas of the town, people that are poor people that historically may not have had a seat at the table. That’s what the economic equity and inclusion program is about," said Human Rights and Relations Director Franklin Thompson.

Proponents of the ordinance say it's a step towards achieving the intentionality of building equity and development. Jonathan Lathan, who spoke in favor of it, said he hopes though that it addresses economic disparity, specifically in districts 2 and 4.

"Let’s ensure these SEB contracts and services focus on the truly blighted areas of the city that have been looking to develop infrastructure at the same level of the rest of Omaha," Lathan said.

Councilmember Ben Gray, who co-sponsored the ordinance with Chris Jerram, said the whole council is focused on creating inclusion and diversity. He said this ordinance is just one step in the right direction.