GGBA APPLAUDS BART FOR TAKING HISTORIC “NEXT STEPS” TOWARD INCLUSION OF LGBT BUSINESSES IN ITS PROCUREMENT PROGRAMS

GGBA APPLAUDS BART FOR TAKING HISTORIC “NEXT STEPS” TOWARD INCLUSION OF LGBT BUSINESSES IN ITS PROCUREMENT PROGRAMS

Nation’s First LGBT Chamber of Commerce Praises BART Board Director/LGBT Community Champion Bevan Dufty and BART General Manager Grace Crunican

San Francisco, CA (September 1, 2017) – The Golden Gate Business Association (GGBA) is proud to announce that the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Agency has taken two bold steps toward the historic inclusion of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Business Enterprises as they prepare for taking BART forward in the next 40 years.  At the August 15, 2017 Finance Committee Meeting BART Directors Bevan Dufty, Nick Josefowitz and Debora Allen voted unanimously to include certified LGBT Business Enterprises (LGBTBEs) into BART’s key competitive bidding procurement programs. BART’s full Board of Directors will vote on the policy on Thursday, September 14, 2017.  Director Dufty stated “BART is building a great system for the next 40 years and I want to see the talent of LGBT owned small businesses involved at every level so we succeed!”

Once ratified by BART’s full Board of Directors this new level of inclusion will ensure that LGBTBE firms can actively compete for contracts associated with the $3.5 Billion BART Bond Measure RR which will help to re-build the BART system and create greater public safety throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. BART’s new LGBT inclusion program specifically states that the GGBA, Rainbow Chamber of Commerce Silicon Valley and the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce will become key outreach partners in this initiative. Both the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce’ (NGLCC) and California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC’s) LGBTBE certifications will be accepted by BART under this program.

“At a time when our Nation needs to focus on greater inclusion and addressing the needs of our critical transportation infrastructure, the GGBA applauds the leadership of our long-time friend and elected official, BART Director Bevan Dufty” stated GGBA President, Dawn Ackerman. “Director Dufty and BART General Manager Grace Crunican realize the importance of, and quality of services, provided by LGBT-owned and certified businesses.  This is sure to have a positive, national impact with transportation agencies throughout the United States” she added.

Another step taken by BART to ensure that LGBT owned businesses are fully represented in their programs and services was the appointment of Sandra Escalante, President and CEO of Laner Electric Supply, Co to the BART Business Advisory Council (BART BAC).  This Council represents the great diversity of small, minority, women, disabled veteran and now, LGBT, owned businesses found within the Bay Area.  The Council advises BART Executive Staff and BART Directors on issues relating to procurement and community engagement.  Laner Electric Supply is a certified LGBTBE firm with offices in both Richmond, CA and San Francisco’s Treasure Island. Ms. Escalante serves on the Board of Directors of the GGBA and she has been recognized multiple times by the San Francisco Business Times as a ‘Top 50 LGBT-owned Business.’

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