New Office Replaces Department of Affirmative Action and Contract Compliance

The mayor names her choice to lead the city’s new Office of Business Opportunities. As Ed Mayberry reports — this replaces the former Department of Affirmative Action and Contract Compliance.

Mayor Annise Parker has picked Carlecia Wright to head the Office of Business Opportunities. Wright served in certification and recruitment for New York’s women-owned business enterprise program. Mayor Parker hopes the changes will build new energy and respect for the program.

Parker and Wright
Mayor Annise Parker with Carlecia Wright who will head the Office of Business Opportunities

“We were dealing with a city department that had been dysfunctional for a very long time, that was not satisfying the small and minority businesses that it was created to assist, nor was it satisfying large prime contractors with which it was expected to work.”

Since the program’s inception, more than $4.1 billion has been awarded to minority and women-owned small business enterprises. Wright says she’s been given a simple directive from the mayor:

“(One,) improving the certification process. Two, building out the compliance team, not to just think about it from a compliance perspective, but to think how we can build relationships. Treat the prime contractors and the departments like they’re customers, as well.”

Mayor Parker says the city doesn’t set aside work and say only a minority firm can do it. 

“It’s not a handout. It’s not a set-aside. It’s a program where we open the doors of opportunity top businesses that can get the work done and that can be the low bid.”

Parker says for a minority or women-owned business to succeed with the city, they’ve got to be able to produce, as well as be the low bid.


Ed Mayberry

Ed Mayberry

News Anchor

Ed Mayberry has worked in radio since 1971, with much of his early career as a rock’n’roll disc jockey. He worked as part of a morning show team on album rock station KLBJ-FM, and later co-hosted a morning show at adult rock station KGSR, both in Austin. Ed also conducted...

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