CAABA Archived News

Archived News

A big "thank you" to Verizon

A big "thank you" to Verizon for the scholarships to the Anderson's "Management Development for Entrepreneurs" (MDE) school, April 19 to the 22, 2007 in San Ramon for CAABA's members. Verizon supports supplier diversity in many ways - by educating CAABA's business owners - who are also leaders of community business nonprofits. 

Comment from Michael Chan, President of Asian, Inc.

It was a great learning experience from very skilled business professors and professionals, who knew how to motivate and connect with us. The lessons learned will be applied and included in the strategic planning and operational priorities for ASIAN, Inc., as we seek to move to the next level of development. Verizon is to be highly complimented for its support and commitment to expanding opportunities for CAABA members.

Comment from Edward L. King, VP/Operations, Inspection Services:

"I have been in business for 12 years. This course gave me an opportunity to evaluate our progress to date and to redirect my firm for future growth and increased profits."

Comment from Stanley Chan, President of Value Fire Protection, 2921 Balboa St, San Francisco, CA 94121

I was so fortunate to have an opportunity to enroll in a Management Development for Entrepreneurs Course offered by UCLA Anderson, School of Management in April, 2007, thanks to Verizon, who sponsored CAABA's members. I had to take a few days off my busy schedule and concentrated on learning new things that are so important and relevant in running the business. Among the concepts and topics we learned: Opportunity Recognition, Principles of Finance, Marketing, Managerial Effectiveness, and Organizational Transition. Armed with all these knowledge and information, the whole class was then equipped and required to write a Business Improvement Plan, "BIP". That was an excellent way to culminate the class. 

Writing a "BIP" requires the CEO, or whoever is in charge of the company to pause and take a careful look at the business, evaluate the situation and make plans for the future. Every company should do it periodically. I am glad I took the time to do one for my company even though it was not easy.

Besides learning from the best business school in the country, we get to meet other entrepreneurs just like us; who shared with us their problems and aspirations. They are such a creative and dynamic bunch. As business owners learning from each other, not only it was productive; but also fun. 

"Congratulations again to Asian, Inc,. Inspection Services, Value Fire Protection, Inc. and Transpacificgeotech (pending) on your hard work and stellar performance."


Sunday, May 13, 2007 (SF Chronicle) State affirms that race is still a factor/Prop. 209 doesn't demand complete color blindness
by Oren M. Sellstrom, Diana C. Tate

The original article can be found on here:

Two recent court decisions about race and equal opportunity demonstrate an increasing recognition of what civil rights advocates have long known: Taking race into account is sometimes necessary to secure integration and equality.

The rulings come at a time of increasing public unease with the results of rigid "color-blindness." Many Californians are justifiably disturbed when they hear that UCLA's 2006 freshman class is just 2 percent African American, now that admissions officials no longer even consider race as one of many factors in choosing among qualified applicants. They question how we can keep California's economy strong when two-thirds of the minority-owned businesses that once competed for state transportation contracts have gone out of business since the state's minority business outreach program was abolished.

These troubling statistics are in large part the result of public officials' overreaction to Proposition 209, the state's anti-affirmative action measure. Ironically, when the initiative was put on the ballot, it was the proponents who continually pointed out its narrow scope. They reminded voters that the initiative banned only "preferential treatment" based on race and gender in public education, contracting and employment. This would eliminate quotas, they argued, but leave modest measures such as targeted outreach unaffected.

But once the measure passed, the arguments shifted. Suddenly, Prop. 209's backers began claiming that race could never be considered under any circumstances, and that public officials had to sit on their hands when it came to grappling with persistent racial inequality. Fortunately, the courts are now stepping in to reassert Prop. 209's limits -- and to emphasize government's overriding constitutional duty to remedy segregation and discrimination.

Last month, an Alameda County trial judge tossed out a Prop. 209 challenge to the Berkeley Unified School District's elementary school assignment plan. The district had long sought to create an integrated learning environment for its students, knowing that this is essential for success in a multiracial, multicultural world. They also knew integrated classrooms would never be a reality if district officials could not take race into account in some way in student assignments, particularly because of the existence of highly segregated housing patterns. The plan they ultimately adopted is careful and measured. Race is never the determinative factor in a student's assignment, but the district does consider the racial demographics of a child's neighborhood as one of many factors.

In upholding the plan, Judge Winifred Smith pointed out that Prop. 209 does not exist in isolation, and that California's equal-protection clause requires school districts to take affirmative steps to alleviate school segregation. And she noted that the language of Prop. 209 -- what voters actually approved -- does not prohibit all consideration of race; it just bars preferences.

Then, on April 18, a California Court of Appeal issued a similar ruling in a case involving San Francisco's minority business program. San Francisco had enacted a proactive ordinance to break down the "old boys" network that still dominates city contracting. The law included provisions such as requiring that prime contractors at least notify minority-owned businesses of subcontracting opportunities. But when a white contractor sued, a trial judge initially invalidated the program, ruling that no matter how clear it was that the city's contracting operation was tilted against minority businesses, no race-conscious program was ever allowed under Prop. 209. The Court of Appeal disagreed, sending the case back to trial court with the admonition that the law still prohibits public entities from funneling taxpayer dollars into a discriminatory contracting system. The court cited the huge amount of evidence in the record: statistics showing the city's significant under-utilization of minority-owned businesses, and extensive testimony by minority contractors recounting disparate treatment by city inspectors and prime contractors. Where discrimination and exclusion are entrenched, the court ruled, federal equal-protection law requires public entities to take race-conscious steps to remedy this injustice.

As these thoughtful court decisions show, neither the law nor public policy considerations mandate absolute color blindness, with the devastating results that often follow. Careful consideration of race in our public institutions is not only still permitted, but is sometimes still necessary to secure equal opportunity and a vibrant economy.

Oren M. Sellstrom is associate director and Diana C. Tate is staff attorney for the African American Agenda at the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the Bay Area. The Lawyers' Committee represents parents and minority business groups in the cases described here. Contact us at

Copyright 2007 SF Chronicle