The Rockford Files

Black Like Me

Rockford alderman Ann Thompson owns a cleaning service.  That, in itself, is not surprising; while Rockford aldermen receive some benefits that are traditionally reserved to full-time employees (such as health insurance), they are paid a part-time stipend, and only those who are retired or independently wealthy could afford not to have another job.

For months now, Alderman Thompson has been the chief proponent of a “diversity-procurement policy” for city contracts—what used to be called, in a less politically correct day, “minority set-asides.”  (Today, no one wants to set aside minorities; but who doesn’t want to procure some diversity, which we’ve been assured is the spice of life?)  Her advocacy, too, is not surprising: In addition to being a woman, Alderman Thompson is a Democrat and black.  Of course, to be completely fair, the policy, as the Rockford Register Star notes, “enjoys unanimous support on the council and with Mayor Larry Morrissey.”  (Only 8 of the 14 aldermen are Democrats; 11 are white; and 11 are male.  Mayor Morrissey is a white male independent.)  The only debate has been whether the policy should set “goals” to award 25 percent of contracts to minority-owned firms and 5 percent to firms owned by women, as Alderman Thompson wanted, or whether it should avoid numbers and simply direct the city to award...

Join now to access the full article and gain access to other exclusive features.

Get Started

Already a member? Sign in here

X