Recently in the Missouri Category
8:05 PM January 26, 2008
In 2004 the State of Missouri's affirmative action program was legally challeneged as unconstitutional by a non-minority company. The federal district court, Western District of Missouri, located in Kansas City, MO, issued a temporary injunctive order which found the Plaintiff's claim that the program was unconstitutional merited a substantial chance of prevailing at trial, and therefore ordered the State's affirmative action program to be temporarily suspended. At that time, all D/M/WBE programs under the State ceased.
A voluntarily coalition consisting of members of the Kansas City Council of Women Business Owners, the National Association of Women Business Owners - Kansas City and St. Louis Chapters, the Minority Contractors Association and the Mid American Minority Development Council joined to assess the litigation. Coordinated by WIPP member and National Partner, Nancy Zurbuchen, and assisted through pro bono legal advice and briefing provided by WIPP member and National Partner, Denise Farris of the Farris Law Firm LLC, the group analyzed the legal challenge and briefs, and determined that the legal challenge was well-grounded in fact and law, and realized that protracted litigation would place Missouri's program into deep freeze while the lawsuits played out.
The group acted in a concerted effort to meet with Missouri's attorney general Jay Nixon (Democrat) and newly elected governor, Matt Blunt (Republican) to urge the State to avoid protracted litigation and voluntarily create a new program more in line with the MoDot program. The group's recommendation was accepted and the program, in a new and improved form, reactivated six months later.