ANALYSIS, ADVOCACY AND ACTION
BuildOUT California's path to establishing a 1.5% aspirational goal for LGBT business participation with the California Public Utilities Commission and California-based Utilities
In September 2014 Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill (AB) 1678 which opened the procurement pipeline for LGBT businesses with California-based Utilities who do in excess of $25 Million in annual revenues. Several BuildOUT California Founders were instrumental in the passage of this legislation.
As part of the AB1678 rulemaking process the guidelines established by the California Public Utilities (CPUC) staff, representatives from the Joint Utilities organization and the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce included spending a five-year period for 'data collection' as it related to LGBT business utilization and participation. The end of that five-year period is now upon us.
Beginning in 2020 the CPUC, Joint Utilities and representatives from the LGBT business community began the formal process of establishing an aspirational goal. This nearly two-year process has provided all stakeholder groups an opportunity to participate in this process.
BuildOUT California has done our homework and we strongly support the CPUC Commissioners setting a justifiable, and common-sense, goal of 1.5% for LGBT businesses. This goal would equate to an approximate annual spend of $500 million from the utilities and with LGBT certified firms. In context, the CPUC has already set aspirational goals for minority business enterprises at 15%, women business enterprises at 5% and disabled veteran businesses at 1.5%. The goal for all business categories is aspirational meaning there are no penalties/fees associated with NOT meeting the stated goals.
We are pleased to be in concert with the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, the San Diego Equality Business Association, Golden Gate Business Association, Sacramento Rainbow Chamber, the Silicon Valley Rainbow Chamber, and the Desert Business Association in advocating for the 1.5% goal.
Part of BuildOUT California's 'homework' was to develop an 'apples to apples/oranges to oranges' comparative analysis to support our advocacy of a 1.5% goal. On Tuesday, July 20, 2021 we presented that analysis to a select working group of CPUC Commissioners and relevant stakeholders. That analysis can be found in the letter below signed by Paul Pendergast.
We are honored to have earned the support for the 1.5% goal by an unprecedented number of elected officials at local, state and national levels. We will be posting key letters from elected officials throughout the next several weeks. Stay tuned and check back frequently.