Transcripts of full meetings of the council.

Good morning, President Clarke and the other honorable members of City Council. I'm Jihad Ali. I'm here to talk about Bill 130901 and 130902. My particular concern is about diversity.

I support this bill, but I'm here really to tell you a story. Now, this Council when the issue of diversity comes up, every one of you, the Councilmembers, have always been supporters of diversity. I don't want to signal you all out, other than to say you all have supported this issue. There's always been good leadership. We use that often to talk about this issue in this Council about diversity. There's always good leadership here.

But I wanted to tell you a story that really underlines that example. This week there was a hearing. It must have been a follow-up hearing where they brought in the executives to speak before Public Property with Councilman Bobby Henon, and that was right here in the people's chambers. And they brought in about maybe ten executives from the organization that's going to buy the parking garage. I believe it was InterPark. And during the course of the questioning, it just so happened it was advertised, but I was the only citizen who came and sat right along this bench.

The executives all sat around and they talked about the points of the purchase. And then it was a question and answer period where the distinguished Chairman, Mr. Henon, acknowledged my question. And Councilman Greenlee knew what I was going to say, and he talked about Economic Opportunity Plans. And through the good leadership of this Council, they already had two plans.

But I wanted -- it was just apparent a question for me to ask. It must have been ten white men and three white women of the upper management. So I had to ask the question, can you tell me about diversity on your upper level of management in this corporation. The Chairman, he seemed to be shocked. He said, That's a technical question. And to the credit of Bobby Henon, Councilman Greenlee, and Councilman Oh, they didn't say a word. They let that hang out there for three seconds, which probably to him was an eternity, and then they allowed me to ask a second question. Well, Mr. Chairman, let me make it plain. How many black men, black women, Latino men, Latino women, Asian men, Asian women do you have on the upper levels of your corporation. So, once again, they didn't say a word. And as a citizen, that's important, because they didn't diminish my question. They allowed me to ask the question, and they gave me my respect as a citizen. And that's all we want.

So I salute you. I salute Bobby Henon, Councilman Greenlee, Councilman Oh, and all of you for that issue of diversity for giving me the respect as a citizen to address my concerns.

Thank you.

Keyboard shortcuts

j previous speech k next speech