New York Governor Takes Bond Issuance to Task - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

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davidpatersonOn Thursday, in conjunction with his appointment of Paul T. Williams to the position of executive director of the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York, Gov. David Paterson signed an executive order to increase utilization of Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise underwriters for state debt offerings. His actions demonstrate his unwavering commitment to minority- and women-owned businesses.

“There is a new sheriff in town,” Gov. Paterson declared at a news conference, while black senators cheered. Indeed, according to Paterson, the time for someone to lay down the law was long overdue.

Although article 15A of New York law, which charged state agencies with establishing employment and business participation goals for minorities and women in 1988, was extended in 2003 and reexamined in 2007 by Gov. Eliot Spitzer, the financial sector was not covered by this law, explains Michael Jones-Bey, executive director of the New York State Division of Minority & Women Business Development. From 1995 to 2006, the division’s staff was cut from 35 to 11 by previous administrations. “Black firms received 0.66% of business, but were 10% of the prequalified companies,” says Jones-Bey.

Before Paterson signed the executive order, article 15A did not include banking, insurance, or sales of securities and bonds. “We are issuing an executive order that will establish guidelines for what we are hoping will aim to increase minority underwriters in the areas of state debt offerings,” Paterson stated. “In addition, we are going to set up transparent business models that will govern the underwriting of the state’s bond transactions.”

“We know that in Gov. Patterson we have someone who has had a long-term commitment to creating opportunity that would extend to minority- and women-owned businesses,” says Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins (Downstate Co-Chair for the New York State Senate Democratic Minority M/WBE Task Force).

Paterson reported that Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises qualified for 35% of contracts but received only5%; a mere 1/7 of the total. “Since 2004, New York State has issued $22.3 billion of debt. The minority firms participated in only 3% of that,” Paterson pointed out. “When you factor in their participation based on the value of the debt, it is less than 1%.”

“Frankly, New York has been behind other major states’ governmental bond issuers in giving business to African American firms; particularly those based in New York,” says J. Donald Rice Jr., CEO of Rice Financial Products Co (No. 6 on the BE INVESTMENT BANKS list with $30 billion in managed issues). “New York is certainly the home of Wall Street. One would expect that if African American firms were going to grow you would see them grow in the Wall Street area. For the last 20 years we have been the only African American firm specializing in municipal bonds to develop in the New York market. In 2007 we did no bond business in New York State. Now we hope that will change.”

In his address, Paterson challenged state agencies to measure compliance and

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Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.