As a Chamber of Commerce that advocates for African American businesses in San Antonio, we are deeply concerned about a house bill that only considers women and veterans as economically disadvantaged. This bill excludes these communities and other minority groups. We believe that this exclusion not only neglects the systemic barriers and discrimination faced by these communities but also puts their businesses at a significant disadvantage.
We recognize that African Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, and Native Americans have long histories of economic hardship and discrimination and continue to face significant challenges in accessing economic opportunities. Studies have shown that these communities have higher poverty rates, lower household incomes, and lower rates of homeownership and business ownership compared to other racial and ethnic groups in the United States.
The exclusion of these communities from being considered economically disadvantaged is a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. Excluding these communities from consideration as economically disadvantaged may be seen as discriminatory and in violation of this act. The Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees equal protection of the laws to all individuals, and excluding these groups from consideration as economically disadvantaged could also be seen as a violation of this clause.
As a Chamber of Commerce, we urge our fellow policymakers to amend the current house bill to include African Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, Native Americans, and all minority groups as economically disadvantaged. We call for support from all minority groups to collectively come together and voice their opposition to this bill. Economic equity and fair treatment for all minority-owned businesses are crucial, and we must emphasize the unique challenges faced by each of these communities.
We encourage our members and constituents to take action and contact their representatives to voice their opposition to this bill. We must come together as a community to ensure that our businesses receive the support they need to thrive. As a Chamber of Commerce, we stand with African American, Asian Pacific American, and Native American businesses and will continue to advocate for their interests.
Together, we can make a difference and promote economic equity for all.