Stakeholder Update from Chair Phil Washington

August 10, 2022

I am excited to update you on recent progress in accomplishing three major goals for our organization and movement:

  1. Two of our First Mover Pledge signers, Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), committed to an expedited timeline to create a model for reciprocal certification of businesses between the two agencies. They may first focus on SBE cross-certification because set asides are permitted for those businesses. Once we get this done, we’ll be able to replicate this in other places and lay out a pathway for a national registry. We aim for a public signing by October 2022. The US Department of Transportation is keenly interested in this effort as it also works on a national data base.
  2. CTA and SEPTA also agreed to build on their work together by providing best practices, which we will collectively document and make available to all.
  3. We and the CEOs of CTA and SEPTA met with staff at the White House’s Domestic Policy Council and National Economic Council (at their request). The Administration intends to highlight our work and looks forward to participating in raising up milestones along the way.

John and I also had an excellent meeting with six state secretaries of transportation, all of whom have expressed interest in signing the EIP Pledge. We hope to accomplish that with a simultaneous signing ceremony that would have high level participation from the Administration.

Our entire focus now is on operationalizing our work. We have our five First Mover agencies plus the cities of Denver and Philadelphia. Each of these organizations is working within their capital programs to find specific projects that are candidates for Historically Underutilized Business (HUBs) subcontractors to move up to bidding as primes. This includes techniques such as unbundling and reimagining capital program procurement methodologies.

We look forward to adding more signers in the near term and will start to promulgate best practices and other lessons learned for our signers and others to adopt, adapt and improve upon.

To that end, STV has agreed to help design our dashboard for all to use. We’ll combine that with the dashboard Denver International Airport has created to offer an easy-to-use system through which we will remain accountable to ourselves, our communities and each other.

We are also very pleased to announce that HNTB’s Corporate President for Transportation and Mobility Equity, Diana Mendes, has stepped up to chair our Advisory Council, the first meeting of which will be in early Autumn. Greg Kelly and STV are key players on the Council. We’ll have more about that shortly.

Thanks to you, we have built a growing ecosystem that builds from the Biden Administration’s Justice 40 and his executive order 13985 that he signed his first day in office. Most importantly, we have a real pathway to grow generational wealth by creatively, methodically and intentionally executing against the EIP Pledge.

With Appreciation,

Phil, John and the EIP Team