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Black Business Summit Focuses on Equity, Access and Data | – Post News Group

The California African American Chamber of Commerce hosted its second annual “State of the California African American Economy Summit,” with the aim of bolstering Black economic influence through education and fellowship. Held Jan. 24 to Jan. 25 at the Westin Los Angeles Airport Hotel, the convention brought together some of the most influential Black business leaders, policy makers and economic thinkers in the state. The discussions focused on a wide range of economic topics pertinent to California’s African American business community, including policy, government contracts, and equity, and more.
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By Solomon O. Smith, California Black Media  
The California African American Chamber of Commerce hosted its second annual “State of the California African American Economy Summit,” with the aim of bolstering Black economic influence through education and fellowship.

Held Jan. 24 to Jan. 25 at the Westin Los Angeles Airport Hotel, the convention brought together some of the most influential Black business leaders, policy makers and economic thinkers in the state. The discussions focused on a wide range of economic topics pertinent to California’s African American business community, including policy, government contracts, and equity, and more.
Toks Omishakin, Secretary of the California State Transportation Agency (CALSTA) was a guest at the event. He told attendees about his department’s efforts to increase access for Black business owners.
“One thing I’m taking away from this for sure is we’re going to have to do a better job of connecting through your chambers of all these opportunities of billions of dollars that are coming down the pike. I’m honestly disappointed that people don’t know, so we’ll do better,” said Omishakin.
Lueathel Seawood, the president of the African American Chamber of Commerce of San Joaquin County, expressed frustration with obtaining federal contracts for small businesses, and completing the process. She observed that once a small business was certified as DBE, a Disadvantaged Business Enterprises, there was little help getting to the next step.

Omishakin admitted there is more work to be done to help them complete the process and include them in upcoming projects. However, the high-speed rail system expansion by the California High-Speed Rail Authority has set a goal of 30% participation from small businesses — only 10 percent is set aside for DBE.
The importance of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) in economics was reinforced during the “State of the California Economy” talk led by author and economist Julianne Malveaux, and Anthony Asadullah Samad, Executive Director of the Mervyn Dymally African American Political and Economic Institute (MDAAPEI) at California State University, Dominguez Hills.
Assaults on DEI disproportionately affect women of color and Black women, according to Malveaux. When asked what role the loss of DEI might serve in economics, she suggested a more sinister purpose.
“The genesis of all this is anti-blackness. So, your question about how this fits into the economy is economic exclusion, that essentially has been promoted as public policy,” said Malveaux.
The most anticipated speaker at the event was Janice Bryant Howroyd known affectionately to her peers as “JBH.” She is one of the first Black women to run and own a multi-billion-dollar company. Her company ActOne Group, is one of the largest, and most recognized, hiring, staffing and human resources firms in the world. She is the author of “Acting Up” and has a profile on Forbes.
Chairman of the board of directors of the California African American Chamber of Commerce, Timothy Alan Simon, a lawyer and the first Black Appointments Secretary in the Office of the Governor of California, moderated. They discussed the state of Black entrepreneurship in the country and Howroyd gave advice to other business owners.
“We look to inspire and educate,” said Howroyd. “Inspiration is great but when I’ve got people’s attention, I want to teach them something.”

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The printed Weekly Edition of the Oakland Post: Week of June 12-18, 2024
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Oakland Post

As growing numbers of Insurance companies announce plans to exit California’s insurance market — or cancel customers’ policies — Gov. Gavin Newsom says his administration is taking steps to reverse the trend. Speaking during a news briefing on May 31, Newsom highlighted the plan, which was unveiled as part of a trailer bill on May 28.
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By California Black Media
As growing numbers of Insurance companies announce plans to exit California’s insurance market — or cancel customers’ policies — Gov. Gavin Newsom says his administration is taking steps to reverse the trend. Speaking during a news briefing on May 31, Newsom highlighted the plan, which was unveiled as part of a trailer bill on May 28.

Newsom said the proposal speeds up approvals for rate increases and addresses rising costs resulting from incidents like wildfires. Newsom said, under his plan, the Department of Insurance will be required to decide and respond to rate increase requests within 120 days. The plan also calls for streamlining the process for filing for increases; builds in two 330-deay extensions for finalizing rate changes; and provides room for insurers to appeal decisions.
“We need to stabilize this market,” Newsom said. “We need to send the right signals.
Proponents, mainly insurance industry representatives like the Personal Insurance Federation of California, are praising the Governor’s actions while consumer advocates warn that the plan is a threat to public intervention rights California’s Prop 103, a 1988 state law adopted to protect state residents from “arbitrary insurance rates and practices.”
Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara thanked Newsom for backing his office’s plan.

“To safeguard the integrity of the insurance market – composed of consumers, homeowners, and business owners – we must fix a system suffering from decades of deferral and delay,” said Lara in a statement. “This measure is one of several parts of a comprehensive plan to enact long-overdue regulatory reforms. The Legislature can do its part to support my reforms by giving this proposal a fair and full consideration, including public input. By enacting this important part of our strategy in statute, the Legislature can help us meet the urgency of the moment.
Lara is working on a longer-term strategy to shore up the insurance market that is expected to be released in December.

Oakland Post

The printed Weekly Edition of the Oakland Post: Week of June 5 – 11, 2024
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