MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Rev. Jesse Jackson is back in Memphis to make good on his promise to push for more contracts for minority business owners.
"We simply want an even playing field, we want fairness," said Jackson.
With MLK 50 on the horizon, he says there’s nothing new under the sun and some unfinished business to be taken care of to keep moving toward change, framing business equality as one of the ways to pull the city out of poverty.
"Honestly, I think in a community where we are, we black people are the majority of the citizenry, to say that we are getting 20 or 25 percent of contracts in the city and that is our benchmark, that is our goal, I think it’s ridiculous," said business owner Cherly Pesce.
In May Jackson said he wanted to see 50 percent of the city's contracts go to minorities, and now he’s back to see if that’s the case.
“We're going to fight for our share of contracts. We want to work," added Jackson.
On Monday, business owners from MWBE will meet with Mayor Jim Strickland to see if he’s made good on his word to give more contracts to minority businesses.
"So what I hope to hear from that is that we’ve exceeded that mark, quadrupled it as far as contracts and participation is concerned," added Pesce.
Keeping the faith that minority business owners will be apart of the process of prosperity in the city.
On Jackson's May visit to the city, he pointed out a study that was done showing that minorities didn't get as many contracts in the city. He's hoping that the numbers show a drastic change since May's visit otherwise he says there will be marches and protests planned.