Fill out this form to sign your organization onto the following letter to DOER.
Dear Governor Baker, Secretary Theoharides, Secretary Kennealy, Secretary Acosta and Commissioner Woodcock,
We are writing to express our shared view that the 1600MW 83CIII offshore wind procurement should set higher expectations for racial equity and minority economic participation. These contracts represent billions of dollars in capital investment and will create employment for the next 20+ years. The individuals and firms participating in today’s solicitations will lead tomorrow’s offshore wind industry. We must create the conditions for the industry’s leadership to be diverse.
We acknowledge the new minority economic participation and environmental justice language in the draft RFP. Thank you for taking the first steps. We encourage you to build on that language and model this offshore wind solicitation on the Commonwealth’s successful case studies for racial inclusion and minority economic participation, namely the Massport Model and the Gaming Commission. Rather than set prescriptive criteria, DOER should create the conditions for healthy competition and ongoing accountability. Massport and Gaming succeeded because the state set a high bar and gave bidders the flexibility to harness their innovation, creativity and expertise.
We urge DOER to:
- Evaluate proposals, in significant part, based on submitted plans for creating opportunities for minority and disadvantaged workers, businesses and investors. Among other features, this component of proposals should address:
a. The respondent’s plan for training and workforce development, focused on minority and disadvantaged workers;
b. The respondent’s plan to solicit business from minority and disadvantaged contractors; and
c. The respondent’s plan to solicit investment from minority and disadvantaged investors;
- Require bidders to cooperate with the state Supplier Diversity Office and other state agencies focused on minority and disadvantaged business creation and development;
- Require that bidders explain how their proposal will mitigate environmental harm and create economic opportunities in environmental justice communities; and
- Establish a process for the ongoing evaluation of commitments made in selected bids, including by requiring successful bidders to provide regular updates and statistics regarding their progress towards achieving or improving upon those commitments.
Historically, our actions on offshore wind have been studied by other states. For example, our first-in-the-nation offshore wind procurement was widely imitated, starting an offshore wind race down the Atlantic coast. This time, it is Massachusetts’ turn to study others. Most states procuring offshore wind have eclipsed us on the dimensions of racial equity and minority economic participation. New Jersey, New York, Virginia and Maryland in particular should be reviewed for their actions and lessons learned.
Thank you for your consideration.
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