Sandoval ICC webCHICAGO – State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago) spoke to the Illinois Commerce Commission last week to laud their compliance with supplier diversity laws at a time when several other state agencies and universities fall woefully short of such standards.

“Everyone knows there’s a lot of crime in certain neighborhoods on Chicago’s Southwest Side and everyone likes to point fingers as to whose fault it is without talking about solutions,” Sandoval said. “One solution is giving jobs and opportunities to the communities that need them the most.”

The meeting included representatives from every major utility—ComEd, Ameren, Peoples Gas, Nicor and American Water—as well as advocates, subject matter experts and legislators in open discussion about the challenges of increasing supplier diversity in the utility space.

“I appreciate the work of the Commerce Commission over the years to take supplier diversity seriously,” Sandoval said. “We have passed a lot of laws to try to get to a point where minorities, women and people with disabilities are adequately represented in state contracts, but they all lack teeth and many agencies choose to overlook them or simply not comply. That’s why I appreciate the Commerce Commission’s efforts to take them seriously.”

Sandoval, who has long been an advocate of supplier diversity and has ramped up his efforts to enforce it in recent months, also had some suggestions for the ICC, noting there is a need for a standardized comparison between organizations.

“We need one chart that lists each company and total budget, total amount counted toward diversity goals, and total spent in each category,” Sandoval said.

He also noted that the companies in compliance with the law have led to more than $2 billion in diverse spending.   “That didn’t happen before this law,” Sandoval said. “More companies and state agencies should be following suit.”

Office Info

Springfield Office:
Senator 12th District
111 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706

District Office:
5807 W. 35th Street
Cicero, IL 60804