About the panel
Panelists presented a groundbreaking new analysis of federal procurement law to reveal how regulatory changes can transform the U.S. economy by directing federal resources for physical, social and climate-related infrastructure to rebuild high-road American businesses and create good jobs for all. Panelists traced the history of procurement law to expose how the Reagan administration and its free market ideology constrained federal contracting considerations and limited state and local innovation. Speakers also presented the legal analysis that clarifies that procurement law can be a tool to rebuild the American middle class by creating good jobs, advancing climate justice, and breaking down barriers to racial equity.
Every year, federal, state, and local governments spend nearly $2 trillion of our public dollars to purchase services, infrastructure and manufactured equipment—everything from school buses to wind turbines and garbage trucks. This cash can go towards building up our economy with jobs for workers across the country.
But that’s not the case because legal interpretations made decades ago by the Reagan administration put federal restrictions on hiring from local communities and including social justice considerations when cities and states use federal dollars for infrastructure projects. The restrictions were established on the unfounded basis that local hiring and economic development policies would increase the price of public works projects and reduce the number of companies willing to bid on those projects, i.e. reducing “competition.” The “competition rule” was made without any evidence, and the local hire ban was adopted without consulting Congress. Instead, this rule supports business interests over the health, safety and economic well-being of communities across the country.
When: August 9, 2021 at 11 a.m. PT/2 p.m. ET
- Scott Cummings, Robert Henigson Professor of Legal Ethics and Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law
- Nestor M. Davidson, Albert A. Walsh Chair in Real Estate, Land Use, and Property Law, Fordham University School of Law
- Felice Segura, National Legal Director, Jobs to Move America
Madeline Janis, Esq. Executive Director, Jobs to Move America