AP, mlive.com (MI), May 17
DETROIT (AP) — Some companies seeking to do business with Wayne County will have to disclose their historic ties to slavery.
An ordinance was sent by the County Commission to County Executive Robert Ficano for his review and on Monday his office said he wouldn’t veto the measure. Without a veto from Ficano, the ordinance takes effect this month.
“I support the decision of the commission to pass the ordinance to collect data because it will not be punitive or restrictive to our efforts to competitively attract, retain and expand businesses,” Ficano said in a statement.
The ordinance approved earlier this month by the commission applies to companies bidding on contracts of $20,000 or more. Bidders will have to reveal whether they invested in, or supported or profited in some manner from the institution of slavery.
The proposal emerged as part of the national debate on reparations for descendants of slaves. In 2002, Chicago became the first major American city to require contractors to disclose profits they might have made from slavery.
The ordinance does not require payment of reparations, but companies that fail to disclose the information could lose future contracts. Wayne County has about 2 million residents and includes Detroit.