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Pacific Legal Foundation Files Suit Against OAK

The American Civil Rights Foundation has filed suit against Oakland International (OAK) alleging that OAK’s Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) program practices illegal race- and sex-based bias in awarding concessions contracts.

The city of Oakland and the Port Of Oakland, which operates the airport, maintains a contracting program that violates Proposition 209, which states that “race and sex can no longer be a factor in deciding who should be awarded public contracts,” according to the complaint. “Defendants’ discriminatory disadvantaged business enterprise program purports to ensure nondiscrimination on the basis of race, color, sex or national origin in the award and administration of concession related contracting opportunities,” but instead grants preferential treatment based upon the race and sex of the owners, it alleges.

The organization, which is being represented by the Pacific Legal Foundation, is seeking a permanent injunction against OAK for the use of race- and gender-based programs, attorneys fees, and unspecified other relief “as the Court may deem proper.”

OAK officials, in a statement, defended its program. “Under the current concessions program which is federally approved, Oakland International Airport has never used quotas to achieve its nondiscrimination goals,” OAK announced.

Spokeswoman Rosemary Barnes declined further comment.

Read about Oakland International’s Terminal 2 renovation and extension project in the upcoming August issue of Airport Revenue News!