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July 11, 2012

The Rainbow PUSH Coalition Focuses on Development for Small, Minority and Women owned Businesses

Rev. Jesse Jackson and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel welcome hometown hero Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick

CHICAGO--Minority and women-owned businesses are getting some help in Cook County.

During the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and Citizenship Education Fund’s annual business luncheon, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed a law that will allow the county's forest preserve district to take into account whether businesses are owned by women or minorities when they are awarding bids for construction and purchasing contracts.

Gov. Quinn said the bill will give businesses equal access to participation in projects that create jobs.

Senate Bill 2496 was brought forward by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle in May as a Cook County Forest Preserve District initiative.

“This legislation not only will help stimulate our local economy but it also brings the county's forest preserve district in line with the county, city of Chicago, Metropolitan Water District and other local government agencies,” said Preckwinkle.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick also spoke during the luncheon and promoted investment in public education and defended President Barack Obama’s first term in office.

"Osama bin Laden is dead and G.M. is alive. Do you have a question?" Emanuel said. "Is there something about the last four years you missed that I didn't see?"

Emanuel went on to discuss the importance of investing in quality education. "The notion that you can have one child see 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and her father start at 5600 South Wabash all comes down to one thing -- education," he said referring to Gov. Patrick and his daughter.

Patrick, who grew up on the Southside of Chicago, is now a prominent name in national politics. “My life is often described as ‘improbable,” he stated. “Growing up on the South Side, I had no concept of the North Side. In our family, we went downtown once a year, usually before the start of the school year. We must do whatever it takes to preserve the American Dream. We need investment as well as innovation. There is no opportunity without growth and not growth without investment.”

The Rainbow PUSH Coalition is a progressive organization protecting, defending and expanding civil rights to improve economic and educational opportunity. The organization is headquartered at 930 E. 50th St. in Chicago. For more information about the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, please visit or call (773) 373-3366