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RE: The Business Enterprise Program in Arizona

Access Security: 


Regarding the Business Enterprise Program in Arizona

WHEREAS, ARS 23-504, otherwise known as Arizona’s Mini Randolph-Shepherd Act, gives the same priority to qualified blind and visually impaired vendors as does the Randolph-Shepherd Act at the federal level; and

WHEREAS, under the Randolph-Sheppard program, the State Licensing Agency train and place individuals who are blind as operators of vending and dining facilities in federal, state and local government facilities; and

WHEREAS, recently there have been challenges to the priority by local and county governments such as the city of Phoenix and the Board of Supervisors of Mojave County. The Mojave County Board of Supervisors have threatened to go to the state legislature to allow them to seek competitive bids for their vending contracts; and

WHEREAS, just like in the 1930’s when the Randolph-Sheppard Act was first passed, blind people still face the misconceptions about the abilities of blind people and still struggle to find job opportunities that enable them to be independent; and

WHEREAS, the Business Enterprise Program develops entrepreneurs who provide services to government facilities and their employees; and

WHEREAS, the blind operators contribute to the local economy by paying taxes and creating jobs, thus making them valuable members of their communities: Now therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Arizona in Convention assembled this thirteenth day of September, 2015, in the City of Phoenix, Arizona, that this organization oppose any efforts to weaken the State’s Mini Randolph-Sheppard Act; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the National Federation of the Blind of Arizona work with the Governor’s Council on Blindness and Visual Impairment to advocate for strengthening and enforcing the existing Mini Randolph-Sheppard Act; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization work with the current Director of the Arizona
Department of Economic Security to help grow and strengthen the Business Enterprise Program.

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