Frivolous lawsuits by rich lawyers make New York City classrooms overcrowded and cost MWBE contractors work.

Use Your Voice! Help make a change! 



  • Rev.  Jacques Andre DeGraff
    The New Agenda
  • Louis J. Coletti
    President and CEO of the Building Trades Employers Association

Leadership Council

  • Quenia Abreu
    New York Women's Chamber of Commerce
  • Lloyd Douglas
    Minority Business Leadership Council
  • Walter Edwards
    Harlem Business Alliance
  • Michael Elmendorf
    Associated General Contractors of NYS
  • David Etkind
    Interior Demolition Contractors Association
  • Monica Foster
    NYS Association of Minority Contractors
  • James Hyllger
    Association of Minority Enterprises
  • Edwin Lopez
    NYC Electrical Contractors
  • Timothy H. Marshall
    Jamaica Business Resource Center
  • Cherly McKissack
    Women Business Council
  • Paul O'Brien
    Building Contractors Association
  • Stewart O’Brien
    Association of Contracting Plumbers
  • Samuel P. Padilla, P.E.
    National Hispanic Business Group
  • Nayan Parikh
    Indo-American Architects & Engineers
  • Patricia Ricketts
    Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce
  • Tony Saporito
    Mechanical Contractors Association
  • William Shuzman
    Allied Building Metal Industries
  • Elizabeth Velez
    Latino Builders Council
  • Edwin Lopez
    New York City Chapter, Inc. NECA

Visionary Sponsors

  • Kieran Ahern
    Structural Steel Painting Contractor Association
  • Ray McGuire
    Contractors Association of Greater New York
  • William Rothberg
    Boilermakers Association of Greater New York, Building Restoration Contractors Association, Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors of NY
  • John DeLollis
    Association of Wall-Ceiling & Carpentry Industries
  • Jerry Haber
    Window & Plate Glass Dealers Association


  • Kevin O’Callaghan
    The Hoisting and Scaffolding Trade Association, Sunstream Corporation
  • Vincent Coletti
    ​Plastering & Spray Fireproofing Contractors Association


The Alliance is focused on advocating on behalf of New York City area minority and women owned businesses in the construction industry to change New York’s outdated and unsafe Scaffold Law – which assumes absolute liability for contractors and owners regardless of the circumstances surrounding an accident on a construction job site.  Over 800 of these businesses are part of the owner controlled insurance program offered by the School Construction Authority. Without serious reforms made to the Scaffold Law, these businesses are at risk of losing their insurance by the end of 2013. Our goal is to protect these business, which have been awarded almost $3 billion in construction contracts over the last ten years and to continue to improve opportunities for minorities and women in construction.
We are part of Get New York Building, and our aim is to reform the Scaffold Law and improve construction safety, and reduce construction costs by creating more competition in the construction insurance market.  We are doing this with the primary goal of protecting the jobs of our members and our tens of thousands of minority and women construction employees.

In the Community

On March 18, 2014, our Co-Chairmen, Louis Coletti and Rev. Jacques DeGraff, offered testimony to the New York City Council in support of reforming the Scaffold Law. Below is their testimony:
Rev. Jacques DeGraff:

I am the Co Chair for the Alliance for Minority and Women Owned Construction Businesses. I am also a past recipient of New York City's MWBE Advocate of the Year honor. As a leader and grandparent I am concerned about our City's Schools. For over twenty years the New York City School Construction Authority has established itself as an agency that meets or exceeds its goals, despite the challenges. It is my privilege to serve as Chair of its precedent setting Diversity Council made up of MBE and community leaders.

I am here today in support of its five year capital plan and its accompanying budget. As an advocate for economic justice and opportunity programs that foster job and wealth creation in all of New York's communities I am proud of the efforts for Diversity and Inclusion that the SCA has pioneered. The SCA Mentor program has become a model for our nation. Under the leadership of Lorraine Grillo and her innovative team of professionals including Ross Holden, George Toma and Craig Collins the SCA record has continued to be a trendsetter.

Under Local Law 1, which this coalition of MWBE leaders fought for and supported, NYC agencies are required to issue quarterly reports on compliance to MWLBE goals. When the first quarter is issued for this administration, the SCA will once again be at the top of the list. We are hoping the Mentor Program will increase under this budget to $100 million.

Lastly, the achievements of the SCA in creating opportunities for the previously disenfranchised have been historic. Yet these accomplishments are threatened by the outdated and burdensome Scaffold Law. Because of the unfair standards under this law, New York has seen insurance companies fleeing this market. NYS is the only state in the country with this unfair standard. The SCA's policy has ballooned from $100 million a year to $250 million for the current year. How many classrooms would that build? This City Council has been a champion for progressive causes. We, today, ask that you would pass a resolution calling for Albany to reform Labor Law 240 and reform it now.



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