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3RBA Speaks in Support of Pittsburgh City Council's Historic LGBTQ+ Procurement Inclusion Legislation

May 11, 2021 10:34 AM | Ronald Hicks (Administrator)

This morning, Three Rivers Business Alliance's President urged Pittsburgh City Council to support the passage of Bill 2021-1416 which is an ordinance that will amend the City's procurement programs to include certified LGBTQ+ in its procurement programs.  Here is a copy of its President's public statement:

Members of Council, my name is Ron Hicks.  I am a law partner at Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP, and an out and proud member of the Pittsburgh LGBTQ+ community.  My pronouns are he, him, and his. 

In 2017, with the encouragement of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, commonly known as the NGLCC, I and several other LGBTQ+ business owners and professionals in the Pittsburgh area formed Three Rivers Business Alliance.  3RBA is the first-ever Chamber of Commerce for LGBTQ+ businesses and their allies operating in the Pittsburgh/Greater Allegheny region.  I proudly serve as President of 3RBA and its 501(c)(3) foundation. 

As a member-based organization, 3RBA’s mission is to “Advance Diversity, Inclusion, & Growth.”  3RBA accomplishes this mission, in part, by expanding the economic interests of LGBTQ+ businesses and their allies.  3RBA is supported by several corporations located in the Pittsburgh/Greater Allegheny region, including PNC Bank, UPMC, Duquesne Light, and Giant Eagle, to name a few. 

Bill No. 2021-1416 gives Pittsburgh the opportunity to join the growing number of metropolitan areas which include NGLCC-certified LGBTQ+ businesses among their pool of certified companies that have equitable access to contracting and procurement opportunities.  There are over 1,200 NGLCC-certified LGBTQ+ businesses in the United States, with 68 of them located in Pennsylvania.  Locally, these NGLCC-certified businesses include:

  • An architectural acoustics and environmental noise control company based in East Liberty;
  • A business consulting firm in the Lawrenceville;
  • A recruiting and human resource outsourcing company in Mount Lebanon;
  • A psychotherapy and employee assistance programming company in West View;
  • A website development company in the South Side;
  • A concrete manufacturer representative company in Aspinwall;
  • A custom and stock packaging company in O’Hara Township; and
  • A computer programming and project management company in Robinson Township.
On behalf of 3RBA and its members, I thank Councilpersons Strassburger, Krauss, and O’Connor for their sponsorship and introduction of this historic legislation.  For LGBTQ+ citizens, this inclusive initiative provides fair and equal access to contracting opportunities and economic development programs that drive innovation, create jobs, and promote economic growth throughout Pittsburgh and the Greater Allegheny region.  For Pittsburgh, inclusion of the LGBTQ+ community in its supplier diversity programs will move the city closer to its goal of becoming a competitive 21st Century city that will benefit from the tremendous expertise, skills, talents, and ideas the LGBTQ+ community has to offer. 

I ask City Council to support the passage of this bill.  Thank you for your time and consideration.

Following Hicks' comments and favorable comments by the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, Pittsburgh City Council unanimously voted in favor of the legislation.  Later that day, the Mayor signed the legislation into law.

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Three Rivers Business Alliance
1735 E. Carson St. #403

Pittsburgh, PA 15203-1705

NGLCC Affiliate Chamber


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