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(Chicago Sun Times) — Despite unprecedented community outreach, African-American businesses got a seven percent sliver of Chicago’s $1 billion spending pie through Aug.31, down from eight percent a year ago, re-igniting a perennial political controversy.  “Why do we keep backsliding?…It really gets tiresome singing the same song every year…..We have to do better,” said Ald. Anthony Beale (9th), chairman of the City Council’s Police Committee.  With Chief Procurement Officer Jamie Rhee on the hot seat at City Council budget hearings, Beale asked her on Tuesday to identify the biggest hurdle to boosting black contracting.

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