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Contractors may have to reveal past ties to slavery to get business with New York City


City contractors would have to reveal past ties to slavery under a Council bill that will be introduced on Thursday.

The legislation would require companies to search their history and records to determine if they or any affiliated entities engaged in or profited from the slave trade when they enter in or renew city contracts of $100,000 or more.

“New York City is the financial capital of the world, and the ugly truth is that its stature as such has roots in the slave trade,” Councilman I. Daneek Miller, a co-sponsor of the legislation with Councilwoman Inez Barron (D-Brooklyn).

“Major corporations like JPMorgan Chase have been forced to disclose their past ties to slavery, and the City Council has a responsibility to ensure that our local agencies are not employing services from businesses that have benefited from a 400-year legacy of human suffering,” Miller added.

The legislation is a re-introduction of a 2011 Council bill sponsored by Barron’s husband, former Councilman Charles Barron, who’s now in the state Assembly. The measure never went anywhere.

Miller noted that the concept was “hardly new,” but said the bill was “only appropriate” given the national debate about reparations for slavery and the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved people from West Africa in America.

“It’s only appropriate that we convert this dialogue into a sensible policy proposal,” Miller said.

Barron didn’t return a message seeking comment.