Leaders urge hiring of minorities for construction of Southwest light rail

Several community leaders pressed the Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority and the Metropolitan Council Wednesday night to hire more people of color during the construction of the proposed Southwest light rail. The light rail's current construction goal aims to have at least 32 percent of total hours worked by minorities and 6 percent worked by women.

"The 32 percent goal must be exceeded," said Avi Viswanathan of HIRE Minnesota. "That's a floor, not a ceiling. We're looking for something closer to 40 percent in line with the people of color in Minneapolis."

Community leaders also urged officials to hire minority contractors and make sure everyone may easily use transit in the Southwest light rail corridor.

The Hennepin County Board votes on municipal consent of the Southwest light rail's revised preliminary design next week.