Prop 16: Affirmative Action | KCET
Prop 16: Affirmative Action
THIS PROP FAILED
State and local governments and other public entities would – within the limits of federal law – be allowed to consider race, sex, color, ethnicity, and national origin in public employment, public education, and public contracting.
The Democratic-controlled Legislature decided that the time was right to ask California voters to undo the ban on affirmative action imposed by Proposition 209 in 1996, to improve opportunities for people affected by systematic discrimination.
Supports a constitutional amendment to repeal Proposition 209, which says the state cannot discriminate against or grant preferential treatment to persons on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in public employment, public education, and public contracting.
Leaves the 1996 Prop. 209 language in the constitution that says the state cannot discriminate against or grant preferential treatment to persons on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in public employment, public education, and public contracting.
The head of the Legislative Black Caucus, San Diego Democratic Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, introduced this constitutional amendment before the recent widespread protests for racial justice. Now the fate of Prop. 16 is likely to be seen as a national bellwether, just as in 1996 when California became the first state to ban affirmative action at state institutions.
Ward Connerly, a member of the University of California Board of Regents, led the 1996 campaign against what he called preferential treatment for some racial and ethnic groups. Supporters of Prop. 16 say banning affirmative action in the name of preventing discrimination was deceptive, and university admissions data proves it failed. “Race-neutral solutions cannot fix problems steeped in race,” Weber said.
In opposing Prop. 16, Connerly is joined by politicians and advocates concerned that racial diversity goals could hurt Asian Americans, who have an outsize enrollment in selective state universities. Conservative voices, such as The Wall Street Journal editorial board, oppose the repeal, while much of California’s liberal Democratic establishment supports it. But the ideological divide is not clear-cut as both sides say they are supporting equal opportunity civil rights.
MORE ON 2020 PROP RESULTS
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