Skip to content

Official Voter Guide on Prop 16

The judge did admit  that the ballot title on Prop 16 in the 2020 election is very very misleading: “ALLOWS DIVERSITY AS A FACTOR IN PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT, EDUCATION, AND CONTRACTING DECISIONS. LEGISLATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT.”, Yet he said, “if you read the description together with the title, that is OK…”

OK, so that means when you try to decide yes or no on the Prop 16 this year, you NEED to read the description in the voter info, specially you need to read the arguments and rebuttals.

We are putting it here, but you can always go to gov site for the original:

No On Prop 16 Arguments


The California Legislature wants you to strike these precious words from our state Constitution: “The
state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment
to, any individual or group, on the basis of race, sex, color,
ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment,
public education, or public contracting.”

Don’t do it! Vote NO.

Those words—adopted by California voters
in 1996 as Proposition 209—should remain firmly in place. Only by
treating everyone equally can a state as brilliantly diverse as
California be fair to everyone.


Discrimination of this kind is poisonous.
It will divide us at a time we desperately need to unite. Politicians
want to give preferential treatment to their favorites. They think they
can “fix” past discrimination against racial minorities and women by
discriminating against other racial minorities and men who are
innocent of any wrongdoing. Punishing innocent people will only cause a
never-ending cycle of resentment. The only way to stop discrimination is to stop discriminating.


Not every Asian American or white is
advantaged. Not every Latino or black is disadvantaged. Our state has
successful men and women of all races and ethnicities. Let’s not
perpetuate the stereotype that minorities and women can’t make it unless
they get special preferences.

At the same time, our state also has men
and women—of all races and ethnicities—who could use a little extra
break. Current law allows for “affirmative action” of this kind so long
as it doesn’t discriminate or give preferential treatment based on race,
sex, color, ethnicity or national origin. For example, state
universities can give a leg-up for students from low-income families or
students who would be the first in their family to attend college. The
state can help small businesses started by low-income individuals or
favor low-income individuals for job opportunities.

But if these words are stricken from our
state Constitution, the University of California will again be free to
give a wealthy lawyer’s son a preference for admission over a
farmworker’s daughter simply because he’s from an “under-represented”
group. That’s unjust.


Prior to the passage of Proposition 209,
California and many local governments maintained costly bureaucracies
that required preferential treatment in public contracting based on a
business owner’s race, sex or ethnicity. The lowest qualified bidder
could be rejected. A careful, peer-reviewed study by a University of
California economist found that CalTrans contracts governed by
Proposition 209 saved 5.6% over non-209 contracts in the two-year period
after it took effect. If the savings for other government contracts are
anywhere near that, repealing this constitutional provision could cost
taxpayers many BILLIONS of dollars.


Prohibiting preferential treatment based
on race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin is a fundamental part
of the American creed. It’s there in our Constitution for all of us. .
.now and for future generations. Don’t throw it away.



Californians for Equal Rights

GAIL HERIOT, Professor of Law

BETTY TOM CHU, Former California Constitution Revision Commissioner


TOM CAMPBELL: “This proposition will allow California’s public universities to keep students out because of their race, in order to help students of another race get in. That’s currently illegal. Berkeley’s business school was rated among the best for recruiting minority graduates, and we did it without using race. We also gave no favoritism to children of donors, alums, or politicians. We were strictly merit-based. That’s how it should stay. (I’m neither a Democrat nor a Republican.)”

LEO TERRELL: “I’m a black man, civil rights attorney for 30 years, lifelong Democrat, now independent. Proposition 16 is a scam to use government money to benefit politically connected HIGH-BID contractors who are supposedly ‘minority’ or who hire a so-called ‘minority’ as window dressing. Taxpayers get shafted. Also, we certainly don’t need to favor one race over another in government jobs, promotions, or layoffs. And for education, let’s help those who need it, regardless of race!”

KALI FONTANILLA: “My father was a Jamaican immigrant, but I was raised in poverty by my single mother. My husband is Mexican/Puerto Rican: we are proudly multiracial. An honors multi-degreed University of California graduate, I tutored black students in Compton; now I help Latinos enter UC on MERIT (like I did), NOT quotas! Proposition 16, a giant step backward, would hurt the very students we want to help. There is no need to lower standards! I love teaching, but Proposition 16 would totally disrupt K–12.”

Don’t divide us. Unite us. Vote NO!


Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley

LEO TERRELL, Civil Rights Lawyer

KALI FONTANILLA, Public School Teacher

Official Voter Guide on Prop16
Proposition 16 Arguments and Rebuttals p1
Proposition 16 Arguments and Rebuttals p2
Proposition 16 Arguments and Rebuttals p2