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Prop 16 fActs on College ADmissions

By Steve Miller


California Proposition 16

Proposition 16, on the California ballot this November, is a constitutional amendment to allow college admissions based on race at the University of California and California State Universities. It also legalizes state government hiring and contracting based on race.

Proposition 16 has only one sentence following its preamble: “the Constitution of this State shall be amended as follows: that Section 31 of Article I thereof is repealed.”


This is the text that Proposition 16 would repeal from the California constitution:

“Section 31. 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.”

Today, without race-based admissions, the University of California accepts applicants from all racial groups at nearly identical rates. In 2020 at the University of California,

Students who applied were:
38% Latino
31% Asian
22% White
6% Black

Students who were accepted were:
36% Latino
33% Asian
21% White
5% Black


But the overall California population is:
39% Latino
14% Asian
37% White
5% Black

Supporters of Proposition 16, such as UC President and former Arizona governor Janet Napolitano, say Asian Americans are “over-represented” at the University of California compared to their smaller proposition of the overall California population. They propose to use discrimination among applicants based on race to push the students who are accepted at UC match the racial composition of the overall California population rather than of the students who apply.

This policy would mean a bias against Asian American applicants strong enough to cut the number accepted in half, reducing them from 28% of UC students down to 14% of UC students to match the California population.

The effect of Proposition 16 would be to introduce racial discrimination against Asian American applicants to the University of California similar to the discrimination they already face at other competitive universities.

We hope you will join us in keeping discrimination illegal and voting “no” on Proposition 16.