In 1996, California voters approved the California Civil Rights Initiative (Proposition 209). This made it illegal for the state to discriminate, or grant preferential treatment, based on race, sex, national origin, or color, in public education, government hiring, and government contracts. It was championed by University of California
The California Civil Rights Initiative gave the state the ability to practice affirmative action on factors like one’s economic background or the hardships one had faced, without the use of giving preferences based on characteristics like race. It was championed by African-American businessman and University of California Regent Ward Connerly and Governor Pete Wilson.
In the 24 years since the passage of the CCRI, California’s schools and government employees have continued to grow more diverse. There have been several attempts to partially repeal the CCRI. One attempt happened in 2012, with the passage of SB 185. It would have allowed UC and CSU schools to give preferences upon race, gender, ethnicity in college admissions. It was vetoed by Democratic Governor Jerry Brown. In 2014, another attempt was made in the form of SCA5, which failed in the state legislature.
In 2020, the most recent proposal, ACA-5 passed the state legislature and will be placed on the November 2020 ballot, to completely repeal the protections of the California Civil Rights Initiative. Now 24 years of nondiscrimination is at risk!
Repealing the the California Civil Rights Initiative will not lead to racial equality
Instead, it will legalize institutional racism by the state of California – allowing the government to use race when deciding when to hire someone
Repealing the California Civil Rights Initiative will lead to the state explicitly making judgments on race
Repealing the California Civil Rights Initiative is NOT the best way to remedy socioeconomic injustices among less privileged groups of society
We strongly support initiatives for justice for all Californians. The best way to do so is to help those who are less wealthy and with less resources – instead of deciding based on the color of one’s skin.