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California Voters Reject Affirmative Action Measure in Tuesday’s Election

Voters rejected Proposition 16, a statewide ballot measure that would allow affirmative action programs to be reinstated in California, during the Nov. 3 election, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Photo via Public Policy Institute of CaliforniaPhoto via Public Policy Institute of California

Proposition 16 – put on the ballot by California’s Democrat-controlled legislature – would permit public universities and state and local governments to consider race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin for admissions and hiring.

In 1996, voters approved Proposition 209, a measure that prohibited affirmative action programs in California.

“[Proponents] still have not persuaded the people that it is OK to discriminate against one group of people in the interest of trying to benefit another,” said Ward Connerly, a strong opponent of affirmative action.

Assemblywoman Shirley Weber (D-San Diego) – who wrote the legislation for Proposition 16 – “said the passage of Proposition 209 has set back women and Black, Latino, Asian American and Native American people for generations.”

“This change put California out of step with the nation — being one of only eight states that have had this ban on the equal opportunity — and serves as an impediment to local and state policies to address the economic and social disparities experienced by women and people of color,” Weber added.

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