Published: Tuesday, 20 October 2020
What You Need to Know About Prop 16
What is Proposition 16? Proposition 16 is a measure that appears on the November 2020 ballot. Put on the ballot by the California State Legislature, Proposition 16 would repeal Proposition 209 (1996), allowing for race, ethnicity, sex, nationality and color to be factors in public employment, education and contracting decisions. Proposition 16 would not create racial quotas; the U.S. Supreme Court found racial quotas unconstitutional in the Regents of the University of California v. Bakke case (1978).
History of Proposition 16
In November 1996, Proposition 209 passed and California became the first state to ban affirmative action. This proposition, as stated by former University of California Regent Ward Connerly who led campaigning for Proposition 209, was meant to be “temporary” and “a [strong] dose of equal opportunity for individuals.” This year, California Assemblymember Shirley Weber proposed Assembly Constitutional Amendment (ACA) No. 5, the legislative bill that would become Proposition 16. This measure indicates the importance of diversity in many settings, including diversity within educational institutions.
What Does Your Vote Mean?
Voting in favor of Proposition 16 would allow race, sex, color, ethnicity and nationality to be a determinable factor when being considered for public education, employment or contracting. By this measure, the opportunities to access fair wages, acquire a good job or attend quality schools would increase for commonly underrepresented groups.
A vote against Proposition 16 would allow the ban on affirmative action to remain in place – race, sex, color, ethnicity and nationality would not be permissible factors of consideration.
Why is Proposition 16 Important?
Repealing the ban on affirmative action would remove barriers in public institutions that stifle efforts to promote and support diversity. Programs that provide preference to commonly underrepresented groups would be able to operate, thereby opening the door to opportunities for a more racially diverse society. Our collective diversity is important. Our city, state and nation should reflect our people and our national narrative of equal opportunity for all.
For all other voter information related to LBSU, be sure to visit www.csulb.edu/vote.
This article was written as a part of the ASI Student Government advocacy
series by Sumaiyah Hossain, a third-year student at LBSU majoring in English literature and serving as Lobby Corps Student-At-Large.