California Secretary of State Ballot Summary: Argument Against Prop. 209
Argument Against Proposition 209
Arguments on this page are the opinions of the authors and have not been checked for accuracy by any official agency.
VOTE NO ON PROPOSITION 209
HARMS EQUAL OPPORTUNITY FOR WOMEN AND MINORITIES
California law currently allows tutoring, mentoring, outreach, recruitment, and counseling to help ensure equal opportunity for women and minorities. Proposition 209 will eliminate affirmative action programs like these that help achieve equal opportunity for women and minorities in public employment, education and contracting. Instead of reforming affirmative action to make it fair for everyone, Proposition 209 makes the current problems worse.
PROPOSITION 209 GOES TOO FAR
The initiative’s language is so broad and misleading that it eliminates equal opportunity programs including:
- tutoring and mentoring for minority and women students;
- affirmative action that encourages the hiring and promotion of qualified women and minorities;
- outreach and recruitment programs to encourage applicants for government jobs and contracts; and
- programs designed to encourage girls to study and pursue careers in math and science.
The independent, non-partisan California Legislative Analyst gave the following report on the effects of Proposition 209:
”[T]he measure would eliminate a variety of public school (kindergarten through grade 12) and community college programs such as counseling, tutoring, student financial aid, and financial aid to selected school districts, where these programs are targeted based on race, sex, ethnicity or national origin.” [ Opinion Letter to the Attorney General, 10/15/95].
PROPOSITION 209 CREATES A LOOPHOLE THAT ALLOWS DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN
Currently, California women have one of the strongest state constitutional protections against sex discrimination in the country. Now it is difficult for state and local government to discriminate against women in public employment, education, and the awarding of state contracts because of their gender. Proposition 209’s loophole will undo this vital state constitutional protection.
PROPOSITION 209 LOOPHOLE PERMITS STATE GOVERNMENT TO DENY WOMEN OPPORTUNITIES IN PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT, EDUCATION, AND CONTRACTING, SOLELY BASED ON THEIR GENDER.
PROPOSITION 209 CREATES MORE DIVISION IN OUR COMMUNITIES
It is time to put an end to politicians trying to divide our communities for their own political gain. ”The initiative is a misguided effort that takes California down the road of division. Whether intentional or not, it pits communities against communities and individuals against each other.”
— Reverend Kathy Cooper-Ledesma
President, California Council of Churches.
GENERAL COLIN POWELL’S POSITION ON PROPOSITION 209:
”Efforts such as the California Civil Rights Initiative which poses as an equal opportunities initiative, but which puts at risk every outreach program, sets back the gains made by women and puts the brakes on expanding opportunities for people in need.”
— Retired General Colin Powell, 5/25/96.
GENERAL COLIN POWELL IS RIGHT.
VOTE ”NO” ON PROPOSITION 209–
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY MATTERS
President, League of Women Voters of California
Civil Rights Leader
Vice President, Congress of California Seniors,
Affiliate of the National Council of Senior Citizens
Source: California Secretary of State (http://vote96.ss.ca.gov/bp/209noarg.htm)