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Former Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

Affirmative Action Amendment Narrowly Passed by Senate

ACA 5 will be on the November ballot

By Evan Symon, June 25, 2020 5:19 pm

On Wednesday, the California Senate voted 30-10 in favor of a constitutional amendment to reinstate affirmative action, bringing the final decision to voters in November.

ACA 5 to be on ballot this fall

Assembly Constitutional Amendment 5, authored by Assemblywoman Shirley Weber (D-San Diego), would reverse the 1996 Prop 209 decision that banned preferential treatment on basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin. If passed, state colleges and organizations would include race as a factor in acceptance and hiring decisions. The last challenge to Prop 209 came in 2014 when a similar ballot decision failed due to a campaign by Asian-Americans and other supporters who marked affirmative action as discrimination as it went against decisions based solely on merit.

Senator Steven Bradford. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

Supporters of the amendment argued that race is factor in how many people of color have not had the same opportunities as others through a system historically designed to put roadblocks in their way.

“I know about discrimination. I live it every day,” said Senator Steven Bradford (D-Gardena). “We live it in this building. Quit lying to yourselves and saying race is not a factor. The bedrock of who we are in this country is based on race.”

ACA 5 co-author Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) also the racial basis of the bill while celebrating its passage.

“30-10!!!!,” exclaimed Gonzalez on Twitter. “I’m crying. We did it! Voters in California will have the chance to correct our mistakes of the past and restore affirmative action in public contracting and education! I’m so proud to be a co-author of ACA5!”

Opposition grows against ACA 5 in California

Sen. Ling Ling Chang. (Photo: Ling Ling Chang for Senate 2020)

Opponents derided the passage, noting that affirmative action discounts merit in hiring and acceptance decisions and unfairly disadvantages Asian-American and white students who may have had better grades or experience.

“This bill is rescinding very simple but powerful language from our Constitution that makes it illegal to discriminate against someone for ethnicity or race in the course of public employment,” noted Senator Ling Ling Chang (R-Diamond Bar). “The answer to discrimination is not more discrimination.”

Vice Chairman of the California Republican Party Peter Kuo also noted opposition to the bill recently.

“I’m Peter Kuo, an immigrant, a father of three bright students, a proud Californian and a proud Republican, Vice Chair of the CAGOP, and I am strongly opposed to ACA5,” tweeted Kuo. “Admission to all public colleges and universities should be based solely on MERIT.”

ACA 5 has seen a growing opposition since the bill was boosted by Assemblywoman Weber in March, despite many supporters joining following the George Floyd protests. Assembly committee and Assembly votes were combative, with the Senate vote Wednesday coming only a few votes ahead of the 2/3rd majority required to pass.

“The growing sympathy following George Floyd might give ACA 5 the push it needs to pass this November,” said pollster Charles Sax. “But many groups, especially Asian-Americans, are already leading the charge against it because they’re afraid of quotas. Many whites and even some Hispanics too. It’s much like 2014, which kept the ban in place very narrowly.”

“It’s going to be a nail-biter again. A lot can happen between now and November.”

ACA 5 will be on the ballot in the  November 3rd general election.

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9 thoughts on “Affirmative Action Amendment Narrowly Passed by Senate

  1. What is good is now bad. What is bad is now good. If you have good qualifications that is bad according to someone who has lesser qualifications and that person with the lesser qualifications should move ahead of you because of skin color or “systemic racism”. What is going on here is not good and it’s high time people especially politicians grow a spine. And I mean republicans grow a spine and tell these Black Lives Matter thugs to shove it where the sun don’t shine. Yes I called the Black Lives Matter group THUGS! And by the way they are admitted “TRAINED MARXISTS” as well. Tell that to your kids when they wear those Black Lives Matter shirts and give them a little history lesson on Marxism and American Freedom!

  2. Affirmative Action persons using this law will be forever branded as inferior. A very bad law. Those that make the grade without this “help” to get passed with a medical degree for example, would be discriminated due to just being a black or brown person, or even a female in a position as a police officer. Unfair!

  3. This is DISCRIMINATION. Tell me again, why is that okay? I thought the people pushing this stuff were against discrimination — of any kind — not just racial discrimination. But silly, foolish, stupid me to believe them or think they are serious about anything but their own power.

  4. This is discrimination against anyone who works hard and sacrifices to get ahead. Just because you are black or brown does not give you the privilege over someone who actually earned it.

    1. Cheryl Rice: You’re right. But even more important, or certainly AS important, is that NO ONE is helped by these condescending, patronizing policies. In fact, people are often hurt by them. This is frequently the case with so-called “progressive” policies. Take a look at what has been the progressive response to the homeless/vagrant situation on the streets of California’s cities and tell me how individuals there have been helped by the modern Democrat politicians in charge.

  5. Initiate racism to fight racism. Isnt saying,”oh, poor little person of color, we know you can’t possibly be better than a “white” person” even more racist?

  6. ACA 5 rewards ignorance and will only reap entitlement mentality and diminish higher education institutions. Community colleges are wonderful institutions to build knowledge, improve your mind and meet acceptance standards. My two years at a local community college prepared me to successfully earn by bachelor of science degree. ACA 5 is an attempt to codify racism into California law. California voters must vote no on ACA 5.

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