Tuesday’s election was a tough day for racial justice issues across the country, and affirmative action was no exception. From the results here and elsewhere, we see that much work is required, and that many opportunities exist, to enlist more champions in our fight for equity.
Though we at CAA are disappointed at the Prop 16 tallies, we also know that we have learned so much and made significant progress in helping to move our community forward. For me, it has been an incredible privilege to co-chair the Opportunity for All / Yes on 16 coalition that came together in the midst of a pandemic, economic recession, and an all-consuming presidential election.
Our four-month campaign accomplished so much:
- Assembled a broad array of several hundred civil rights and social justice organizations, business and labor groups, local, state, and national elected officials, as well as educators, artists, and activists.
- Invested in leadership that spanned generations, ethnic groups, and genders, including a student fellows program of close to 100 next-generation leaders.
- Won the endorsements of 20+ major newspapers, including the New York Times, Sing Tao Daily, the San Francisco Chronicle, LA Times, and La Opinion.
- Recruited 3,000 volunteers to text 4 million voters and phone bank 500,000 more.
- Funded multilingual communications in mainstream and ethnic television, radio, print, and digital media.
- Dedicated and resourced targeted voter engagement and constituency efforts in AAPI, Black, and Latinx communities.
- Organized 130-plus AAPI leaders and groups to fight the model minority myth and level the playing field for Asian Americans and other communities of color.
- Cultivated a well of Chinese American support for affirmative action throughout the State of California to help us in writing 100 Chinese-language articles and op-eds, which accumulated tens of thousands of views and engagements on Chinese-language social media platforms like WeChat.
- Earned the votes of more than 5 million voters in the most populous, and the most diverse electorate in our nation, and mobilized broad-based support for addressing issues of structural racism and gender discrimination.
The reality is that there is much work to be done, much to be proud of, and much to build upon. Our coalition met this afternoon and we are already thinking about the future.
Thank you so much for everyone’s support.