San Francisco– CAA applauds San Francisco Board of Supervisors Norman Yee, Sandra Lee Fewer, Gordon Mar, and Ahsha Safai for their support today of Assembly Constitutional Amendment 5 (ACA 5). If passed by the State Legislature, ACA 5 would place a repeal of Proposition 209 on the November 2020 ballot and restore equal opportunity programs like affirmative action in California public education, public contracting, and public employment.
Introduced as an “urging resolution” by President Norman Yee, and cosponsored by all Asian American elected members of the Board, the resolution calls for community members and the public to support ACA5 as it is heard in the California Legislature.
“Now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, we see that, more than ever, we need to repeal Proposition 209,” said Yee. “Currently, women and communities of color are feeling a disproportionate impact on their lives and livelihoods. Without a race and gender conscious way of responding, municipalities will not be able to direct their recovery resources to the communities that need it most.”
By overturning Prop 209 on the November ballot, ACA 5 would create opportunities for all in California by allowing race and gender conscious programs to level the playing field for women and people of color. For example, the initiative would recover $1.1 billion in lost public contracting opportunities for women and people of color owned businesses, and create a more representative public service workforce including teachers, first responders, and public health workers to reflect the diversity and needs of the State.
“For over fifty years, CAA has used affirmative action as a critical policy tool to advance fairness and equality for Chinese Americans in the United States.” says Vincent Pan, Co-Executive Director at Chinese for Affirmative Action. “When we repeal Proposition 209, and reinstate affirmative action, all communities especially and including Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders will have a better shot at achieving our dreams and leading our state forward.”
Asian American admission rates at University of California have also suffered since Proposition 209 was implemented. Affirmative action programs can uniquely address multiple barriers to college access and attainment tied to race and gender, especially for low-income, first generation college students in the Asian American community. ACA 5 will not institute a quota system or a population-based penalty in higher education admissions.
“The passage of Proposition 209 was a huge loss for communities of color, setting California back in our progress to address racial disparities,” said Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer. Fewer added, “The repeal of this damaging law is long overdue, and as a 4th generation Chinese American I proudly support ACA 5.”
CAA and Equal Justice Society (EJS) are co-chairing the Opportunity for All campaign to pass ACA5 in the State Legislature and on the November 2020 ballot.
Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA) is a community-based civil rights organization in San Francisco. Our mission is to protect the civil and political rights of Chinese Americans and to advance multiracial democracy in the United States. We advocate for systemic change that protects immigrant rights, promotes language diversity, and remedies racial injustice. ###