Today the Opportunity for All Coalition applauded the California Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus’ announcement of support for ACA 5. ACA 5 would put a measure on the November ballot to allow California voters to decide on restoring affirmative action in the state.

The co-chairs of the Opportunity for All campaign to repeal Prop 209 issued the following statement. The co-chairs of the campaign are Vincent Pan, Co-Executive Director of Chinese for Affirmative Action, and Eva Paterson, President of the Equal Justice Society. 

We applaud the API Legislative Caucus’ endorsement of ACA 5, and are grateful for their support. 

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, too many Californians were being denied the opportunity to get ahead. Communities of color, including AAPI communities, have also been the most impacted by COVID-19 — in health outcomes, in racist attacks, and in economic impact. But because of Prop 209, our state leaders can’t provide remedies to AAPI, Black, or Latino people to help in recovery from the pandemic. 

The vast majority of AAPI communities support affirmative action, and that support is growing. Over 200 AAPI organizations, elected officials, and other leaders support ACA 5. Despite some persistent myths, AAPI people across the state stand to benefit from restoring affirmative action. 

California is one of only eight states that bans affirmative action. As one of the most racially diverse states in the country, it’s long past time to allow race and gender to be considered among other factors for public employment, government contracts and education. 

In a time of national reckoning on this country’s history of racism, this is the year to work together to restore equal opportunity in California.

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