San Francisco, CA– On Tuesday, August 4, 2020, supporters of Proposition 16 filed legal action with respect to the Chinese language translation of the Prop 16 ballot label, title, and summary as initially released by the California Secretary of State.

Vincent Pan, Co-Executive Director of Chinese for Affirmative Action and Co-Chair of the Yes on 16 campaign, former San Francisco elected official Mabel Teng, and Orange County community leader Jing Sun are the named plaintiffs.

“Voters of all backgrounds and language groups deserve to have accurate information about everything on the ballot and in every election.   Proposition 16 is an especially important initiative to Chinese language community members, and we look forward to engaging with the California courts and the Secretary of State to ensure the final translation is as clear and accurate as possible,” said Pan.

A hearing on the matter has been scheduled for August 10th, 1:30pm PT, and a decision is expected almost immediately in order for ballot materials to be printed in time.

“Along with my co-chairs Thomas Saenz and Eva Paterson, those of us who lead the Yes on 16 and the Opportunity for All campaign have fought for many decades on behalf of the rights of limited-English proficient community members as well as those  whose dominant  language is not English.  Proposition 16 will create fairness and fight discrimination for those communities, too. We will do everything in our power to make sure all Californians have accurate information about the many benefits of Prop 16 for all of our communities,” added Pan. 

The lawsuit includes a declaration from a highly-regarded court-certified translator who noted problems with both syntax and translations of key terms and phrases including diversity, public employment, public education, and public contracting.


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.