American Civil Rights Institute Founder Ward Connerly opposes California Affirmative Action Prop 16
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – A California with vastly different political preferences and demographics is voting on whether to allow affirmative action in public hiring, contracting and college admissions — nearly a quarter century after voters outlawed programs that give preference based on race and gender.
If approved, Proposition 16 would repeal a 1996 initiative that made it unlawful for California’s state and local governments to discriminate against or grant preferential treatment to people based on race, ethnicity, national origin or sex. Then-Gov. Pete Wilson, a Republican, championed the measure as part of his conservative bid for the presidency.
Supporters of Proposition 16 include U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris of California, the Democratic nominee for U.S. vice president, Black Lives Matter movement co-founders, and politically liberal groups of all types. They argue that some programs are needed to help “level a systemically racist playing field.” The campaign has raised $14 million, far more than the $1 million raised by opponents.
Opponents include Ward Connerly, an African American businessman and former University of California regent who pushed for the 1996 ban. Connerly also serves as the Founder and President of the American Civil Rights Institute.
Connerly joined Good Morning San Diego to discuss why he opposes Prop 16 and detail why he believes it is simply another method of segregating poeple.
Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, a San Diego Democrat and chairwoman of the California Legislative Black Caucus, is the lead author of the legislation that put the question to voters, which required two-thirds support in both houses of the state Legislature.
“I think the death of George Floyd made racism very real for people; they could see it. And now what I was asking them to do was to act on it, stop telling me how horrible it is, stop telling me that you really didn’t know that, stop telling me that this is such a revelation for you,” Weber said.
She added: “Now the question becomes, what are you going to do about it?”