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Is Affirmative Action Coming Back In California?




California State Assemblymember Shirley Weber speaks during a news conference to announce new legislation to address recent deadly police shootings on April 3, 2018 in Sacramento, California.
California State Assemblymember Shirley Weber speaks during a news conference to announce new legislation to address recent deadly police shootings on April 3, 2018 in Sacramento, California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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The California Assembly on Wednesday backed a plan to let voters decide whether to repeal the state's 24-year ban on affirmative action. 

ACA 5, authored by Assemblywoman Shirley Weber (D-San Diego), would repeal Proposition 209, the controversial constitutional amendment that banned affirmative action at state institutions in 1996. The ban has impacted state college and university admissions, as well as state jobs and government contracting opportunities. 

Supporters argued that repeal of Prop. 209 was necessary, with the coronavirus pandemic and recent protests against racial injustice revealing that racial inequities persist in California. Only two lawmakers publicly opposed the proposed ballot measure during the discussion Wednesday, both Republicans. ACA 5 now needs to be ratified in the state Senate (by June 25) in order to be placed on the November ballot.

Our guests disagreed on statistics regarding black and Latino students' enrollment rates in the University of California system. 

Michelle Siqueiros sent us this data:

ETW Higher Ed. 5.26 1 by Southern California Public Radio on Scribd


Richard Sanders sent us data: 

 

Applications 89 to 2013 by Southern California Public Radio on Scribd

Guests:

John Myers, Sacramento Bureau Chief for the Los Angeles Times; tweets @johnmyers

Michele Siqueiros, president of the Campaign for College Opportunity, a statewide policy and advocacy organization focused on enhancing higher education opportunities; she tweets @MSCollegeOpp

Richard Sander, an economist and professor of law at UCLA; his recent book is “Moving Toward Integration: The Past and Future of Fair Housing” (Harvard University Press, 2018)

Kimberly Reyes, poet, writer and author of a piece in the Atlantic magazine titled, “Affirmative Action Shouldn’t Be About Diversity” in 2008; she is currently in Ireland on a Fulbright scholarship studying Irish literature and film