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CFA Statement in Support of ACA 5: Repeal of Proposition 209

The Honorable Freddie Rodriguez
Assembly Committee on Public Employment and Retirement, Chair
1020 N Street, Room 153
Sacramento, CA 95814

RE: ACA 5 (Weber): Repeal of Proposition 209 – CO-SPONSOR

Dear Assemblymember Rodriguez:

On behalf of the California Faculty Association (CFA), we write to express our support as a co-sponsor of ACA 5 (Weber). CFA represents over 29,000 faculty, including tenure-track professors, lecturers, librarians, counselors, and coaches from all 23 campuses of the California State University (CSU) system.

CFA is an anti-racism and social justice organization and we are in support of repealing the provisions enacted by the initiative Proposition 209 in 1996, which prohibits the state from discriminating against, or granting preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting. The California Constitution defines the state for these purposes to include the state, any city, county, public university system, community college district, school district, special district, or any other political subdivision or governmental instrumentality of, or within, the state.

Proposition 209, entitled the California Civil Rights Initiative, amended Article I of the California Constitution to prohibit race- and gender-conscious remedies to rectify the underutilization of women and people of color in public employment, as well as public contracting and education. The State of California has provided employment opportunities for people of color and women of all races. However, lingering, and even increasing, disparity still exists, particularly for Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, Black Americans, Latino Americans, Native Americans, and women, and should be rectified.

Furthermore, Proposition 209 has had a devastating impact on minority equal opportunity and access to California’s publicly funded institutions of higher education. This violates the spirit of the California Master Plan for Higher Education by making it more difficult for many students to obtain an affordable and accessible high quality public education. While federal law allows schools to use race as a factor when making admissions decisions, California universities are prohibited by Proposition 209 from engaging in targeted outreach and extra efforts to matriculate high-performing minority students. This reduces the graduation rates of students of color and, in turn, contributes to the diminution of the “pipeline” of candidates of color for faculty positions.

For these reasons, CFA strongly is proud to be a co-sponsor and strongly supports ACA 5 (Weber). Should you have any questions regarding our position on ACA 5 (Weber), please contact CFA’s Government Relations Director, Djibril Diop at 916-441-4848, or ddiop@calfac.org. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Eagan
CFA Political Action/Legislation Committee, Chair