A state constitutional amendment that would repeal Proposition 209, California’s ban on affirmative action, was proposed in a state Assembly meeting March 9.
Prop. 209, which was approved in 1996, bans state public institutions from discriminating on the basis of race, sex or ethnicity. This effectively disallows affirmative action — policies favoring groups that have historically suffered from discrimination. The amendment, ACA 5, which was primarily authored by Assemblymembers Shirley Weber and Mike Gipson, would allow for race and gender to be considered in hiring and college admissions. If successful, the amendment would eventually appear on the ballot for the consideration of California voters.
“Proposition 209 has cost women- and minority-owned businesses $1.1 billion each year,” Weber said in a press release. “It has perpetuated a wage gap wherein women make 80 cents on every dollar made by men and has allowed discriminatory hiring and contracting processes to continue unhindered.”