Published September 05, 2023
On September 1, the California Assembly Appropriations Committee voted 12-to-4 to approve ACA-7 CFER strongly condemns this legislative development to legalize racial discrimination without regard for public opinions or legal ramifications.
For Immediate Release
September 5, 2023
SAN DIEGO, CA – September 5, 2023- On September 1, the California Assembly Appropriations Committee voted 12-to-4 to approve ACA-7 and propelled this proposal of racial discrimination to the Assembly Floor. If adopted by both the State Assembly and the State Senate, ACA-7 would make its way onto the 2024 state ballot and threaten California’s constitutional guarantee of equal treatment. The Californians for Equal Rights Foundation (CFER) strongly condemns this legislative development to legalize racial discrimination without regard for public opinions or legal ramifications.
“California Assembly Democrats have lost their credibility by approving ACA-7, in spite of warnings of legal troubles from their own legislative staffers,” commented Frank Xu, CFER president. “Knowing that a similar repeal (Prop. 16) was overwhelmingly shot down by California voters in 2020 and that another campaign would cost California taxpayers tens of millions of dollars, they voted for it anyways. Their partisan support of racial discrimination is devoid of merit and reason.”
Eva Zhou, the CFER Board Member who attended the committee hearing and spoke against ACA-7 on CFER’s behalf, commented: “It is incomprehensible that the state lawmakers voted for a bill even though no proponent of ACA-7 was present at the hearing and a coalition of organizations including CFER gave comments in opposition.”
CFER and its allies including the Equal Rights for All PAC, the San Diego Asian Americans for Equality, the Silicon Valley Chinese Association and the Bay Area Homeowner Network sent representatives to testify against ACA-7 at the Sep. 1 committee hearing. Not a single organization or individual testified in support. However, members of the Assembly Appropriations Committee gave no consideration of the opposition or more importantly, the bi-partisan national consensus against racial preferences in their hyperpartisan approval of the proposal. Most alarmingly, the committee ignored its own legislative analysis warning that ACA-7 “is more likely to have a difficult time withstanding scrutiny if challenged in federal court,” given the recent Supreme Court ruling in Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard and the University of North Carolina.
A constitutional amendment intended to effectively repeal Prop. 209, ACA7 would allow the state government to fund “research-based, or research-informed, and culturally specific programs based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, or marginalized genders, sexes, or sexual orientations designed to improve outcomes for people in those groups.” It would circumvent the California State Constitution Article I Section 31(a) (Prop. 209) with language explicitly contradicting Prop. 209. Since June, CFER has led a series of efforts to educate the public about the dangers of ACA-7. We will continue to monitor its progress in the state legislature and alert the public through awareness building, alliance building and advocacy.
About Californians for Equal Rights Foundation (CFER):We are a non-partisan and non-profit organization established following the defeat of Proposition 16 in 2020, with a mission to defend and raise public awareness on the cause of equal rights through public education, civic engagement and community outreach. In 1996, California became the first U.S. state to amend its constitution by passing Proposition 209 to ban racial discrimination and preferences. Prop. 209 requires that “the state shall not discriminate against, or grant 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.” CFER is dedicated to educating the public on this important constitutional principle of equal treatment.