The Defeat of Preferential-Treatment AB105 Signals a Victory for Equality

CFER Led a Successful Campaign Against the Bill, Leading to Gubernatorial Veto

For Immediate Release

October 11, 2021

SAN DIEGO, CA – October 11, 2021- Californians for Equal Rights Foundation (CFER) applauds Governor Newsom’s veto of the California Upward Mobility Act of 2021 as a successful repudiation of racial spoils and toxic identity politics. Passed out of the State Legislature on September 17 with super-majority votes, AB105 would have re-instituted race- and gender-based preferences in the state’s civil service sector and illegal quotas in the personnel appointment of state boards or commissions consisting of one or more volunteer members. As the principal organized opposition against the bill, CFER has launched a series of awareness building and lobbying efforts, leading to its eventual loss. 

“AB105 would have undoubtedly set up unlawful quotas in violation of the State Constitution and federal laws,” commented Frank Xu, president of CFER. “As a watchdog organization advocating for equal opportunity for all without regard to race or ethnicity, we are pleased to see that Governor Newsom listened to us and rejected the Democratic legislators’ unconstitutional bill!” 

In his veto message, Governor Newsom argues that “elements of the bill conflict with existing constitutional requirements,” while applauding the state’s extensive efforts to build a diverse workforce without AB105— two main positions held by CFER.

Since January, CFER has led a series of efforts against AB105. Among our continued public advocacy against AB105, CFER has:

  • Issued the state’s first known analysis on the bill in January.
  • Submitted a position letter to the State Legislature.
  • Testified at the State Legislature (07/13 testimony at the Senate Judiciary Committee). 
  • Been recognized as the principal organized opposition.
  • Been contacted by the State Department of Consumer Affairs to provide extra testimony. 
  • Organized several legislative action alerts to call for public comments and written letters (05/20 alert). 

In the wake of AB105’s passage from the California Legislature on 09/17, CFER met with attorneys from the Pacific Legal Foundation and potential plaintiffs in a proactive attempt to prepare a lawsuit, were it be codified into law. As a major public watchdog group in California against legislative and policy proposals that would violate the state’s constitutional principle of equal protection, CFER informs and educates the public on the importance of equal rights and the dangers of racial preferences.  

CFER is encouraged by AB105’s resounding defeat and reassured of the effectiveness of our important work to raise public awareness on issues pertaining to equal rights. Going forward, we will continue to monitor future legislation and policy developments that could be introduced to erode equality in the names of diversity, equity and racial justice, even under a context of growing political hostility and intolerance.



Wenyuan Wu

(786) 393-8028

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.  

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