The Facts

FACT: Affirmative action promotes equal opportunity for women and people of color.

Women and people of color are paid less, given fewer chances to access higher education, and are denied the same job opportunities as white men. Affirmative action works to level the playing field by allowing the state to consider race and gender–without quotas–when making decisions about state contracts, hiring and education.

FACT: California is out of step with the nation on ensuring equal opportunity — but we can change that.

42 states take gender, race, and ethnicity into account when making decisions about government contracts, college admissions and job opportunities. Our ballot measure will put California in alignment with the rest of the country. In the 21st century, we need to hire more women to positions of leadership and contract with businesses that actually reflect the diversity and values of California. We want the law to return to what it was before 1996, when women and people of color were given a fair opportunity to get ahead in their education and careers.

FACT: Studies show that income is a faulty basis for policy aimed at ensuring equity.

Even when income levels are equal, Black and Latino families face unique challenges that limit their access to high- quality school and good-paying jobs. While a black family and a white family may have the same household income, for example, each has wildly different experiences and circumstances that can affect educational and professional opportunities much more than income.

To meaningfully address the lack of equal opportunity here in California, we need race-conscious policies that take into account the full breadth of people’s experiences, which are shaped by the systemic racism and sexism that prevents equal opportunity. That starts with repealing 209.

FACT: Passing Prop 16 will empower California’s Asian American students, business owners, women, and families.

Studies show Asian American students and businesses are better off in states that have equal opportunity policies like affirmative action. Contrary to popular belief, Asian American and Pacific Islander admissions to the University of California have declined since 1996. Meanwhile, Universities that practice affirmative action outside of California have seen greater gains in Asian American enrollment.

Repealing Proposition 209 would also unlock billions of dollars in economic opportunities for Asian American small business owners. Research shows that Asian American businesses earn more public contracting dollars in cities where affirmative action is legal, such as Chicago and Atlanta, compared to those cities in which equal opportunity policies are banned, like San Francisco.

FACT: California is not taking part in a nationwide boom among women business owners.

In the last five years, the U.S. has seen a dramatic increase in the number of women-owned businesses. Women are well above average in job creation and the revenue growth — but in California, the world’s fifth largest economy that is expanding faster than anywhere else in the U.S., women are missing out on that prosperity. Women often hire other women as employees and subcontractors so providing more opportunities to women will benefit all Californians.

FACT: A few wealthy donors are trying to use race to divide us. If we commit to rejecting their tactics and pushing for a truly equitable future, we can make history by coming together.

For too long, a wealthy few in this country have tried to divide us on race and gender so they can rig the rules to their benefit — and it’s those wealthy few who are trying to limit our measure’s success now. By mobilizing to pass Prop 209 years ago, these wealthy few have successfully put a roadblock to equal opportunity in California, ensuring that women and people of color miss out on good jobs and a high-quality education.

By rejecting division and coming together to demand better jobs and opportunities for all Californians, we can make history, and finally deliver on the promise of equal opportunity for all.

FACT: Repealing 209 is California’s a strong and effective response to the racist policies and rhetoric of the Trump White House.

What matters to Californians is standing up to racism, sexism, and those who use race and gender to divide us. Fixing Prop 209 is our way of saying we don’t have to put up with the hateful rhetoric from the White House, with people of color being shot in our community, with denying women their rights or with locking up Latino children in cages. We can do something about it. One step is to repeal Prop 209 so we can stand up to Trump, make things better in our state, and fight for a better world.

FACT: Standardized test scores are unfair and weak measures of merit and college potential

California shouldn’t decide who gets equal opportunity based on test scores. Performance on test scores correlates with family income and parental education. If California stands for fairness and opportunity, we can’t let those two criteria decide the future of our communities. Research shows that standardized tests, at best, predict about 15% of student success in the first year of college, and have almost NO relationship to student outcomes after the first-year. They are not good measures of college potential.

FACT: Colleges and universities CANNOT and WILL NOT use racial quotas to fill their classes and achieve diversity

The Supreme Court ruled that racial quotas are unconstitutional. Quotas have been outlawed in university admissions since 1978 (UC Regents v. Bakke). Repealing Prop. 209 will not lead to quotas, which are unconstitutional.