PRESS RELEASE: UnidosUs, LULAC, Voto Latino, National Hispanic Medical Association, National Hispanic Media Coalition, The Chicano Federation and other Latino Heavy Hitters Endorse Yes on Prop 16
Los Angeles, CA – On the heels of the “Level the Playing Field” early vote tour kickoff, UnidosUs, Voto Latino, Mi Familia Vota, The Chicano Federation, National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), National Hispanic Medical Association, the Council of Mexican Federations in North America (COFEM), Hispanic Federation, Mexican American Bar Association of Los Angeles County (MABA), the National Hispanic Media Coalition, Southwest Voter Registration Education Project (SVREP), the William C. Velasquez Institute (WCVI), LatinoJustice/PRLDEF, San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association, Casa de Esperanza: National [email protected] Network for Healthy Families and Communities, MANA, A National Latina Organization, UCLA Latino Staff and Faculty Association, Immigrants Rising, Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) Leadership Network, and celebrated ultra-runner Norma Bastidas announced their endorsement of Prop 16 today and joined the list of over 280 Latino organizations and leaders who support it. The statewide ballot measure ends the ban on affirmative action and expands equal opportunity so that Latinos can fairly compete for good jobs, fair wages and a quality education.
Prop 16 would finally reverse the last of three ‘90s-era measures aimed at holding back California’s Latino population, which also included Prop 187 (Save Our State Initiative) and Prop 227 (ban on bilingual education).
“Latinos now comprise over a quarter of California state voters, and Proposition 16 presents an opportunity to flex that voting muscle in support of racial justice,” said Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF President and General Counsel. “Proposition 16 repeals a racially divisive measure from the mid-nineties that, like its predecessor Proposition 187, targeted the growing Latino community in California, and was opposed by over three quarters of Latino voters in 1996.”
In a diverse California, everyone should have access to fair wages, good jobs, and quality schools. But the truth is we’re not there yet. Report after report shows that discrimination still holds too many Californians back in hiring, employment, promotions, and educational opportunity.
Affirmative action was banned in California around the same time — and by the same people — as the initiatives to ban bilingual education and to block undocumented immigrants from basic social services such as healthcare and education. Like the Trump Administration today, Governor Pete Wilson and others in power were relentless in their attacks against California’s growing Latino population. Just last week, Pete Wilson endorsed Donald Trump and his anti-Latino agenda. But with record numbers of diverse voters expected to participate in the 2020 election, advocates are hoping to overturn the ban on affirmative action and restore fairness for all Californians.
“Just like my own mother, Latinas understand the value of higher education and want their children to go to college. When a Latina earns a college degree, she uplifts her family and her whole community. She starts a small business, she owns a home, she is able to control her own future. But the odds are stacked against Latinas being prepared for college, enrolling in college and graduating from college. Prop 16 helps level the playing field so more Latinas can compete and succeed,” said Michele Siqueiros, President of the Campaign for College Opportunity.
Proposition 16 is endorsed by over 275 Latino organizations and leaders, including Dolores Huerta, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), Secretary of State Alex Padilla, State Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, Senate President pro Tempore Emeritus Kevin De León, U.S. Representatives Jimmy Gomez (CA-34) and Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Assemblymember Miguel Santiago, Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez, State Senator Maria Elena Durazo, The Cesar Chavez Foundation, United Farm Workers, and CHIRLA. Other prominent endorsements include U.S. Senators Kamala Harris, California Governor Gavin Newsom, teachers, nurses, and firefighters.