EJS Applauds Committee Approval of ACA 5; One Step Closer to Repealing Prop. 209

Assemblymember Dr. Shirley Weber’s Bill Reinstating Affirmative Action in California Clears Critical First Hurdle

On a vote of 6-1, the California Assembly Committee on Public Employment and Retirement today approved ACA 5, the bill by Assemblymember Dr. Shirley Weber to allow voters an opportunity to restore affirmative action and equal opportunity in California.

The Opportunity for All Coalition supporting ACA 5 applauds the approval of the bill by the Assembly’s Committee on Public Employment and Retirement and expresses its appreciation to Assemblymembers Freddie Rodriguez (Chair), Randy Voepel (Vice Chair), Ken Cooley, Jim Cooper, Patrick O’Donnell, and Eloise Reyes for their support.

ACA 5 now moves on to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

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Eva Paterson, Co-Chair of the Opportunity for All Coalition, celebrated the victory, saying, “The vote today is a historic step for California. It is critical that ACA 5 is part of the discussion as we consider how we are going to keep Californians safe and stable through the COVID-19 crisis.” She continued, “We look forward to the next steps in the process of putting this on the November ballot. California has been hit hard by this virus. ACA 5 provides concrete ways for our collective recovery.”

The committee’s approval means ACA 5 is a step closer to giving voters an opportunity to consider race and gender in public education, contracting, and hiring decisions, by undoing the disastrous Proposition 209. This is especially critical as California considers how to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, which is severely impacting the health and economic futures of California’s women and people of color.

ACA 5 has been endorsed by over 100 organizations and leaders from across California, including ACLU of California, AFSCME Local 3299, California Black Chamber of Commerce, California Federation of Teachers, California National Organization for Women, California/Hawaii State Conference NAACP, Chinese for Affirmative Action, Equal Justice Society, The Education Trust – West, and the University of California Student Association. It is also endorsed by California State Board of Equalization Member Malia Cohen, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, San Francisco Board of Supervisors President Norman Yee, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, and many more. Additionally, a public petition received over 2700 signatures from Californians. There were no letters submitted in opposition to ACA 5. 

“Our coalition is made up of community leaders, equity advocates, and elected officials from across California, and today’s victory is a testament to the power of our unified voice speaking as one,” said Vincent Pan, Co-Chair of the Opportunity for All Coalition. “Californians from a wide range of communities – African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, women, business leaders, students, educators, and more – know that restoring affirmative action and equal opportunity programs is critical for building a stronger California as we fight the impacts of COVID-19.” 

ACA 5 is a historic opportunity for California to join 42 U.S. states in utilizing affirmative action and equal opportunity programs to positively impact the health, well-being, education, and economic mobility of women and communities of color. 

ACA 5 is co-authored by Assemblymembers Burke, Cooper, Gonzalez, Holden, Jones-Sawyer, Kamlager, McCarty, and Mark Stone, and Senators Bradford and Mitchell. ACA 5 is supported by the leading civil rights organizations, labor groups and business leaders across California including Equal Justice Society, the California Black Chamber of Commerce, Chinese for Affirmative Action, ACLU of California, and scores of other community advocates.

For more information about the Opportunity for All Coalition behind ACA5, visit https://opportunity4all.org.