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California Lawmakers Push to Repeal Ban On Affirmative Action

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College students demonstrated against California's Prop. 209 during a protest in San Francisco in 2012. ((Justin Sullivan/Getty Images))

On Monday, the University of California Board of Regents unanimously voted to endorse a state measure to repeal Prop. 209, a nearly 25-year-old law that bans consideration of race in government contracts, public sector hiring, and college admissions. The measure passed the California Assembly and if ratified by the state Senate, will show up on the November ballot. Proponents argue that barring state agencies and institutions from considering race and gender has hindered equal representation and reinforced systemic advantages for white-owned businesses and white students. We discuss the prospects for restoring affirmative action in California at a time when prejudice and institutional racism in America are top of mind.


Vincent Pan, co-executive director, Chinese for Affirmative Action, and co-chair of the Opportunity for All coalition, which is leading the community effort to pass ACA 5

Ward Connerly, founder and president, American Civil Rights Institute, Former University of California Regent. Spearheaded Proposition 209 which ended affirmative action in California

Katie Orr, politics and government reporter, KQED


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