Reaction to U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Ruling on Prop 209
Washington DC -- "The 9th Circuit's decision not to reconsider the April ruling by one of it panels which upheld Proposition 209 is a tragic reversal of America's promise of equal job and educational opportunitites for women and for racial minorities. We have already seen the devastating consequences of the UC Regents' decision to suspend recruitment and outreach to racial minorities in the admissions results to University of California graduate programs. As a result, California has lost the best and the brightest minority students to out-of-state schools more welcoming to qualified minority applicants.
"For Governor Wilson to claim the court's decision is a "vindication of the the civil rights activism of the 1960s" is disingenuous, at best. The radical right -- which used stealth tactics to launch and fund the Prop 209 campaign and which has taken over the California Republican party -- is anti-women's rights and anti-civil rights.
"Prop 209's constitutional provisions prohibiting affirmative action were passed last November through a well-funded campaign of massive deception. The Proposition was worded to mimic the great Civil Rights Act of 1964, confusing voters as to its real intent and impact.
"Prop 209's backers can only get away with this deception only so long. You can be sure that as Wilson proceeds to implement Prop 209, it will become clear to all that its impact is to slam the door closed to better jobs, business opportunities and education for women and racial minorities in California, returning us to the corrupt "good-old-boys system" of favoritism.
"Whatever happens in the appeal of this latest ruling to the US Supreme Court, the battle for equal opportunities for women and racial minorities will not stop here. The radical right is not going to succeed in pushing women and minorities back. Organizing against Prop 209's successor efforts in other states and in Congress has already begun.
"We predict that as the impacts of Prop 209 become clear, the "Gender Gap" which inflicted damage on the Republicans in the last election, will become nothing short of a "Gender Gulf." Governor Wilson, Mr. Connerly, and their radical right backers should understand one thing: Women will have the last word on our opportunities and our futures."
Media Resources: Eleanor Smeal, President, Feminist Majority Foundation
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .