Right-Wing California Activist Takes Affirmative Action Fight to Michigan
California conservative activist Ward Connerly announced on Tuesday his plan to bring an anti-affirmative action ballot initiative, similar to California's Proposition 209, to Michigan in 2004. The announcement comes on the heels of the recent Supreme Court decision upholding Michigan's use of affirmative action, though not the specific criteria the university used for undergraduate admissions. Connerly lacks support from Michigan conservatives, including the state Republican Party. Republican spokesman Greg McNeilly said the initiative will only worsen racial tensions in Michigan and will not meaningfully address inequality in college admissions, which is actually due to the uneven quality of public schools, according to the Oakland Tribune. McNeilly characterized Connerly's campaign as "divisive and therefore counterproductive," reported the Los Angeles Times.
Connerly, a regent of the University of California and one of the driving forces behind the anti-affirmative action referendumProposition 209, seeks to outlaw any use of preferences based on gender, race, or ethnicity in university admissions and government hiring practices, according to the Detroit Free Press. He and his supporters hope to place such measures on several state and local ballots for the November 2004 elections, as a kind of "Super Tuesday" of public opinion on affirmative action, the Times reported. "The president isn't going to [dismantle affirmative action] and Congress isn't going to do it," Connerly told the Chicago Tribune. "We have no choice but to use the ballot box." Connerly attempted to bring about a similar measure in Florida, but abandoned his efforts after Governor Jeb Bush passed his One Florida initiative.
Following the passage of Prop. 209, minority enrollment at the University of California fell considerably. California progressive activists continue to struggle to find ways to increase diversity on UC campuses. They face strong opposition from right-wing pressure groups, such as Virginia's Center for Equal Opportunity. Edward Blum, a senior fellow at the Center, told the Times that his group would continue its push to convince universities to cease or radically change enrichment programs or other outreach aimed exclusively at people of color.
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10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
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The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .