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NO on ACA 7 Campaign Launches to Combat A Renewed Attempt to Legalize Racial Discrimination in the California State Legislature

The San Juan Mountains are beautiful!


December 12, 2023

SAN DIEGO, CA -- December 12, 2023 The NO on ACA 7 Campaign kickstarts today to organize against ACA 7 and rally public support for California's constitutional guarantee of equal treatment (Proposition 209). While the California electorate twice voted for equal treatment, Sacramento partisans are again trying to revive racial discrimination through ACA 7, a proposed constitutional amendment that adds a debilitating exception to Prop. 209.

"ACA-7 is all about asking voters to pre-approve whatever exceptions to Proposition 209 that Governor Newsom or some unknown future governor decides to make," said Gail Heriot, Chair of the No on ACA 7 Campaign and Professor of Law at the University of San Diego[1]. "I am confident that if it makes the ballot and voters understand it, they will reject it. The state senate should stop it before it gets that far."

"Equality is our inheritance as Americans. It is the hard-fought fruit of a radically liberal experiment, forged through blood, sweat and tears,” commented Hon. Gloria Romero, former Majority Leader of the California Senate and Honorary Advisor to the No on ACA 7 Campaign. “There should be no exception to California's constitutional guarantee of equal treatment."

In 1996, over 55% of California voters adopted Prop. 209, which prohibited discrimination and preferences on account of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin, in public employment, public education, and public contracting. In 2020, more than 57% of the electorate, one that was decisively more progressive and diverse than in 1996, resoundingly rejected Proposition 16, a direct repeal of Prop. 209. Californians, like the overwhelming majority of Americans, support colorblind equality, regardless of race, ethnicity or political persuasion, whenever given the opportunity.

Against a rising, bipartisan consensus against racial preferences, California lawmakers are attempting to attack Prop. 209 again with ACA 7. On September 12, 2023, 62 state lawmakers voted to approve ACA 7 in the state assembly, propelling the bill to the state senate. Thanks to the Democratic supermajority in the legislature, this regressive measure of racial discrimination has been making rapid progress.

In response to this grave challenge, a coalition of civil rights advocates, scholars and leaders, including many veteran leaders of the successful No on Prop. 16 Campaign, launch the No on ACA 7 campaign to defend equality. We will work diligently to raise awareness on this dangerous proposal and remind the public of the importance of equal rights for all.

If adopted, ACA 7 would allow public agencies in California to provide funding for "research-based, or research-informed, and culturally specific programs based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, or marginalized genders, sexes, or sexual orientations designed to improve outcomes for people in those groups." In other words, it seeks to circumvent the California State Constitution Article I Section 31(a) (Prop. 209) with language explicitly contradicting Prop. 209.

Below is a collection of media reports on ACA 7:

[1] Chair Gail Heriot’s University Professor title is added for identification purposes only.


Frank Xu

(858) 215-1162