FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 28, 2020
SAN DIEGO, CA—September 28, 2020—Californians for Equal Rights/ No on 16 (CFER), hosted a highly successful zoom webinar titled “Democrats for Equal Rights” on Sunday, September 27, 2020, with support from six prominent Californians Democrats. The uplifting and thought-provoking event demonstrates the non-partisan and broad-based nature of CFER’s coalition to preserve California’s constitutional principle of equal treatment, which Proposition 16 seeks to repeal.
Dr. Richard Sander, UCLA Law Professor and civil rights champion in housing desegregation, fair wages and racial equality, gave a poignant opening speech. Stressing his early support for Obama and his academic research on race-based affirmative action, Dr. Sander provided seven important reasons why Democrats should oppose Prop. 16.
1. Democrats should not depart from the ideal of fighting against racial discrimination.
2. “It’s incredibly ill-advised to allow the state to reinstitute discrimination against Asian Americans”.
3. Most forms of affirmative action programs are not banned by Prop. 209.
4. Prop. 16’s diversity paradigm symbolizes over-simplifying group-think that puts a bandage over underlying problems of racial inequality.
5. The UC system has achieved more success in outreach to minority groups after 1996 than before.
6. Underrepresented minority students have seen increases in academic performance due to diminished mismatch.
7. Prop 16’s superficial focus on racial diversity discourages academic independence and assaults the principle of free expression.
Ms. Ling Kong, Milpitas City Commissioner spoke on the Democratic Party’s platform of civil rights. Sporting a No on 16 logo and Biden 2020, Ms. Kong applauded California as a truly diverse state with no single majority race. She maintained that “forced diversity, (which is) through discrimination and government preferences, is counter to the very values that we believe in”. Ms. Kong also touched upon the egregious history of anti-Asian discrimination and called upon Democrats to unite for true equal treatment.
Mike Goldman, Sunnyvale City Council Member spoke on the state’s refusal to meaningfully improve K-12 education as the political impetus behind Prop. 16’s race-based proposal. Mr. Goldman argued that “(immigrants) are requiring and insisting that America live up to its cause. I am too!”
Simone Brown, small business owner, (former Governor Jerry Brown’s goddaughter and second cousin), recounted her family’s long tradition of supporting Democratic ideals and her principled opposition against prevalent anti-Asian racism in California and throughout the nation. “We are all Americans. How can there be too many of us?… I don’t want any child to ever feel like they are not welcome at a school…”, Ms. Brown made an emotional outcry against Prop. 16.
Luke Rodriguez, UCLA Law student and Joe Biden campaign volunteer recalled his experience clerking for the Orange County Public Defender and his resolve to fight for equal rights for all. As an American of Colombian descent, Mr. Rodriguez castigated racial preferences as “deeply offensive” because it takes away merit and incentives to excel. To Mr. Rodriguez, Prop. 16 violates both “racial and economic justice”.
Steven Scharf, Cupertino Mayor criticized Prop. 16 as “anti-everyone” and argued that “we can and have found ways to increase diversity for historically underprivileged groups”. Mayor Scharf related the experiences of Jewish and Asian immigrants with the heroic fight for the American dream in spite of systematic discrimination. “Both Democratic and Republican party platforms oppose discrimination on the basis of race!” said Mayor Scharf.
“Yesterday’s webinar accentuates our cause’s broad appeal among fellow Americans from different political persuasions who care about true equality. Moreover, it showcases the factual compatibility between diversity, fairness, Democratic principles, on one hand, and No on 16, on the other hand. With the trust of our vast grassroots base and bipartisan support, we will prevail in this November and beyond, to promote the cause of equal treatment for all.” said Wenyuan Wu, CFER’s Executive Director.
State Director, Californians for Equal Rights, No on 16