NO on Prop 16 Campaign Announces Record Small-Dollar Donors

First-Generation Americans of Asian Descent Fight Racial Discrimination with Pocketbook


September 25, 2020

SAN DIEGO, CA—September 25, 2020—Californians for Equal Rights, the NO on Prop 16 Campaign, has amassed nearly 6,000 donors in less than three months, demonstrating a historic groundswell of grassroots support from voters across the state. Releasing its campaign disclosure statement (Form 460) on 09/23, NO on Prop 16 revealed that 95 percent of its contributors are Americans of Asian descent, many of whom are first-generation immigrants contributing to an election campaign for the very first time.

“This is truly remarkable and unprecedented, nothing short of a political awakening of Asian Americans who are finding their voice and fighting for their right of equal treatment under the law,” said Betty Chu, honorary co-chair of the NO on Prop 16 Campaign, former Mayor of Monterey Park, and the first Chinese-American woman to co-found and run a bank.

In 1996, California citizens adopted Proposition 209, which prohibited discrimination and preferences on account of race, gender, color, ethnicity, or national origin, in public employment, public education, and public contracting. Now, nearly 25 years later, Proposition 16, on the ballot in November, seeks to repeal Prop 209 and overturn colorblind consideration. 

Through their contributions to NO on Prop 16, California’s Asian-American voters have declared that they will not stand idly by while the state contemplates restoring racial discrimination.

“We encourage all Californians—and Americans—to contribute to our campaign,” Mayor Chu added. “When the government discriminates against any racial group, it is an offense to equality for all racial groups.”

Since July 1, the NO on Prop 16 Campaign has raised a total of $951,806.58, 19 percent from donors contributing less than $100, 56 percent from those contributing less than $500, and 68 percent from those less than $1,000. By contrast, Prop 16 is funded by woke elites (one single billionaire donor contributed $5.5 million) who feel entitled to impose racial preferences on Californians and special interest groups clamoring to curry favor with regulators and politicians in Sacramento. 

“Dividing people by race will always be divisive, and granting preferences based on race will always be racist. That is the future Prop 16 would deliver to California,” said Ward Connerly, president of NO on Prop 16. “Through their generous contributions to our campaign, Americans of Asian descent have bravely stepped forward to say they will not stand for injustice. We thank them for their leadership, enthusiasm, and patriotism.”

Meanwhile, the backers of Prop 16, though cloaked in the rhetoric of “diversity,” have brazenly made racist remarks against Asian Americans fighting to defeat racial preferences. In 2014, California State Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia erupted in reaction to Asian-American activists’ successful effort to defeat a predecessor version of Prop 16, “This makes me feel like I want to punch the next Asian person I see in the face.” 

In this election, Asian American voters in California will not tolerate either Garcia’s blatant racism or Prop 16’s promise of restoring state-sponsored racial discrimination. Their newfound political activism has been highlighted throughout the state and the country. 

Below is a collection of their stories.


Ying Ma

[email protected]

(703) 436-4539

Cindy Northon

[email protected]

(203) 680-0203