Strategist Issues Updated Memo Deconstructing Mythology of Prop 16

NO on 16 Campaign Highlights Multiracial, Nonpartisan Coalition of Supporters

For October 31, 2020

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SAN DIEGO, CA – October 31, 2020 – The strategist and chief consultant for Californians for Equal Rights, the No on Prop 16 campaign, today issued an updated memo dispelling the mythology of Proposition 16.

In a detailed memorandum, Arnold Steinberg, who served in the same strategic role for Proposition 209 in 1996, debunks the misconceptions commonly put forth by Prop 16 proponents to justify their failure to appeal to California voters.

Prop 209, placed on the ballot, and adopted, by Californians in 1996, amended the State Constitution to prohibit racial discrimination and preferences. Prop 16, placed on the November ballot by the State Legislature, would also amend the State Constitution, but to remove Prop 209’s protection against racial discrimination. 

Flailing in the polls, the Yes on 16 campaign has resorted to scare tactics, misinformation, and dirty political tricks. A recent Wall Street Journal editorial describes the desperation and sleaziness here.

By contrast, the NO on 16 campaign, has continued to reach Californians through ordinary citizens across the political spectrum and from all racial and ethnic backgrounds. Though vastly outspent by opponents who have blitzed the state with an expensive, shamelessly misleading advertising campaign, NO on 16 has relied on simple digital ads featuring heartfelt messages emphasizing equality under the law.

Below are some examples.

  • Betty Chu, honorary co-chair of NO on Prop 16, former mayor of Monterey Park, first Chinese-American woman to co-found and run a bank, and the first Chinese-American woman in Southern California to pass the California bar. Betty talks about facing down racial and gender discrimination in the past and the importance of preventing the return of discrimination through Prop 16.
  • Carlos Cruz, radio talk show host, discusses how Prop 16 chips away at individual freedom, at the right to “think and act for ourselves,” and at an individual’s ability to “do it on my own.” Watch video here.
  • Ling Kong, tech engineer, environmentalist, immigrant, Democrat, and Milpitas city commissioner, says, “I believe in equal treatment under the law, but Prop 16 is the wrong solution.”
  • Leo Terrell, civil rights attorney for 30 years, lifelong Democrat, now independent, opponent of Prop 209 in 1996 and now opponent of Prop 16, calls Prop 16 “a scam” and says “we do not need to favor one race over another.” Watch video here

Please contact us for information or to schedule an interview with one of the above NO on 16 supporters. Please see Mr. Steinberg’s updated memo here:

Ying Ma
[email protected]

Cindy Northon
[email protected]
(203) 680-0203