Donna SternSeptember 8, 2011Affirmative ActionComments Off on Overturn Prop 209/Prop 2: What You Can Do
CRUCIAL TURNING POINT IN FIGHT FOR AFFIRMATIVE ACTION
For 15 years, California’s Proposition 209 has excluded tens of thousands of Latino/a, black, and Native American students from California’s premier public colleges and universities. For five years, Proposal 2 has done the same in Michigan.
We now have our best chance in years to reverse those attacks. On July 1, 2011, the Sixth Circuit struck down Michigan’s Proposal 2 because it violated the Fourteenth Amendment. Then, on July 8, Governor Jerry Brown filed a brief in the Ninth Circuit supporting BAMN’s claim that Proposition 209 violates the Fourteenth Amendment.
The Sixth Circuit as a whole is now considering whether to review the panel decision. The Ninth Circuit will be considering the California challenge in the next six months. Either or both cases will almost certainly end up in the Supreme Court. In every court, the decision will be close.
To persuade these courts to uphold the real meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment, we need a broad, united public campaign in support of these challenges.
When former UC Regent Ward Connerly attacked affirmative action through the courts, BAMN initiated and the NAACP, the UAW and others joined in organizing a demonstration of 50,000 persons outside the Supreme Court on the day that Grutter v. Bollinger was argued. That demonstration was the culmination of years of organizing. It was the crucial factor in winning the historic victory in Grutter upholding affirmative action in university admissions.
Proposition 209 and Proposal 2 have meant that this victory is not real in California and Michigan. To make it real, we need to organize a national campaign like the one that led to the victory in Grutter.
CAMPAIGN FOR PUBLIC SUPPORT NEEDED TO SECURE VICTORY
We believe that we need the following actions in order to win:
Petitions signed by tens of thousands of students and residents and resolutions of support from every student, civil rights and other organization demanding that the Regents and Presidents of the University of California and the University of Michigan end their “neutrality” and stand with us in court saying these proposals are unconstitutional. Download a hard copy of the petition here!
Conferences, forums, and rallies to mobilize support from minority students, from the black, Latino/a, and Native American communities, and from every supporter of civil rights. Fill out the volunteer form and a BAMN organizer will contact you!
Michigan and California are two of the greatest strongholds of the Civil Rights Movement. If we overturn Proposal 2 and Proposition 209 in these two states, the Latino/a, black, and Native American students of Arizona, Washington, Oklahoma, and Nebraska will be able to stop or overturn similar bans in their states. If we lose, we are certain to see more victories by Connerly and others like him.
We are fighting for what kind of future minority students and the nation will have. We ask you to join with us in making sure that we have an equal and integrated future.
We can win that future and now is the time to do so.