PRESS RELEASE: Prop 16 Campaign Issues Official Statement in Response to Bombshell Report on California’s Affirmative Action Ban
A recently released study by UC Berkeley Economist Zachary Bleemer found that California’s affirmative action ban, Proposition 209, has limited educational opportunities, lowered wages, and stunted economic mobility for Black and Latino students. The following is an official statement from Yes on Prop 16 co-chairs Eva Paterson, Vincent Pan, and Thomas A. Saenz about the findings of the study:
“The evidence is clear: California’s ban on affirmative action has helped nobody and held millions back. The nearly 25-year ban has shut a generation of Black and Latino students out of equal opportunity to a high-quality education. It has derailed dreams and depressed wages. Moreover — despite the efforts of the opponents of equal opportunity to sow racial division — the study shows that neither Asian American nor white students benefited from the ban.
For decades, we’ve known that while talent and promise are universal in all communities, equal opportunity is not. Today’s study spotlights the systemic barriers that we must dismantle for everyone who calls California home to be able to build a stable, successful life.
We cannot continue to ignore systemic racism or let opponents of equal opportunity divide us. The fight for racial and gender equality is on the ballot in November. By passing Proposition 16 to reinstate equal opportunity programs like affirmative action, we can knock down barriers to opportunity and permit all of our communities to thrive. That’s how we make California’s values a reality while building a stronger statewide economy for years to come.”