The California Democratic Party Asian Pacific Islander Caucus urges legislators to take action to restore affirmative action in California. Allowing race and gender to be considered in college admissions, hiring, and government contracting levels the playing field for those who lack personal connections or face discrimination, including API students, employees, and businesses.

After Prop 209 banned affirmative action in 1996, Asian American and Pacific Islander admission rates to the University of California, including Berkeley and UCLA, went down. While the total number of API students has increased, it is at a slower rate than the increase in California’s API population. Other states that continue to use affirmative action have seen faster increases.

We understand that college admissions is a sensitive issue for many immigrant communities. Being new to the country, without the connections to grow businesses, education is seen as the primary path to success. Affirmative action – especially if using disaggregated data (the API population is made up of many ethnicities and communities with very different incomes, histories, and challenges) – gives these communities a boost. It also opens additional doors through government contracting and hiring.

For these reasons, the California Democratic Party’s current platform calls for the following:

  • Support the re-establishment and implementation of equitable affirmative action in admissions processes at California’s public universities and colleges
  • Encourage, support, and defend voluntary and mandatory affirmative action measures aimed at enhancing equality in employment, education, and business opportunities
  • Support review of affirmative action programs and goals that ensures the implementation and results are carefully nuanced and uses disaggregated data, particularly for the large category of Asian American and Pacific Islander (“API”)
  • Support affirmative action, the rights accorded to women in Title IX, the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), and ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the U.S. Constitution

Thank You,

California Democratic Party Asian Pacific Islander Caucus

Deepa Sharma Alfred Twu

State Treasurer Northern Secretary

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