Los Angeles Times

Proposition 16 asks Californians to give affirmative action another try

LOS ANGELES - The end of affirmation action in California came almost a quarter-century ago, a time when people took to the streets in Los Angeles and San Francisco to protest racial inequality and as a presidential election stoked deep divisions in the state.

Now, Californians have the opportunity in the Nov. 3 election to decide whether to erase that decision, made by voters who supported Proposition 209 in 1996.

Proposition 16 would allow the reinstatement of affirmative action programs in California and repeal the decades-old ban on preferential treatment by public colleges and other government agencies based on race, ethnicity or sex.

Eva Paterson of the Equal Rights Society, an Oakland-based civil rights organization advocating for Proposition 16, said the real-world lessons of 2020 dispelled any notion that America is a colorblind society.

Black and Latino people have suffered the brunt of the devastation caused by the COVID-19

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