No on Prop 209

Sharon O. Hoff (
Wed, 30 Oct 1996 11:24:00 -0700

Dear colleagues,

Prop 209 in california is an initiative on the ballot in California which
will have devastating ramifications around the country if passed. Over 17
states and the House of Representatives are waiting to introduce similar
legislation if this passes in CA. Please forward this message to all your
colleagues in California. Thanks!

The following is a brief summary of why you should vote No on Prop.
209 on Nov. 5. Please forward it to everyone you know. Questions can
be addressed to Campaign to Defeat 209 at (415)437-1454. You may also
look at the No on 209 web page at:


Prop 209 makes an amendment to the California Constitution that would
end affirmative action, prohibit equal opportunity programs and permit
discrimination against minorities and women. (Text of the relevant
portions of the proposition below.)

* Prop 209 would end or even reverse 30 years of progress toward equal

* Prop 209 could have far-reaching unintended effects, including
elimination of voluntary school desegregation programs and numerous
counseling, tutoring and student financial aid programs, and movement
away from equal opportunity.

* The initiative's wording is so ambiguous that it will invite
constant litigation.

* Clause (a)'s prohibition of "preferential treatment" is so vague and
overbroad that all public programs and policies which consider gender
could be abolished, including Women's Studies programs on college
campuses and outreach and recruiting programs which have been
instrumental in recruiting women into nontraditional jobs like
policing and firefighting. Even laws, policies and benefits relating
to pregnancy or maternity leave could be considered "preferential
treatment" for women and be prohibited.

* Clause (c), by not limiting exceptions to "occupational"
qualifications, could permit gender to be used to discriminate against
women when it has no impact on the performance of their duties.

* Such a complex issue cannot be adequately addressed by an "all or
nothing" ballot initiative.

** Prop 209**

Clause (a): The state shall not discriminate against, or grant
preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of
race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of
public employment, public education, or public contracting.

Clause (c): Nothing in this section shall be interpreted as
prohibiting bona fide qualifications based on sex which are reasonably
necessary to the normal operation of public employment, public
education or public contracting.




Sharon O. Hoff
Equity Training Concepts
3 Gaiser Ct., San Francisco, CA 94110
Phone/FAX: 415/864-0394

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