"This State shall not grant preferential treatment to, or discriminate against, 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."
That's the essence of Proposition 107, which prohibits preferential treatment or discrimination in state governmental institutions. You can read the language of Prop 107 here, it's only 2 pages long.
If Proposition 107 passes:
- Students applying for college will be accepted (or not) based on merit, not skin color, sex or ethnicity
- Contractors bidding on a project will win, or lose, based on the criteria for the project, not skin color, sex, or ethnicity
- People applying for a job will get it if they have the right qualifications and skills - not simply because hiring them fills a quota
What institutions does this apply to?
- The State of Arizona
- A city, town or county
- A public university, including the University of Arizona, Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University
- A community college district
- A school district
- A special district or any other political subdivision in this state
Opponents of Prop 107 include Representative Kyrsten Sinema (D15), who, according to StatePress.com, argues that we don't even have affirmative action in Arizona. "What we do have are equal opportunity programs," she said. "They are programs that allow people to succeed. Affirmative action is not legal in Arizona."
"The key drawback is to higher education," Sinema said. "This amendment, if passed, would prohibit state funding to serve populations that are normally under populated on a college campus."
Prescott and the surrounding communities were recently rocked by a controversial community debate on diversity and racial issues when questions regarding the mural at Miller Valley School arose. So, it was quite timely for Ward Connerly, founder and president of the American Civil Rights Institute (ACRI), to speak at the Republican Women of Prescott monthly luncheon last week. With a motto of, "Race has no place in the American life or law," the organization was "...formed to educate the American public, press and elected officials about the problems with racial and gender preferences in federal, state and local government programs."
Connerly came to speak in behalf of Proposition 107, approaching the topic anecdotally, sharing stories filled with charm and humor of his Uncle James as an effort to illustrate the need to move beyond race in our states and country. Listen here:
Connerly also sold copies of his book, Lessons from My Uncle James, Beyond Skin Color to the Content of our Character, noting that all proceeds would be donated to the campaign for Prop 107.