June 15, 2019

HERE’S TO ANOTHER 80:  Today is the 80th birthday of Ward Connerly, the University of California Regent who, in 1996, chaired the successful Proposition 209 initiative. Happy Birthday, Ward!

Proposition 209’s core provision reads as follows:

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.

It is now, of course, part of the California Constitution.

This article, which was written a few years later, will give you a sense of how Proposition 209 was beneficial to minority students at the UC.

Later research (mentioned here) has found that between 1997 and 2003 Proposition 209 increased both the GPAs and the graduation rates of under-represented minority students at the UC. Plus it increased the rate at which under-represented minority students major in STEM. Not bad.

(Yes, I was one of three co-chairs of the campaign.  Yes, I’m proud of it.  Alas, since then, the UC has largely learned to get around Proposition 209.  I wish more resources had been and were being devoted its enforcement.)

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