AAAA News Release
For Immediate Release: October 29, 2010
Contact: Shirley J. Wilcher (240) 893-9475
Association of diversity and civil rights professionals urges Arizona voters to vote “No”
Washington, DC, October 29, 2010 - The American Association for Affirmative Action (AAAA), an association of equal opportunity, diversity and affirmative action professionals founded in 1974, calls upon Arizona voters to reject Proposition 107, whose intention is to end state affirmative action programs. On Election Day, the electorate will vote on the so-called Arizona Civil Rights Initiative, which will amend Article II of the state constitution. The language of the Initiative is:
“Discrimination or preferential treatment prohibited
Section 36. This 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.”
This is a creature of Ward Connerly, the former University of California Regent who spearheaded Proposition 209 that ended affirmative action in the state. A form of Proposition 209 was passed in Washington State, Michigan and Nebraska.
AAAA President Gregory T. Chambers stated: “Proposition 107, along with others sponsored by Ward Connerly and the American Civil Rights Institute, have only one purpose: to end the advances made by women and minorities in employment, education and contracting.” Affirmative action laws were added as a means of promoting equal opportunity and remedying the effects of discrimination. “Affirmative action is necessary and fair, prevents discrimination and gives everyone an opportunity to compete regardless of race, ability or gender” added Mr. Chambers. “It minimizes the preferences that some have enjoyed for centuries.”
Discrimination is grounded in prejudice resulting in unjust exclusion of qualified individuals in the workplace, academe and government contracting. There is a well-established history of discrimination against Asians and Hispanics as well as African Americans, women and individuals with disabilities. As demographic changes increase the numbers of those individuals in the USA, it is important to ensure that they have the opportunity and preparation to take their rightful place among today’s and tomorrow’s leaders. Forty-five years is too soon to end a program that promotes diversity and redresses years of exclusion.
AAAA urges Ward Connerly and interested voters to visit the website (www.affirmativeaction.org) and contact the leadership if they have questions about affirmative action, how it works and what it is intended to accomplish. “If you are truly concerned about equal opportunity for all, have a dialogue with us in order to be properly informed about affirmative action law and policy,” said Mr. Chambers.