My “No on Prop 107” Piece For the Local ABC Affiliate

Please check out my No on Proposition 107 piece that I wrote for the local ABC affiliate, which (with a limit of 500 words) touches on some of the basic arguments I’ve made on this blog. Bonus points: check out all the racist comments left on the article!

Proposition 107 deceptively appeals to our belief in fairness, while it terminates many state-funded programs that promote equality and economic opportunity in Arizona today. Consequently, students and small business owners will lose much-needed resources that help grow our state’s economic and educational future.

Proposition 107 is the latest effort launched by the American Civil Rights Institute (ACRI), a California-based political action fund, whose members have spent the last two decades traveling from state to state trying to enact harmful, discriminatory laws under the guise of equality.

Supporters of Proposition 107 claim it will end the use of racial quotas in Arizona. That’s false: racial quotas do not exist. Proposition 107 will have no effect on racial quotas, because in 1978, the Supreme Court found racial quotas unconstitutional, and banned their use in all recruitment or outreach programs.

Sadly, ACRI’s misinformation on this subject obscures the real — and damaging — effects of Proposition 107’s passage: the dramatic assault on women and racial minorities in Arizona’s public universities and corporate offices.

To understand Proposition 107’s devastating consequences, just look west. In California, ACRI enacted a similar ballot measure that eliminated or reduced funding to all of the following: public school and after-school reading, science, and math tutoring programs that assist boys and girls; on-the-job apprenticeship programs for women and minorities; recruitment programs for women and minority teachers in K-12 schools and colleges; college scholarships for women and minorities; and outreach efforts for state contracts and federal grant opportunities to women- and minority-owned small businesses.

Enrollment of white, black, and Latino students in California’s state universities plummeted, while enrollment of Asian students skyrocketed, reducing student diversity. Only years of legal wrangling that cost the state thousands of dollars prevented battered women’s shelters that protect victims of domestic abuse from being forced to close their doors.

Proposition 107’s passage will have the same effect in Arizona. Our state’s economy draws upon the strength of our many small business owners, 30% of whom are women and 15% of whom are racial minorities. Our small businesses provide revenue to the state and employ Arizonans of all races and genders.

Our state’s economy also depends upon our three state universities – ASU, UA, and NAU – to educate our children, while also attracting other intelligent and passionate young people from around the world to our deserts. Students from Arizona’s state schools have gone on to become our doctors, our scientists, our co-workers, our business owners, and our children’s teachers.

Yet, the precedents set in California ensure that passage of Proposition 107 will decay our state universities’ appeal to local and out-of-state students, while it weakens our world-renowned research and academic programs.

Arizona cannot afford to be the latest guinea pig in ACRI’s ongoing political experiment. The cost of Proposition 107 is simply too high – too high to our state’s economy, to our state’s educational system, and to our very future.

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