A lot is happening on the California ballot this election, but one thing the CA EDGE Coalition is paying very close attention to is Proposition 16. EDGE’s Executive Director, Zima Creason, breaks down why Prop 16 is so important to the organization, and why California voters should vote YES to ensure it is passed this November.
What is California’s Proposition 16, and how does it align with EDGE’s mission and policy priorities?
Proposition 16 reinstates affirmative action. That means that race and gender can be considered when decisions are made about employment, education, and contracting. It is a tool for equity that levels the playing field for communities that face discrimination. The CA EDGE Coalition supports Prop 16 because it directly ties to our mission of creating and sustaining pathways to the middle class for all Californians, including people that have faced barriers to economic mobility.
How has California’s ban on affirmative action affected economic mobility for some communities?
CA is one of only nine states that banned affirmative action. We see the negative impact when we look at representation. Women and people of color are underrepresented in high road jobs, leadership positions, and in educational institutions. High road jobs are those with family supporting wages, benefits and dependable schedules. Also, they earn less than their counterparts in the same positions and are awarded fewer contracts. Although a majority in California, people of color achieve prosperity at disparate rates.
How do you see the passage of Prop16 helping California’s labor market?
The passage of Prop 16 will increase equity in our labor market. The field will be leveled for women and people of color. Consideration of diversity will be valued again, and the labor force will be more representative of the community.
What is your message to voters as to why voting Yes on Prop 16 is good for ALL Californians?
All Californians benefit when communities are stronger. When parts of a community face barriers to employment and education, the outcomes of those barriers such as poverty—and all of the difficulties that come with poverty—impact the entire community. When we level the playing field so that all community members have equitable access to prosperity, the entire community reaps the benefits.
CA Ballots were mailed out the week of October 5. Election Day is November 3. Find out more about voting in the CA election at https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/. For more on Prop 16, visit https://voteyesonprop16.org/, and follow EDGE on Facebook and Twitter.