SACRAMENTO – Assemblymembers Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-South Los Angeles/Huntington Park) and Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) were pleased to note the progress of Assembly Constitutional Amendment (ACA) 5 as it passed out of the Assembly Public Employment and Retirement Committee.
In 1996, California voters passed Proposition 209, which prohibited the state from implementing equal opportunity programs. California is now one of only eight states in the country that outlaws policies that promote equal opportunity for all. If passed by both houses of the Legislature, ACA 5 would place this question again in front of the voters, twenty-four years after the original proposition was passed.
Assemblymember Cooley voted for the bill in the Assembly Public Employment and Retirement Committee. “I want to express my thanks to Assemblymember Jones-Sawyer for including me over several years in the work of his Select Committee on Ending the School to Prison Pipeline and the Select Committee on the Status of Boys and Men of Color,” said Assemblymember Cooley. “Reggie personally reached out to me and in an effort to advance the Select Committee’s work and to further hope among young people of color, he urged that I support ACA 5."
Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer is the Chair of the Select Committee on Ending the School to Prison Pipeline, the former Chair of the Select Committee on the Status of Boys and Men of Color, and a co-author of ACA 5. "Proposition 209 is divisive policy and was initiated to do harm to people of color and women. Students of color have an abundance of obstacles to overcome including poverty and lack of educational resources - they do not need an added hurdle that serves to block access to our University of California, California State University and Community College systems," said Assemblymember Jones-Sawyer. "ACA 5 establishes equity and fairness in our higher learning and state contracting systems and builds on the great work of our committee to promote our youth of color. California's legislature has an opportunity to right the wrongs of Proposition 209 by passing ACA 5 and placing it on the November ballot. Today’s committee vote was one step towards that ultimate goal."
ACA 5 next heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.