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Demographic Change, Issue Frames, and Simulating the Vote to Repeal Proposition 209 Loan Kieu Le Department of Political Science, UC-Berkeley

By Taeku Lee and Mark Q. Sawyer


paper without first contacting us.On November 5, 1996 some 9.6 million Californians cast their votes on Proposition 209, also named as the California Civil Rights Initiative. The ballot initiative, authored by Glynn Custred and Thomas Wood, two Bay Area Ph.D.s, and supported by Ward Connerly, a Regent of the University of California at Berkeley, began with the bold if disingenuous statement: “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. ” These seemingly innocuous words meant, legally, that the state of California would no longer pursue any affirmative action policies in its public sector employment or higher education practices. California voters passed Proposition 209 by a rather comfortable margin of 54.6 percent for and 45.4 percent against. 1 The ten years since the passage of Proposition 209 have been marked by profound changes in the demographic composition of state employees and college students in the UC and Cal-State system. These impacts were particularly acute in the most competitive campuses of the University of California system, UCLA and UC-Berkeley. In 1997, the last year before the ban on race-conscious admissions became implemented, UC-Berkeley admitted 545 Africa

Year: 2010
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