California One Step Closer to Reinstating Affirmative Action

For immediate release:

(Sacramento, CA) – As a joint-author of Assembly Constitutional Amendment (ACA) 5, which will reinstate affirmative action and equal opportunity programs in the state of California, Assembly Member Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) released the following statement after the measure passed the Assembly floor today:

"We are in desperate times. Communities of color are in the middle of a depression and income inequality gets worse every day,” said Assembly Member Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles). “Proposition 209, California's affirmative action ban, has left a catastrophic legacy in California ripe for these tragedies to unfold. Although we are the wealthiest and most diverse state in the nation, communities of color and women remain woefully underrepresented in our public institutions. With the passage of ACA 5, we are a step closer to reversing the racist and neglectful policies of the past. As we move forward through these perilous times, we must stand together to bring our communities equal opportunity by repealing Proposition 209 once and for all."

We are living in a moment when so many are finally opening their eyes to the structural and institutional racism that has burdened the Black and Brown communities for generations,” said Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego). Once you acknowledge that, then the next step you must take is to correct that injustice. With ACA 5, we have an opportunity to do something. I know from personal experience—affirmative action allowed me a shot at college. With ACA 5, we can open up opportunities to attend an affordable college and end discrimination in access to government contracts.”

“COVID-19 only did more to expand the scale of a crisis that people of color have disproportionately faced for generations: excessive discrimination leading to lack of access to quality education, job loss, and homelessness,” said Assembly Member Mike A. Gipson (D-Carson). Without just looking the other way, we have the chance now to reimagine the scope of equal opportunity, to upend a system that denies women and people of color a fair shot at success and allows an unfair advantage to those who are rich and powerful in an uneven playing field. ACA 5 stands on the principle of inclusion and will restore affirmative action to help our state’s most vulnerable communities when they need it most.”

Assembly Member Miguel Santiago is the Chair of the Assembly Committee on Communications and Conveyance and the Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Los Angeles County Homelessness. He also sits on the Assembly Committees on Public Safety, Health, Higher Education and Utilities and Energy. He represents the 53rd District composed of the cities of Los Angeles, Huntington Park, and Vernon.