Nearly 25 Years Later, Alhambra Contemplates Affirmative Action Again

A recently released news article features research done by CNK affiliates, centered on the damaging effects that came with the passing of Prop. 209 in 1996, which led to dramatic falls in admission rates for students of color. Specifically, Black and Latinx admission rates fell 30 and 36 points respectively between 1994 and 1998.

In a community as ethnically diverse as Alhambra, California, affirmative action is no small topic among residents. A policy that would enable race-conscious decisions in public education, employment and contracting is stirring up controversy once again as Proposition 16 on the Nov. 3 ballot.

After banning affirmative action in 1996 with the passage of Proposition 209, California voters will decide whether to reverse that decision. A “yes” vote would repeal Proposition 209, which currently bans the consideration of “race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.”

Although Prop. 16 is sweeping in its potential reach and could be used to implement a broad range of affirmative action policies, much of the discussion has focused on how it will affect admissions to selective public colleges, where students of color are most underrepresented, with the exception of some Asian American subgroups.

And for a vocal minority of Chinese Americans, it is the backdrop of a long and bitter fight against policy they believe will harm their representation on these selective campuses.

CNK Director Paul Ong commented on how focusing solely on how Prop. 16 may affect Chinese American representation on campuses is a short-term, narrow view of the issue. “The bigger fight is around how we address systemic racism,” Ong said in a phone interview. “I don’t think we could best protect ourselves … without having institutions and a society that’s committed to fairness, and fairness means that we acknowledge people of color are marginalized systematically.”

Access the full article here >>> Nearly 25 Years Later, Alhambra Contemplates Affirmative Action Again

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