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Coalition of civil rights and labor leaders urge passage of proposition 16


Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas was joined by key business, labor, civil rights and community-based organizations to urge Californians to support passage of Proposition 16. Yes on Proposition 16 is a California ballot measure that would end the ban on affirmative action in the state, working to dismantle the structural racism that is holding people of color and women behind in hiring, promotions and state university admissions decisions.

Black Lives Matter, the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, The Greater Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the Los Angeles Metropolitan Alliance of Churches, Community Build, Brotherhood Crusade, Crenshaw Chamber of Commerce, and Greater LA African-American Chamber of Commerce came together to announce their support for Proposition 16.

Los Angele County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said, “This is an opportunity to make it right. It has not been right or fair, particularly for persons of color.  If you want to make it right, vote ‘yes’ of Proposition 16.”

“Proposition 16 is about hope. It’s about getting a chance for our communities of color. “, said Ron Herrera, President of the LA County Federation of Labor.  “It’s time that we band together, as one community, to fight racism.”

Black Lives Matter activist Greg Akili emphasized that, “There has been no time in American history black people have had a preference.  Black people have been purposefully, deliberately, and methodically excluded from opportunity. Now, we need to take the same purposeful, deliberate, and methodical approach to including black people. Proposition 16 will do that.”

“Proposition 16 is surging in the polls because Californians are voting their conscience. Californians want to find a way to level the playing field for everyone.”, said Cherisse Bremond Weaver, Executive Director of the Brotherhood Crusade.

“Proposition 16 advances racial equity in public employment, contracting and education.”, said William Smart, Executive Director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.  “Passage of Proposition 16 will help women and minority owned companies reclaim over $1 billion dollars a year in government contracts.”

Structural racism in education, hiring and wages continues to hold Black people and communities back. The median net worth of white high school dropouts is 70 percent higher than that of Black adults with some college education; and for every $100 in white male wealth, a Black woman has 83 cents. Proposition 16 would help to combat these inequities, level the playing field and ensure that all Californians enjoy an equal opportunity to succeed.

As recent polling shows a surge of support for Proposition 16 across California, Sigma Pi Phi’s major financial contribution—which will be used to communicate to voters who have yet to cast a ballot in this year’s election—could make all the difference.

Prop 16 is endorsed by everyone from Senator Kamala Harris, Governor Gavin Newsom, the California NAACP, founders of Black Lives Matter, Dr. Bernice King, the ACLU, the California Black Chamber of Commerce, teachers, nurses, firefighters and more than 400 organizations.