California Voters Reject Race, Sex, Ethnic Preferences in Government Employment, Education, and Contracting
In 1996, California voters passed Prop. 209, which generally banned race, sex, and ethnic preferences in government employment, education, and contracting, by a 54½-45½% vote. That year, the California Assembly was nearly divided (switching from 41-39 Republican to 43-37 Democrat); the Senate went 23-16 Democrat; Republican Pete Wilson had been reelected governor the year before.
In 2020, the California Assembly is more than ¾ Democrat; the Senate is almost ¾ Democrat; the Governor has been a Democrat for nearly 10 years; it has close to the highest percentage of Biden votes among all the states. The Legislature had put an attempt to repeal the preferences ban on the ballot (as Prop. 16), and the attempt got a massive array of endorsements from political and business leaders. The Yes on Prop. 16 forces out
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