Michigan Board of State Canvassers Approves Language for Anti-Affirmative Action Ballot Initiative:

Media 01.20,06

As ordered by the Michigan Court of Appeals, the Michigan Board of State Canvassers today considered and approved the ballot language for the anti-affirmative action initiative, the so-called “Michigan Civil Rights Initiative” (MCRI), sponsored by California businessman Ward Connerly.

“We oppose this deceptive initiative,” said Wade Henderson, executive director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, the nation’s oldest, largest, and most diverse civil and human rights coalition. “We are disappointed that Connerly’s word games are reflected in the ballot language, however, we are confident that Michigan voters, upon learning the intent of MCRI, will come out in droves to oppose the initiative.”

Despite great controversy over the legitimacy of Connerly’s MCRI, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled at the end of last year to place the proposed [state] constitutional amendment on Michigan’s November 2006 ballot.

“If passed MCRI would roll back the progress Michigan has made in providing equal access to opportunities for Michigan women and minorities and chip away at the Supreme Court’s 2003 decision in Grutter v. Bollinger to defend equal opportunity for all Americans,” added Henderson.

LCCR has launched a new web site – lcprd.actbot.co/campaigns/michigan – that provides educational and grassroots action tools for Michigan voters and activists who support and want to protect equal opportunity in their state.

A broad, bipartisan coalition of national, state and local organizations opposed to Connerly’s deceptive initiative have organized under One United Michigan (www.oneunitedmichigan.org). The coalition includes the Michigan Catholic Conference, Business & Professional Women, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Michigan Education Association, NAACP, Detroit Renaissance, ACLU, Michigan Federation of Teachers, American Association of University Women, National Council of Jewish Women, YWCA, AFL-CIO, and AFSCME, among others. Over the next several months One United Michigan will work hard to make sure Michigan voters understand the true intent of MCRI.