Proposition 54

Media 08.14,03

Recipient: Calif. Recall Gubernatorial Candidates

Oppose Proposition 54

The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR), the nation’s oldest, largest, and most diverse civil and human rights coalition, urges you to oppose Proposition 54, the California ballot measure that would ban the state government from collecting data on race, ethnicity, color or national origin, except for some medical research or to meet court decrees and federal requirements. It is the mission of LCCR to promote the enactment and enforcement of effective civil rights legislation and policy. Clearly, Proposition 54 undermines civil rights policy and is a clear and present threat to effective civil rights enforcement.

As you may know, Proposition 54 is opposed by a coalition of health, business, civil rights, women’s rights, immigrant rights, religious, and labor organizations, representing a broad cross-section of the citizens of California. The LCCR (which consists of more than 180 national organizations, representing persons of color, women, children, labor unions, individuals with disabilities, older Americans, major religious groups, gays and lesbians and civil liberties and human rights groups) also opposes Proposition 54 and believes it is the duty of each candidate in this recall election to tell voters his/her position on this issue. Voters, who will be asked to vote on this proposal on the October 7 ballot, have a right to know where each candidate stands.

Proposition 54 is harmful to California and the entire nation because it would hamper the state’s ability to address disparities by race or ethnicity in healthcare and disease patterns, educational resources and academic achievement, and hate crimes and discrimination. Further, Proposition 54 applies specifically to race-related data in public education, contracting and hiring. It also would affect other state operations unless exempted by the governor and a two-thirds majority of the legislature.

Proposition 54 would prevent the state attorney general and public agencies from tracking race and ethnicity-based hate crimes and hamper community efforts to educate against hate. In addition, virtually every health-care expert in the state ? as well as former U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher ? has indicated Proposition 54 undermines tools necessary for solid health-care prevention.

California is the most populous state in our nation and any individual seeking to become governor must be capable of showing leadership on issues of importance to the diverse constituencies within the state. Proposition 54 is just such an issue.

Please let us and the people of California know where you stand on Proposition 54. If you have any questions, or need further information, please contact Brian Komar, LCCR Director of Strategic Affairs, at 202/466-1885.


Wade Henderson
Executive Director
Nancy Zirkin
Deputy Director

cc: California Recall Gubernatorial Candidates