Amendment 46 Infringes on Rights

  • July 19, 2008

Originally published: Daily Camera

Jessica Peck Corry suggests to the Camera’s readers that supporting The Colorado Civil Rights Initiative – Amendment 46 would achieve the laudable goal of ending discrimination and ensuring equal access to public employment, public education and small business opportunities for all Coloradans (Guest Opinion, July 17). Based on a thorough review of the facts, The Anti-Defamation League emphatically disagrees.

While cleverly and disingenuously being marketed as an equalizer and as a protection of civil rights, Amendment 46 is actually a guise for the elimination of many of the very affirmative action programs, which have successfully promoted civil rights for four decades, helping to right the wrongs of racial and gender discrimination in our society and assuring equal and fair access to the benefits thereof. In other states where similar initiatives have been passed, the results have been chilling. In California, for example, the number of applications for undergraduate schools from African-Americans, Latinos and Asian-Americans plummeted, resulting in significantly lower admissions among members of those communities. At UCLA, in 2003, admissions of African-Americans and Latinos was just over half what it was before that state’s initiative passed. Many women and minority owned business failed, and those that survived received over 50 percent fewer state awards and contracts. Colorado’s highly effective programs designed to increase opportunities for minorities and women in business and education, particularly outreach and training programs, would potentially be eliminated if this amendment passes.

Much of the money supporting Amendment 46 has come from out-of-state sources with agendas having nothing to do with Colorado’s higher values or best interests. Amendment 46 must be defeated to assure time-tested and effective affirmative action programs continue to be a part of our state’s ongoing effort to secure and protect the rights of all and to promote a diverse and equitable community.

AMY M. STEIN and BRUCE H. DEBOSKEY Boulder Community Coordinator and Mountain States Regional Director, Anti-Defamation League