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Judy Hedding

Arizona Election 2010 - Proposition 107 / Arizona Civil Rights Amendment

By September 14, 2010

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In November 2010 voters in Arizona will address Proposition 107, entitled the Arizona Civil Rights Initiative. It arises from the House of Representatives (HCR 2019)as a proposed Constitutional Amendment. If passed Proposition 107 would amend the Arizona Constitution to ban affirmative action programs that give preferential treatment to or discriminate against any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education or public contracting.

UPDATE November 4, 2010: The voters said yes; this proposition passed.

Keep reading to see a synopsis of the pros and cons and find more information about this ballot measure.

Advocates of Proposition 107 say that:

  • "Prop 107 will ensure everyone in Arizona is treated fairly in public education, jobs, and contracts and that no one will be labeled as inferior or unable to compete."
  • "Racial and gender discrimination is never right, whether it is to the benefit or detriment of those involved. There is always a cost to those who are passed over in favor of those receiving the preferences."
  • "When someone is hired they should know that they got the position because they earned it, not because they helped create the right racial percentage."
  • "The Arizona Civil Rights Initiative mirrors the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act and advances civil rights by prohibiting discrimination and preferential treatment based on race, sex, and skin color."

Opponents of Proposition 107 say that:

  • "Prop 107 deceptively claims to "level the playing field," but there is no level playing field in educational programs, jobs, and businesses where girls, women and people of color are under-represented."
  • "Passage of PROP 107 will eliminate many programs that support academic progress and improved student achievement."
  • "State employers are already prohibited from considering race or gender in hiring practices. A person cannot be admitted or denied admission to any of Arizona's community colleges or universities based on race or gender in Arizona. The programs we have in place in Arizona schools today are provided only after students have been accepted based on academic merit."
  • "Prop 107, promoted by wealthy out-of-state interests seeking to make us a national test case, would end all state programs that try to improve this situation. We would no longer be able to fund programs that seek to prevent violence against women. We could no longer encourage women and minority-owned business to compete for state contracts. We could no longer encourage and support women students seeking to enter the high-paying (and economically vital) fields of science and engineering."

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September 28, 2010 at 2:09 am
(1) JR says:

This looks like yet another bigot bill. Beware, this proposition changes our state constitution rather than just giving us a new law or regulation. Beware of ANY bill or proposition that changes our state constitution.

October 2, 2010 at 3:09 am
(2) Natasha says:

JR has it right!!! Don’t be fooled by the talk of equality…it is a huge smokescreen ignoring the HUGE underlying problem which makes affirmative action necessary. The bill’s name is sadly misleading.

October 2, 2010 at 4:33 pm
(3) Matt says:

What is meant my the reference to under representation in the workforce? Imbalance is created when any government tries to regulate how many of any race/creed/origin/sex/religion MUST me placed in a particular position. Populations and socioeconomic scales are in a continual state of flux. How can anyone try to create a quota? MainStreetRadical

October 4, 2010 at 11:08 am
(4) Tan says:

I think this prop is a good one. Having been in AZ for over 10 years now, I have a huge problem when I see ‘Native Americans and other minorities encouraged to apply’. Why should they get preferential treatment? You should get a job because you are best one for the position NOT because an employer was afraid that if they didn’t hire the minority then someone would scream racism/sexism.

October 7, 2010 at 11:23 am
(5) Rick says:

Tan is correct to a small degree. But what is seen more in Arizona is when a qualified minority or women is denied the job just because they are a minority or a women. I’m not sure this proposition is the right thing needed. If there was a level playing field in job marked, this idea of preferential treatment would not exist.

October 12, 2010 at 2:01 pm
(6) ESM says:

Tan, think about those fields that things are not equal such as Engineering. Wouldn’t you want a woman to get equal opportunity eventhough she is a minority in the field or in a job opportunity? This proposition isn’t about race, its about minority groups including women. Thats what people don’t realize, they just focus on race.

October 12, 2010 at 2:45 pm
(7) Bill says:

I think this proposition is badly needed. Arizona has went too far the other direction in trying to hire minorities. Who is most qualified for the job should be the only criteria, not that you belong to a certain race or gender.

October 12, 2010 at 10:49 pm
(8) VoteNoProp107 says:

Visit this site and see what happened when Ca. passed a similar Prop in 1996. Enrollment for Blacks and Latinos was on the rise in UC Schools until a Prop was passed like this one and caused enrollments for these minority groups to fall!!


October 14, 2010 at 5:20 pm
(9) Brian says:

I agree with JR. This is the second time since 2008 that the conservative majority in Arizona has introduced an amendment that negatively affects minorities (remember the same sex marriage amendment in 2008?)

We have checks and balances in our government for a reason. The judicial branch has historically been the defender of minorities’ rights from the tyranny of majority rule. But by using the amendment process, whichever party has the majority in the state Legislature can bypass judicial review (i.e. what FOX News refers to as “activist judges legislating from the bench.”)

Not that it will ever happen, but a 2/3 majority should be required with both the Legislature AND with voters to pass an amendment. That way, only issues which have strong bipartisan support could make their way into the constitution.

October 19, 2010 at 7:57 pm
(10) Shawn says:

YES on Prop 107. We all want equal rights and this bill is about equality. Its about being accepted because of what you can do not what skin color you are. There are many grants for schooling many loan opportunities for schooling that are aimed at the minority why should money only begiven to those of a certain race? why should jobs be given to those of certain race? contracts to those of a certain race? reverse discrimination doesnt make it right. Any discrimination is wrong and there are better ways of dealing with discrimination than affirmative action.

October 25, 2010 at 4:07 pm
(11) Alex says:

ESM, a system is already in place to deal with discrimination issues in the workplace, called the EEOC. Furthermore, the fact that women are underrepresented in technical fields is more of a problem with discrimination with their upbringing rather than with employers. Girls are not interested with technical fields because those are not considered to be feminine. Engineering companies would actually consider gender or minority traits a positive in the hiring process (provided said minority has a good resume that is competitive with those of other applicants.

October 28, 2010 at 4:48 pm
(12) Wayne says:

Both sides of this argument have negative aspects. The right way to place any individual in a position is based on the ability to best serve that position. With that said, by passing the bigots will have the ability to disciminate, but if it doesn’t then people who have spent their entire careers developing their skills can be eliminated due to a government mandated quota. I would say lets pass this prop and follow it up with a fair competition proposition that allows for prosecution of selecting individuals, the priorly mentioned bigots, to be held accountable. If I have the best qualifications and I can prove it, then I should get the position. In the past, I have been disqualified from being hired because they already had the required number of White males, and I was openly told I was the most qualified. How is that not discrimination? No system is entirely fair, but I have seen affirmative action exploited. I would rather have a system that gives everyone a equal chance.

November 1, 2010 at 8:59 pm
(13) Nan44brats says:

Having to hire a certain percentage of minorities is discrimination. The best person for the job gets the job. Period.

November 2, 2010 at 1:38 pm
(14) WhatIsEquality says:

First, affirmative action is one of the most dividing political mistakes. Equality is not born through overcompensation. Equality is the idea that two people will be compared by their potential, experience, and integrity no matter their gender or skin color.

Government shall ensure true equality, where all colors and genders are equally capable, and thereby equally punishable, for discrimination.

I think we all need to think carefully about what equality really means, and how we can promote the true integration of everyone in our community in the long run.

November 3, 2010 at 12:50 pm
(15) MP says:

Racism will never go away as long as programs like Affirmative Action are in place. As Martin Luther King stated, “Judge me by the content of my character, not by the color of my skin!”. The true way to make racism go away is to stand up and be heard, right the wrongs when you see it and don’t stop when other groups try to bully you into submission. This proposition IS a step in the right direction, but only if people truly stand up against bigots when they expose themselves.

November 13, 2010 at 3:28 pm
(16) MCR says:

As a Black woman, i am glad affirmative action in AZ has gone away.

Here’s one reason why:

I am tired of being hired based on my skin color, only to have the job for six months and then the employer finds some hair brained reason to let me go. This has happened to me at least 3 times – (first 6 months is/was when an employer received a tax break for hiring minorities).

Hire me for what i can do. PERIOD!

November 14, 2010 at 2:00 pm
(17) Daniel says:

I’m glad that the people of Arizona have the vision to pass this bill. As with other nationally aggressive measures Arizonians have taken, we see a vision for our country.

Phoenix is not a testing ground, it is the las bastion for Americans of various ethnical lineages…myself a French Canadian, American Indian, ScotchIrish, English, German, Polish AMERICAN.

My two newest versions, or “nephews” are 10 ethnicities deep in this land of immigrants, they picked up Italian and Hispanic!

So as previously posted, we must be seen by our character, our spirits. We cannot look to others to help, unless we have the humility to ask. Yes, it is painful to have or see anyone oppressed, that’s what makes us the best people in the World! But sometimes, it just as hard to acknowledge it.

No law should ever be created without considering its use frequently and timely. To me, the pendulum has swung too far too long on too many “civil” mandates. This law corrects that, putting the responsibility back in the hands of the citizen, the American of whatever and almost anything, citizen. That is us.

So please my fellow, beautiful Americans, the Red, the Black, the White, the Brown and the Blue. When you see someone acting like a total a$$$. Please, find the personal strength to call them out. And find a REAL American to help.

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