Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis released the following statement after the Board of Supervisors approved her motion to support Proposition 16, a November ballot initiative that would repeal Proposition 209 and reinstate affirmation active in public contracting, employment, and education:


“Inequities exist and they have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. But we can change this. When Proposition 209 passed 24 years ago, it ended affirmative action at our public institutions. Our publicly-funded universities became less racially and ethnically diverse. Fewer government contracts were awarded to women. In the end, we were all impacted by these unjust outcomes.


“Unfortunately, California is one of only eight states that doesn’t currently practice affirmative action. But with Proposition 16, we can right this wrong. A new generation of Californians has a new opportunity to assess whether we should continue on our current path, or embrace affirmative action for our public universities, public contracts, and employment. 


“Our publicly-funded universities can help remedy injustices by giving a hand up to historically disadvantaged young adults. Education can help level the playing field and unravel the economic barriers that our communities of color and women face every day. Public contracts help our small, minority-owned businesses thrive, and equitable employment practices can enhance diversity at higher levels of leadership, from corporate to government roles.


“Race matters. Equality is in everyone’s best interest. With today’s approval of my Board motion, LA County demonstrates its support for Proposition 16 and embraces equity for all.”


Contact: Rosa Maria Santana, Deputy Director of Communications, rsantana@bos.lacounty.gov