The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights  & The Leadership Conference Education Fund
The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

Ward Connerly's Anti-Equal Opportunity Efforts

Ward Connerly, a California businessman and former University of California regent, has tried to enact ballot initiatives in various states to eliminate equal opportunity initiatives in higher education, employment, and contracting. Connerly is president of the anti-equal opportunity American Civil Rights Institute.

DECODING CONNERLY: Ward Connerly Research Fact Sheet

2008 Initiatives (Colorado, Nebraska, Arizona, Oklahoma, Missouri)

Connerly tried to pass anti-equal opportunity ballot initiatives in five states in 2008 – Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma.

In November 2008, voters in Colorado rejected Amendment 46 (49 percent - 51 percent), becoming the first state to vote down a Connerly anti-equal opportunity ballot initiative. Connerly's initiatives failed to make the ballot in Arizona, Missouri, and Oklahoma.

However, Nebraska voters passed Initiative 424 (58 percent - 42 percent), making Nebraska the fourth state to ban equal opportunity.

Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (Proposal 2)

The Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (MCRI), also called Proposal 2, was a ballot initiative that passed on November 7, 2006. The proposal became law on December 22, 2006. Proposal 2 bans "the use of affirmative action programs that give preferential treatment" in state contracting, employment, and higher education.

University of California

Colorado Civil Rights Act

On March 26, 2004, the Colorado Senate defeated legislation --18 to 17 -- that would have eradicated equal opportunity programs in the state.

California Proposition 54

On October 7, 2003, residents in California defeated ballot initiative Proposition 54 — otherwise known as the Classification on Race, Ethnicity, Color, and National Origin (CRECNO) initiative.

California Proposition 209

On November 5, 1996 California voters approved an initiative amending the State Constitution's Article 1, Sec. 31, to prohibit "preferential treatment" based on "race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin" by the State or any of its subdivisions or in strumentalities in employment, education or contracting programs.

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