The Leadership Conference is working diligently to see that Tom Perez is confirmed as U.S. Secretary of Labor. Perez is an eminently qualified public servant and consensus builder who has dedicated his career to ensuring that all individuals are treated fairly and have the opportunity to succeed. He has served with integrity and distinction at the local, state and national level, compiling an outstanding record of achievement.
Connerly's Concession in Michigan Contradicts Actions on the Ground
Feature Story by civilrights.org Staff - 6/11/2004Ward Connerly, sponsor of the so-called "Michigan Civil Rights Initiative," conceded in late May that he will no longer attempt to qualify his anti-affirmative action measure for the November 2004 ballot. In what seems to be a contradiction from Connerl'y allies, who say they plan to push for the initiative in 2006, volunteers continue to collect signatures to qualify the ballot initiative for this November.
Civil rights groups across the nation and in Michigan, including the broad-based Citizens for a United Michigan coalition, said the concession serves as a setback for Connerly's divisive tactics and shows the lack of support for an anti-affirmative action initiative in Michigan.
"Connerly's decision to end his petition drive confirms that Michiganders have said no to what is a misguided agenda to subvert public support for equal opportunity for women and minorities," said Wade Henderson, executive director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights.
Despite Connerly's concession, efforts to move the "Michigan Civil Rights Initiative" (MCRI) campaign forward remain visible. The MCRI website, for example, continues to call for volunteers to collect signatures.
News reports in May said that Connerly pulled out of the campaign because of challenges to the initiative, including lack of needed signatures and court challenges.
On June 8, the Michigan Court of Appeals heard arguments on whether the petition language for the initiative is misleading. The hearing came after Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Paula Manderfield held that the "Michigan Civil Rights Initiative" petition fails, as required by Michigan law, to reflect the language of the state constitution as it stands and as it would be amended.
The Appeals Court plans to issue a ruling soon, due to the July 6 deadline to qualify the initiative for the November 2004 ballot.