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.
Michigan Releases New Guidance for Compliance with Proposal 2
Feature Story by Tyler Lewis - 3/14/2007
A new report released by the Michigan Civil Rights Commission finds that the recently passed Proposal 2 does not “end equal opportunity or the critical pursuit of diversity and inclusion” in the state.
"We believe this Report represents a solid plan for promoting diversity in a manner that complies with Proposal 2," said Commission Chair Mohammed Abbdraboh.
Proposal 2 bans “the use of affirmative action programs that give preferential treatment” in state contracting, employment, and higher education.
The Commission reviewed state agencies and departments’ programs and policies, relevant state statutes, and best practices in other states to determine how Proposal 2 affects state affirmative action programs. According to their review, eight of the state’s 45 state affirmative action programs may be affected by Proposal 2.
"We applaud the Commission’s thorough process to determine how the state’s public entities can promote values such as diversity that comply with the ban of affirmative action programs that give preferential treatment," said Wade Henderson, president of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights.
The Commission said that a diverse workforce will be critical to Michigan’s economic viability as the nation’s workforce continues to become more diverse. "Our state's businesses need a diverse, culturally competent and highly educated workforce to compete in the global economy, while the voters have clarified that preferences based solely on race or gender are not the means of achieving diversity. This plan merges both interests into what's best for Michigan," said Abbdraboh.
One recommendation concerns the controversial ballot process that qualified Proposal 2 for the November ballot. The Commission recommends that the Proposal 2’s petition to be placed on the ballot be disqualified if a Michigan state or federal court finds that the petition circulators engaged in a “pattern of fraud to deceive voters about the meaning” of the measure.
Additional recommendations in the report include: creation of programs that specifically address the pay gap between Michigan men and women; requirements that local governments examine pay structures so that they may ensure equity for all employees, including women and minorities; renewed efforts to eliminate the achievement gap in K-12 education; establishment of a consortium of higher education institutions tasked with promoting diversity and preparing for a 21st century economy; and the establishment of a Supplier Diversity Program to ensure fair and equal opportunities for vendors of all races.
"Proposal 2 was a clear objection to one method of securing diversity and equal opportunity. We believe that the goal of promoting diversity and the message behind Proposal 2 are not mutually exclusive," said Linda V. Parker, Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights.
Michigan voters passed Proposal 2 by a wide margin last November. The new report fulfills a directive from Governor Jennifer Granholm, D. Mich., to review and make recommendations on the state’s current programs that could be affected by the new law.