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.
Support Declining for Michigan's Anti-Affirmative Action Ballot Initiative
Feature Story by Tyler Lewis - 3/10/2006In a setback for Ward Connerly and his so-called Michigan "Civil Rights" Initiative (MCRI), a new statewide poll released Thursday shows diminishing support for the initiative among Michigan voters.
Forty-seven percent of voters polled by EPIC/MRA opposed MCRI and 44 percent supported it.
Significantly, this is the first poll that has surveyed voters' opinions of the actual language that will appear on the November ballot.
MCRI will ban affirmative action and equal opportunity initiatives in higher education, employment, and contracting, if passed by voters in November.
Support for MCRI has declined by more than 20 points from an EPIC/MRA poll taken two years ago. Just 3 months ago in December, 53 percent of Michigan voters were in favor of MCRI and 32 percent were opposed.
Affirmative action proponents attribute the shift to increased knowledge of the effects of MCRI in Michigan.
One United Michigan/Michigan United (OUM/MU), a diverse and growing coalition of more than 60 mainstream Michigan organizations representing women's groups, educators, business groups, religious organizations, racial and ethnic minority groups, and labor, has held a number of successful events as part of their public education campaign to educate voters on the benefits of affirmative action and equal opportunity programs, and the potential consequences of Connerly's initiative.
Opposition to MCRI across the state has been strong. Ed Sarpolus of EPIC/MRA told the Associated Press, "Every major political figure in the state and the major manufacturers and businesses have come out against it. People who are looking to say 'I'm for it' can't find any friends."
"This poll indicates what we have known all along; Michigan voters, once educated about the true intent of MCRI, will not be fooled by it," said Wade Henderson, executive director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. "It's no coincidence that such a cross section of Michigan residents are opposed to this initiative."