Residents of all backgrounds rally behind Prop 16

Patrick Doyle and Angela Kurysh

San+Diego+County+residents+rallied+in+support+of+California+Propostion+16.+

Brenden Tuccinardi

San Diego County residents rallied in support of California Propostion 16.

by Patrick Doyle, Staff Writer

Supporters of affirmative action organized a rally in downtown San Diego last Friday, Oct. 16 to show their support for Proposition 16 on the November ballot in California.

Prop 16 would repeal Prop 209 (passed in 1996), which prohibits California’s governments and public universities from “discriminating against or giving preferential treatment” to anyone based on “race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin.”

The passage of Prop 16 would allow for affirmative action in universities, or the increased representation of minority populations who have been historically marginalized.

“I understand that when you first read it it kind of makes you think they’re going to discriminate against people,” Nikki Sanchez, a first-year business administration student at San Diego State, said. “But I would tell them to really think about their workplace, their education…and really consider who they see there, what they’ve experienced, what they’ve heard.”

Sanchez was one of 10 speakers at the rally, which took place in front of the San Diego County Administration Center. The speakers came from varying backgrounds, ranging from students to local community organizers.

An array of participants in the rally stood behind the speakers holding up handmade signs in support of the proposition. Some signs read “no to racist divides, yes to equality,” with others reading “equal pay, equal opportunities, leveling the field.”

“It’s not just education,” UC Berkeley student Sarah Farouq said. “Prop 16 impacts every single way of life. It impacts how you get access to opportunities.”

Many at the rally spoke about the negative impact Prop 209 has had on California, and why they believe it has barred so many women and minority populations from having equal opportunities.

Prop 16 will be on the ballot of every Californian in 2020. A yes vote repeals Prop 209 and allows affirmative action. A no vote keeps Prop 209 intact, thus continuing to prohibit affirmative action.

Eligible California residents who missed the Oct. 19 deadline to register to vote online can register in person on Election Day, Nov. 3.

Confused by California’s propositions? Check out The Daily Aztec Voter Guide.

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