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Resolutions & Amendments

36th International Convention - Anaheim, CA (2004)

Defend Affirmative Action; Call for Ward Connerly to Resign as University of California Regent

Resolution No. 92
36th International Convention
June 21 - 25, 2004
Anaheim, CA


In June 2002, the 35th AFSCME International Convention passed a resolution submitted by the International Executive Board entitled "CIVIL RIGHTS," which stated in part;


Affirmative Action has successfully extended equal opportunities to qualified women and people of color for over 25 years, leveling the playing field and encouraging diversity in the areas of education, employment, and government contracting. Affirmative action is not about quotas, which are illegal. Affirmative action is not about giving unqualified people jobs. Affirmative action is about addressing the nation's long history of discrimination; and


On May 14, 2002, the Federal Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling in Grutter v. Bollinger that upholds the University of Michigan's affirmative action admission policies and is a historic victory for affirmative action…


That AFSCME is committed to diversity and full participation, both within the union and in society as a whole. AFSCME specifically supports efforts to uphold the University of Michigan case, Grutter v. Bollinger. AFSCME will send copies of the petition to support this case to all subordinate bodies and encourage them to circulate it among the membership and the community at large...;" and


On Tuesday, April 1, 2003, the day the Supreme Court heard the University of Michigan affirmative action cases, 50,000 mostly young people marched to the Supreme Court and the Lincoln Memorial, organized by the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration & Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary (known as BAMN); and


On June 23, 2003, the Supreme Court issued its historic decision in Grutter v. Bollinger, saying that diversity in higher education is a compelling state interest, and that affirmative action and the use of race as a factor in admissions were legal; and


Later that summer, the Ward Connerly-sponsored Proposition 54, which would have banned the gathering of data showing discrimination, was defeated by a 63-37 percent vote; and


In the spring of 2004, a new version of the infamous anti-immigrant Proposition 187 failed to garner enough signatures to get on the ballot; and


In Michigan, immediately after the victory in Grutter v. Bollinger, Ward Connerly attempted to gather enough signatures to put an anti-affirmative action initiative on the ballot. His efforts there have been defeated too; and


Ever since right-wing Republican California Governor Pete Wilson appointed him as a University of California Regent, Ward Connerly has been misusing his position to launch attacks on the gains of the civil rights movement. Until recently many thought that Connerly and his rich re-segregationist backers could not be stopped. Now it has been shown that effective legal strategy, the energetic organizing of mostly school-age youth into a new civil rights movement, and building mass actions — when fueled by the will to win — can defeat Connerly and defend our nation's hard-earned social gains.


AFSCME remains committed to affirmative action, integration and equality within the union and society in general; and


AFSCME will redouble its efforts to help whatever local and national forces are fighting to achieve these goals; and


That AFSCME calls on Ward Connerly to resign immediately from his regent position on the University of California Regents.


John Riehl, President and Delegate
Susan V. Ryan, Delegate
Michael Mulholland, Delegate
Victor Hunter, Delegate
Leketa Thomas, Delegate
AFSCME Local 207 Council 25