From One United Michigan, some good talking points:
What Is This All About?
A ballot proposal, deceptively named the “Michigan Civil Rights Initiative,” is headed for the November 2006 election. If passed, all state and local affirmative action programs will be immediately eliminated, including opportunities for equal access to education, jobs and contracts for women and people of color in Michigan. It will immediately eliminate all state and local policies that promote equal opportunity.
Who is Pushing This Proposal?
This proposal comes from California, where a handful of millionaires bankrolled Ward Connerly, a California businessman who personally profited with $1.1 million pushing anti-affirmative action activities throughout the country in 2003. His organization paid circulators in Michigan to obtain petitions by misleading people into thinking they were supporting affirmative action.
What Will Happen If This Proposal Passes?
All state and local affirmative action and outreach programs will be immediately eliminated. That means:
* No outreach programs to encourage people of color and women to enter key fields, such as police, firefighting and engineering, or to attend college.
* No programs to encourage women and people of color to stay in school and prepare for good-paying jobs in engineering, science or even construction and law enforcement.
* No programs to encourage men to become teachers or nurses, where they are under-represented.
* No affirmative action goals for contracting or hiring in state and local governments.
* It means that Michigan will go back to the 1950’s and 1960’s, when racism and gender discrimination was prevalent and women and people of color had few rights or opportunities.
Who is Opposing the Amendment?
Republicans, Democrats, civil rights groups, business, labor, social, youth, religious and women’s organizations among many others.