Thursday, March 20, 2014

Two Catch-Up Items: Pensions and Affirmative Action

Since we had a roughly one-month hiatus in blogging, here are two items that occurred during that period.

Pension Initiative

First, the pension initiative that San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed was fronting and would have swept in UC essentially is a goner.  It appears that the group backing it couldn't raise the needed campaign money so they instead filed a lawsuit saying the state attorney general's description was misleading.  The lawsuit essentially delayed matters so that the 2014 election was no longer an option.  (The initiative would have been postponed to 2016, effectively.)

Second, when the issue went to court, the decision went against Reed et al, so even if the initiative did appear in 2016, the wording of the description would remain.

Affirmative Action

Prop 209 of 1996 banned affirmative action in public university admissions based on race and ethnicity.  The proposition followed a more limited action by the UC Board of Regents.  After 209 was passed, the Regents repealed their version since it had become superfluous.  Prop 209 can be changed or repealed only by another ballot proposition. The legislature could put such a proposition on the ballot with a 2/3 vote which at one point Democrats had.  A proposition that would have repealed 209 passed the state senate.  However, it that point, pressure from the Asian community led to some rethinking by some Democratic senators and made it unlikely that the state assembly could muster the needed votes.  At the moment, therefore, the matter is in limbo or maybe just dead.

KCRW's "Which Way LA?" program last night dealt with the affirmative action issue.  The impact on UC was much discussed but CSU was barely mentioned.  Community colleges and transfers therefrom to UC (or CSU) were not mentioned at all. Note that since community colleges essentially admit everyone, affirmative action - active or banned - has no effect on their admissions.

You can hear the broadcast at the link below:

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