State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León doesn’t mind bragging on
himself. But at least he’s willing to go where many other politicians
fear to tread. For instance, as part of his 2016 agenda, he vows
to get more low-income, minority kids into the California State
University and, especially, the University of California – even if it
means looking into some preference in admissions. State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, wants more diversity among college students. In a sit-down this week with The Bee’s editorial board, the
first Latino to be Senate president pro tem since 1883 proudly said he’s
a product of affirmative action, though he knows that’s a toxic phrase
in politics. He also knows he’s on the opposite side from most
California voters, 55 percent of whom passed Proposition 209 in 1996 to
ban racial preferences in public university admissions, as well as
government hiring and contracts... As de León freely admits, he’s facing an uphill battle. In fact,
you’d think he might be a little gun-shy about raising this issue. He
wasn’t Senate leader then, but the last time, it didn’t go so well.
When Sen. Ed Hernandez proposed a constitutional amendment last year to
repeal Prop. 209, it caused a huge rift among Democrats between Asian American and Latino legislators. The bill passed the Senate, but was held in the Assembly...