Alan Greenblatt is a GOVERNING correspondent.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Having convinced Michigan voters to eradicate affirmative action in 2006, Ward Connerly and others are seeking to convince five other states to do the same this November, the Washington Post reports. Connerly specifically cites the success of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in the presidential sweepstakes as proof that preferences are no longer necessary "to compensate for, quote, institutional racism and institutional sexism."
Foes of affirmative action, which is meant to address current and historical inequities, delivered 128,744 signatures to Colorado authorities earlier this month. Similar organizations in Arizona, Missouri, Oklahoma and Nebraska are circulating petitions as civil rights groups and educators are mobilizing to defeat the measures.
The initiatives are spearheaded by Ward Connerly, the nation's most prominent opponent of affirmative action, who said he has raised about $1.5 million for the campaigns. He sees the November ballot initiatives as the next step in his drive to end preferences in public education, hiring and contracting.
"Without any doubt, we have to understand that race preferences are on the way out," said Connerly, who heads to Missouri next week to deliver speeches on behalf of that state's constitutional amendment, now tangled in a court battle over the ballot measure's wording.
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