California State PTA Disappointed by Proposition 16 Defeat

SACRAMENTO – November 5, 2020 – California State PTA announces its disappointment over the defeat of Proposition 16 in the general election on November 3rd. The passage of this initiative would have changed how factors like race, gender and ethnicity can be considered in state hiring, contracting, and education admissions decisions, and would have restored equal opportunity in California.

“We are disappointed that Proposition 16 did not pass, as it would have allowed for greater equity in every aspect of life for the children and youth of California,” said Celia Jaffe, President of California State PTA. “However, California State PTA will continue to advocate for legislation and ballot measures that attempt to address the legacy of unequal treatment of underserved communities.”

Proposition 16 was intended to repeal 1996’s Proposition 209, which banned consideration of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in public employment, public education, and public contracting. It would have permanently altered California’s constitution, and put our state in line with federal law and most other states.

“Governance systems and practices that are rooted in social justice are essential to serving the needs of children, youth and families,” said Shereen Walter, California State PTA’s Director of Legislation. “This initiative would have promoted fairness, and advanced upward mobility, pay equity, and racial wealth gap reduction among people who face inequality.”

Proposition 16, which would have restored affirmative action in California, was in alignment with PTA’s mission to advocate for equal opportunity in education and in every aspect of life for all children and youth. California State PTA recognizes that everyone deserves the opportunity to succeed – regardless of their gender, what they look like, or where they were born.


About California State PTA: California State PTA connects families, schools and communities. We are part of the foundation of our public education system and a trusted messenger to millions of members, parents, families, educators and allied agencies throughout the state. PTA is the nation’s largest volunteer-led child advocacy association working to drive improvements in the education, health and well-being of all children and families. For more information, visit


Heather Ippolito
Vice President for Communications

Ignacio Barragan
Assistant Executive Director