States Cast Important Ballots for Civil Rights

By Hays, Barbara | National NOW Times, January 1998 | Go to article overview

States Cast Important Ballots for Civil Rights


Hays, Barbara, National NOW Times


Across the country, ballot initiatives are an important focus of NOW's electoral work. In last November's off-year elections they were a major emphasis for NOW activists in several states. And right-wing opponents are creating still more work for activists in this new year.

In Houston, hard working activists successfully defended their city's affirmative action program. The program, which commissions the setting of voluntary goals for minority- and women-owned city contracting, is the first to face a ballot offensive since anti-affirmative action measure Proposition 209 passed in California.

The repeal effort in Houston received substantial financial help early in the campaign from Ward Connerly, a chief proponent ;of the California effort. However, Houston Mayor Bob Lanier campaigned on behalf of the program,.

He and other affirmative action supporters pushed through a crucial clarifying change in the ballot language. Unlike California, where voters were misleadingly asked if they wanted to ban "preferential treatment," Houston's measure was ultimately framed as a question of whether to repeal affirmative action.

"There was a significant gender gap in the election's outcome," said Jeanne Sommerfeld, president of Texas NOW, pointing to the positive effect of women's votes. And the record appearance of African-American voters at the polls ensured that the program survived.

"Our student chapters really worked on this too, which helped," Sommerfeld said. "The impact of the Hopwood decision here, which abolished affirmative action at all Texas universities, was especially motivating. Even though this was about contracts, it's clear the conservatives want to end affirmative action everywhere."

In Washington state, voters defeated a ballot initiative prohibiting discrimination in employment on the basis of sexual orientation. The measure contained broad exemptions for small businesses and religious organizations, but was in line with other state laws regarding civil rights.

Opponents used the tactic of referring to the initiative as "preferential in nature both in their campaigns and in the title of the anti-lesbian/gay coalition, No Official Preferential Employment (NOPE) - when in fact, equal protection was all that was sought. In addition, a gun control measure also on the ballot brought out the National Rifle Association's big guns, turning out a disproportionately anti-lesbian and gay vote.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

States Cast Important Ballots for Civil Rights
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.