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Board of Education Unanimously Approves Board Member Nick Melvoin’s Resolution Supporting Affirmative Action Legislation (06-23-20)

Contact: Ally Salvaria, Comunications Director                                   For Immediate Release
Email:                                                           June 23, 2020
Phone: 213-241-6387



L.A. Unified Board of Education Unanimously Approves
Board Member Nick Melvoin’s Resolution Supporting Affirmative Action Legislation


LOS ANGELES, CA – June 23, 2020 – The L.A. Unified Board of Education voted unanimously  today to approve Board Member Nick Melvoin’s resolution supporting Assembly Constitutional Amendment 5, which would repeal Proposition 209, a statewide ban on the use of affirmative action in public agencies. Currently, the consideration of race and gender is prohibited in any educational policy decisions, undermining the ability to increase representation and address racial inequities in our school system.

“We cannot fully address the institutional racism or pervasive inequities in our country simply by choosing not to ‘see color,’” Board Member Melvoin said. “This approach not only discounts the lived experience of our students of color, but it also restricts our ability to dismantle these oppressive systems for future generations.”

“ACA 5 will help address the systemic bias and institutional racism which exists in many parts of society and help close racial opportunity gaps for our students of color,” Superintendent Austin Beutner said. “Progress is measured in deeds, not words, and it will be the actions we take now that future generations will hold us accountable for.”

The resolution was co-sponsored by Board Vice President Jackie Goldberg and Board Members Dr.  George J. McKenna III, Mónica García and Kelly Gonez.

“I’m happy to support this as a co-sponsor,” Vice President Goldberg said. “Affirmative action is slow, but it does have the impact of increasing diversity, and it can make a big difference in how we do contracts in public employment as a school district.”

“The adverse effects of Proposition 209 on public higher education admissions, public contracting awards and career advancement for women and people of color have been too many to quantify since its implementation in 1996,” Board Member McKenna III said. “This impact was especially hard on Black communities as it relates to precipitous drops in UC admissions and million of dollars in public contracting opportunities.  We look forward to exercising our full legislative advocacy to support the passage of ACA 5 and advancing the efforts to repeal Proposition 209.”

“In California and Los Angeles, diversity is our strength,” Board Member García said. “This amendment and the repealing of Prop. 209 has huge implications for our students and communities of color. We must be race-conscious to solve racial disparities and injustices.”

“Today, our District took an important stand to give our students the best chance to succeed,” Board Member Gonez said. “As educators, we know that our students are confronted with institutionalized and systemic racism throughout their education and career pathways. ACA 5 will help ensure we can close opportunity gaps that have persisted in our society and address the structural barriers faced by communities of color.”

“Affirmative action has always been a powerful tool in addressing the disparity of resources and opportunity for minority students,” Board Member Scott M. Schmerelson said. “Particularly now, when there are nationwide demands for racial equality and justice, I urge the Legislature to support Assembly Constitutional Amendment 5. Passage of this amendment will be a significant step in addressing inequities, structural racism and the needs of our most vulnerable students and will create educational and employment opportunities for those who for many years have suffered from discrimination due to race, gender and national origin.”

Nick Melvoin is proud to serve the dynamic communities of District 4 on the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education. Nick’s election to the Board in May of 2017 follows a career fighting for our city’s schoolchildren. He believes that together, with the right leadership, we can ensure that every student in Los Angeles has the opportunity to succeed. Los Angeles Unified Board District 4 includes the communities of Brentwood, Del Rey, East Hollywood, Encino, Hollywood, Mar Vista, Marina Del Rey, Pacific Palisades, Playa Del Rey, Playa Vista, Tarzana, Toluca Lake, Topanga, Westchester, West Hollywood, Westwood, Woodland Hills, and Venice.