When then Assemblyman Hernandéz put forward Assembly Bill 2047 to enable discrimination in our post-secondary schools, it should have been a wake up call to all of us. But instead, one party completely backed him and the other opposed. Thankfully, Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed it. Then, as a Senator, he brought forward Senate Bill 185 and again, the bill flew through on party lines, Democrats for it and Republicans opposed. Thankfully, Governor Brown vetoed that one. Hernandéz’ next attempt was a Constitutional Amendment (SCA 5) that not only would have enabled discrimination in our colleges, but at ALL levels of education. That’s right, the word “postsecondary” was removed from the law. If SCA 5 were to pass, it would mean that discrimination would be enabled at ANY level of public school district if it were passed by the voters.
Some referred to SCA 5 as an “act” or other cute terms. This was no mere bill going through the legislature. It was an amendment to our constitution – the very basis of the laws of the land. Thankfully, we stood up louder than ever, and together with all people who abhor discrimination, we stopped it. But our work is not over. Diligence and communication are key and I am committed to ensure that bills and constitutional amendments like this one do not go unnoticed again.