Ward Connerly a California businessman whose efforts have led to affirmative action bans in California, Michigan, Washington, and Nebraska may cease his nationwide anti-affirmative action campaign. Connerly told the Colorado Independent in a phone interview that he will focus his time on other issues, particularly prison reform.
Colorado rejected a proposed state constitutional ban (Amendment 46, see PDF) on affirmative action by a slim margin of 51% to 49%. The ban would have prevented taking race and gender into account in public employment, public contracting, and public education. According to the Associated Press, the measure’s language implied that it would end discrimination, but failed to mention the proposal’s effect on affirmative action programs. In an effort to educate voters of the potential impact of Amendment 46, the Feminist Majority Foundation’s Choices Campus Program undertook a massive voter education campaign in the state.
According to the Associated Press, Connerly has not ruled out another try in Colorado or other states. However, in his interview with the Colorado Independent, Connerly implied that his focus would shift to prison reform. “I don’t want to mislead you. I don’t want to say I am no longer going to be interested in race equality in our public policies,” he said. “I think this whole business of what we are doing to people who are incarcerated is far more pressing.”