August 30, 2002

California State Legislature Adopts Goals for Racial and Ethnic Inclusion

Encourages Californians to Engage in Dialogue about Race and Inclusion

Sacramento – The California State Legislature has adopted an historic resolution establishing goals for racial and ethnic inclusion in California. SCR 103 declares California’s “Principles of Inclusion” as the Legislature’s common aspiration for all Californians and as its guiding principles. The Resolution’s authors, Sen. John Vasconcellos and Assm. Sarah Reyes, hope its introduction will initiate public dialogue about one of California’s most profound and pressing challenges in the new millennium: racial and ethnic inclusion.

“The challenge of racial inclusion is most often presented to us as a legal or moral imperative,” said Vasconcellos. “Now this challenge is taking on a whole new dimension, vital to the current and future well being of all of us.

As most people know, California became a no-majority state in 2000. By the year 2010, 2/3rds of our workforce will be persons of color while 3/4ths of our retirees will be Anglo. Our economy, indeed our social security, will depend on the quality and productivity of that 2010 workforce.

It is clearly in our own self-interest to respond to this reality. And when history develops such that what is “moral” and what is “self interest” converge, we are capable of truly radical, truly heroic efforts and results.”

The “Principles of Inclusion” serve two purposes:

First, they are a vision for a California without racism and serve as our state’s goals for racial and ethnic inclusion. The “Principles” describe the conditions and outcomes under which California could claim victory, or at least significant progress, over racism and racial prejudice.

The second, more functional, purpose of the “Principles” is to serve as a vehicle for public dialogue.

“The “Principles” describe an ideal would in which racial inequity has been conquered. By adopting these today, we committed ourselves to doing what we can, as legislators and as individual people, to help achieve an end to racism and racial prejudice,” said Reyes.

Patterned after the Sullivan Principles, which helped end apartheid, the “Principles of Inclusion” were created by an advisory team made up of Californians from around the state and adopted by the Joint Committee on Preparing California for the 21st Century Committee in February 2002. The members of the 21st Century Committee hope the adoption and public release of these “Principles” will spur conversations about what racial inclusions means and what each of our goals for racial inclusion ought to be.

“Californians today feel profoundly disconnected from their government, and this reality is especially troubling given the social and demographic transformation taking place in the state today. The ‘Principles of Inclusion’ outlined in this resolution are an important step toward redefining the relationship between the people and their leaders, building trust, and promoting a more involved and representative electorate,” said Mark Baldassare, research director at the Public Policy Institute of California.

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