On Nov. 5, 2019, Washington voters rejected race-based affirmative action as in Referendum Measure 88 (R-88). The Asian American Coalition for Education congratulates Let People Vote and our national alliance of Asian-American organizations on this historical achievement in our collective pursuit of equality and equal education rights. 

The ballot result concerning R-88 in Washington signifies a triumphant milestone in Asian Americans’ civil rights movement nationwide. Started only in recent years, this bottom-up movement has gained consistent momentum in influencing policy making, winning public opinion and building national alliances. Despite being driven by grassroot efforts with limited funding, the LPV-led campaign to reject R-88 defeated a colossal opponent with the backing of deep pockets and the political establishment. In addition to local mobilization, the Reject R-88 campaign was also supported by a national alliance of over a dozen prominent Asian-American organizations, which was organized by the AACE.

R-88’s dismissal is a victory for all participating organizations, to name a few: the American Coalition for Equality, Silicon Valley Chinese Association, San Diego Asian Americans for Equality, Chinese American Alliance, the Association for Education Fairness, 80-20 DC Chapter, Dallas Fort Worth Political Action Committee, the Orange Club PAC, GOP-Asian American Association, Michigan Chinese Conservative Alliance, Houston Chinese Alliance, and the Chinese American Heritage Association. 

Washingtonians’ repudiation of racial discrimination in R-88 and I-1000 through the democratic process epitomizes predominant public opinions across the country embracing the fundamental American spirits of meritocracy and equality. To elaborate with the case of higher education, authoritative national surveys confirm that an overwhelming majority of Americans support merit-based college admissions while opposing consideration of race or ethnicity, which allies with AACE’s position. As such, the AACE vows to carry on this collective and just fight to champion equal education rights nationwide.

Dr. Wenyuan Wu

Asian American Coalition for Education

Via E-mail

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