Press release

Los Angeles, CA — Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez introduced legislation in support of Proposition 16, a statewide ballot measure that will appear on the November 3, 2020 general election ballot. If approved, Proposition 16 will repeal Proposition 209 and reinstate affirmative action and restore critical equal opportunity policies in government hiring, contracting, and education systems.

“As we navigate the COVID-19 crisis and get people back to work, we have an opportunity to rebuild a more equitable and sustainable economy,” said Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez. “We must strike down the ills of Proposition 209 — a racist and divisive policy that delivered on its promise to hold communities of color back. This repeal will help build a stronger middle class and create greater access for women and minorities to compete for business and academic opportunities that they were previously afforded.”

Women contribute trillions of dollars to the US economy. Despite the important role of women as the linchpin of their families’ economic security and key drivers of our nation’s prosperity, economic policies have rarely been designed with them in mind.

One study estimates that small businesses owned by women and people of color lose $1.1 billion each year because of the ban on affirmative action in public contracting. In addition, women workers have historically been heavily concentrated in low-wage and undervalued industries, as evidenced by the staggering income and wealth gaps that women, especially women of color, face in America.
Proposition 16 will help end wage discrimination against women — who still make just 80 cents on the dollar compared to white men. Latinas make just 54. It also means that more women will be able to achieve leadership positions in business, or create businesses themselves.

“Proposition 16 would permit the nation’s second-largest city, which has long had a population that is majority people of color, to move boldly forward in its work to achieve equity and fairness for all residents.  While Los Angeles has already been an innovative leader in these efforts, the ability under Proposition 16 to take additional steps to root out gender and racial biases in public education, employment, and contracting would dramatically improve our chances of swiftly achieving equal opportunity for all.” – Thomas A. Saenz, President and General Counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and Yes on Proposition 16 campaign Co-Chair.

The Council resolution will return to the full City Council for a final vote in the next few weeks.


Los Angeles City Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez serves as the City’s Chair of Public Safety and represents the 7th Council District in the Northeast San Fernando Valley which include the neighborhoods of Sylmar, Mission Hills, Pacoima, Lake View Terrace, Sunland, Tujunga, North Hills, Shadow Hills, and La Tuna Canyon.