The moment which we are currently living in is clearly historic. No one living in America or throughout the world will forget 2020 and what it meant to be sheltered in place. Also seared into our memories and consciousness will be the many pictures of those who rallied in the streets, across our nation and internationally for social justice. This was not just because of the horrific homicide of George Floyd, but also about raising our collective voices to demand that systematic and institutionalized racism must stop directly targeting our African American men and women in society.
COVID-19 directly demonstrated to our Asian brothers and sisters that they too can be subjected to hatred, sideways looks and racism, as their families and communities have been targeted throughout the pandemic. Many of our Asian brothers and sisters have not often seen or experienced this kind of racism, but African Americans are subjected to it on a daily basis.
Now is the time for all people who share the belief in equality and equity for all to stand up. When we fight to ensure that each community has the opportunity to succeed, it does not mean that another community will fail as a result. Rather, it is the opposite. The joy of living in America is that when all communities are doing well educationally, it tends to lift each and every community financially. This very much applies to education and equal opportunity.
It is obvious that Assemblymember Evan Low understands that education is the great equalizer for all our communities, and as a result, supported ACA 5, which overturns California’s ban on programs that promote equal opportunity.
By voting in support of ACA 5, Assemblymember Low demonstrated that he stands with all our communities in creating equality and equity, despite a small and very vocal group who opposes it. Despite this small and vocal opposition, statewide polling shows that there is broad support for ACA 5 from all sectors of the community. Assemblymember Low truly deserves the support of and kudos from all our local communities, for taking action to tear down this barrier to equal education for all, and for standing with what is right and just.
ACA 5 ensures that any government solution to spur economic growth will help the most vulnerable in our community. During the time of COVID 19, this is especially important.
In the 21st century, the state of California needs to hire more women to leadership positions, contract with businesses that reflect the diversity of California and expand access to higher education for all Californians. For the United States to remain competitive, we must make sure we are working together, rather than in ethnic and gender-based silos.
We can’t continue to deny Californians an opportunity to succeed simply because of how they look or who they are. ACA 5 levels the playing field and allows all Californians to find a good job, earn a decent wage and get ahead in life and their careers.
Now that the state Senate has overwhelmingly approved ACA 5 all that is needed is the governor’s signature to put it on the ballot. We thank Assemblymember Low for his bold leadership, and you should too for standing with all of us, and for putting California on a path toward true equal opportunity for all.
San Jose Vice Mayor Chappie Jones was elected in 2014 to represent District 1, the region of west San Jose that borders the cities of Campbell, Cupertino, Santa Clara and Saratoga. Rev. Jeff Moore is the president of San Jose/Silicon Valley NAACP.