Congress Threatens to Eliminate All Federal Affirmative Action Programs

Action Alert

The full Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on Thursday, November 6, 1997 to determine whether they will send the deceptively named Civil Rights Act of 1997 to a full vote on the House floor. This bill (H.R. 1909) repeals all existing federal affirmative action programs and policies in contracting and employment.

If passed, this legislation will single-handedly halt over 30 years of bi-partisan progress that women and minorities have made in education, employment and contracting. It would eliminate programs that have opened the doors of opportunity for all Americans.

Urgent Actions Needed: We need LULAC members to make phone calls, send faxes, telegrams, email, and letters to their Congressional Representative's office urging him or her to stop this bill from being marked-up on Thursday, November 6, 1997 by the full Judiciary Committee of the House. If your Congressional Representative serves on the Judiciary Committee, tell him or her to oppose this legislation completely. The Capitol Switchboard telephone number is 202-224-3121. For further information call 202-408-0060.

How to Attend the Mark-Up: For those who live in or around the Washington, D.C. area, your presence will be very helpful at the Congressional Mark-Up. The Hearing will be held on Thursday, November 6, 1997 at 9:30 a.m. at: Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2141, Independence Avenue and South Capitol Street, S.W., Washington, D.C.

Points in support of Affirmative Action:

  • Affirmative Action is still needed to correct current as well as past discrimination in America: Affirmative Action is still necessary because of discriminatory habits, customs and attitudes that still restrict opportunities for minorities and women.
  • Minorities still earn less: Even with Affirmative Action in place minorities earn on average less than 80% of their white counterparts and white males still occupy 97% of the top executive positions at America's largest corporations.
  • Women still need Affirmative Action: The largest group of beneficiaries of affirmative action are women, but they still only earn 72% of what men make for comparable work.
  • Affirmative Action is Fair: Affirmative Action goals and timetables simply ensure that those who were previously excluded from the workplace have the opportunity to compete.
  • Elimination of Affirmative Action would signal a return to "business as usual": Without Affirmative Action, employers with a history of discriminatory practices would be free to return to their old habits with little chance of being discovered.
  • Reverse discrimination is rare: Although anti-civil rights politicians complain of "reverse discrimination," in fact only 1.7% of all race-based charges filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have been filed by white males.
  • Corporate America is for Affirmative Action: American businesses support Affirmative Action programs because they enlarge the pool of labor from which they can draw qualified applicants and because they help recruit a diverse workforce to match their customers.

For further information contact Selena Walsh, League of United Latin American Citizens, 1133 20th St., NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 408-0060,

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