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Resolutions & Amendments

33rd International Convention - Honolulu, HI (1998)

Civil Rights

Resolution No. 2
33rd International Convention
August 24-28, 1998
Honolulu, HI


AFSCME has a long-standing commitment to attaining and protecting basic civil rights for all Americans and has played a major role in fighting for civil rights on all fronts including Congress, the states and on the local level; and


In recent years attacks on affirmative action have escalated in Congress and in states throughout the country in the form of anti-affirmative action ballot initiatives. The American people believe that affirmative action has had a positive influence since over 60 percent of Americans support continuation of affirmative action programs; and


Affirmative action does not result in favoritism for women and ethnic minorities, giving them an unfair advantage over white males. Affirmative action laws have advanced fairness in the areas of education and employment for all Americans. Also, studies have proven that the business community likes affirmative action because it provides them with the solution to the challenge of creating a diverse workforce; and


Current affirmative action laws do not require or encourage the use of preferences when granting contracts. Current law in this area does not discriminate against white men. Businesses owned by white men continue to receive over 90 percent of all such contracts. Women currently receive only 1.6 percent of all contracts awarded by the federal government and all minorities combined receive only 6.1 percent of all such contracts; and


Anti-affirmative action legislation would result in weakening other federal sex discrimination laws and would further harm the progress made by women in recent years; and


Protecting the rights of gay and lesbian Americans continues to be a major goal of the civil rights community. Approval of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) continues to be a major legislative priority of the civil rights community. Its passage is badly needed to insure that gay and lesbian Americans are provided the same protection against workplace discrimination as are all other Americans; and


Employment discrimination against individuals solely because of their sexual orientation remains legal in 39 states across the nation. Every American should be judged solely on his or her ability to perform a job; and


ENDA does not create any "special rights." It simply protects the right against workplace discrimination; and


ENDA's goal is supported by the American public including major corporations.


That AFSCME continue to play a role as a member of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR), the nation's largest civil rights organization; and


That AFSCME continue to work in advancing legislation which is part of a national civil rights agenda including opposing anti-affirmative action initiatives and supporting ENDA; and


That AFSCME continue to work on a broad range of civil rights legislation including legislation in the areas of hate crimes, fair housing, education, Census 2000, domestic partners, and adequate funding for agencies charged with enforcing civil rights laws.


George E. Popyack, Director and Delegate
Virginia Diogo, President and Delegate
AFSCME Council 57

Joyce L. Rooney, President and Delegate 
KipuKai Kuali'i, Delegate
AFSCME Local 3339, Council 36