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Resolutions & Amendments

40th International Convention - Los Angeles, CA (2012)


Resolution No. 62
40th International Convention
Los Angeles Convention Center
June 18 - 22, 2012
Los Angeles, CA


Affirmative action, the set of public policies and initiatives designed to help eliminate past and present discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, is under attack once again in state legislatures, at the ballot box and in courts, including the Supreme Court; and


If successful, these actions could undermine the rights, opportunities and dreams of millions of Americans, consigning many to poverty; rolling back decades of progress; reopening old wounds; and sowing discord, division and discrimination; and


AFSCME has been committed for decades to diversity and full participation, both within the union and in society as a whole.  Affirmative action is proven as an effective way to promote diversity and remedy past and present discrimination. Affirmative action is about addressing the nation's long history of discrimination; and


For the first time in U.S. history, most of the nation’s babies are members of minority groups. The census has forecast that non-Hispanic whites will be outnumbered in the United States by 2042, and social scientists consider that current status among infants a harbinger of the change.; and


The educational benefits of a diverse student body in reducing stereotypes and prejudices that lead to discrimination are clearly documented.  Diversity in our schools and a solid affirmative action program at our nation’s university system are the first steps to reducing prejudice and stereotypes in America’s workplaces; and


            In February, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case, Fisher v. University of Texas, involving race-conscious admissions. In 2003, the Court ruled in Grutter v. Bollinger that schools could use race as one of the factors in achieving racial diversity. The Fisher case claims that the admissions policy, formed after the 2003 ruling, is unconstitutional.  Many see the Court’s decision to hear another case so soon as a signal they may be prepared to do away with racial preferences in higher education.


AFSCME remains committed to affirmative action, diversity and full participation within the union and society in general. AFSCME pledges to support and defend affirmative action and basic civil rights protections; and


We will defend affirmative action from attacks by the far right.  These attacks are often cynical ploys designed to create a wedge issue to divide Americans for political gain; and


            We will advocate for diverse student bodies and equality of educational opportunity. We are gravely concerned about the consequences of a negative decision in Fisher and will fight to preserve equitable college admissions.

SUBMITTED BY:     Resolutions Committee