ADL Commends California Voters for Defeating Proposition 54
San Francisco, CA, Oct. 8, 2003 -- The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) applauds California voters for overwhelmingly rejecting Proposition 54, by a margin of 64 percent to 36 percent. Proposition 54 would have banned state agencies, schools and employers from maintaining records on race or ethnic origin.
ADL's main concern with Proposition 54 was how it would affect law enforcement's ability to collect racial, ethnic or national origin information to track hate crimes or acts of racial profiling.
"With the rejection of Proposition 54, law enforcement can continue its critical work of protecting Californians and keeping the lines of communication open with state agencies and the public regarding hate crimes data and racial profiling incidents," said Jonathan Bernstein, Director of ADL's Central Pacific Region.
ADL has been a leader in the area of hate crimes. The League wrote the model hate crimes statue more than 25 years ago, which 46 states and the federal government have enacted. ADL also serves as an advocate for hate crime victims as well as a clearinghouse for the community to report hate crime incidents.
"Hate crimes continue to be a serious problem in California and throughout the country. With the defeat of Proposition 54, the tremendous progress of the Attorney General's office in tracking hate crimes and prosecuting the perpetrators will not be in jeopardy," said Mr. Bernstein. Annual hate crimes reports will continue to be issued and resources will be dedicated to communities that need it the most," he added.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.