Schwarzenegger Flunked on Fairness

Sacramento, CA—The Applied Research Center, an Oakland-based public policy and research institute, released a report today on the voting record of California's legislature and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. California's New Majority: 2004 Legislative Report Card on Race highlights ten bills that passed in the last session that would have had the most direct impact on communities of color.

"Race has become a key factor in California's legislative agenda," said Menachem Krajcer, Senior Policy Analyst at the Applied Research Center and author of the report. "This is the first report to look comprehensively at the racial equity record of the legislature."

Key findings include:

    •    Both the State Assembly and the State Senate earned a "C" for support of racial equity;

    •    Schwarzenegger received an "F" for vetoing 70 percent of the racial equity bills;

    •    Only two racial equity bills received significant support from both parties;

    •    Thirty-four Assembly Members and eleven Senators made the honor role with 100 percent support for the racial equity bills. Only 3 Republicans received passing grades.

Report authors note that without the governor's veto, all ten of the bills advancing racial equity would have been made law. "Schwarzenegger promised to level the playing field," said Johnson. "But instead he kicked sand in our faces by refusing to sign important racial justice legislation."

Johnson and Krajcer will be available on a toll-free conference call on Thursday, February 24 at 10:00 a.m. PST. Solomon Rivera, Executive Director of Californians for Justice, and Bertha Gorman, Legislative Advocate of the California NAACP will also respond.

Callers will be on hold until the press conference begins. A question-and-answer period will follow a brief presentation. A recording of the conference call will be repeated at 1:00 p.m., Feb. 24 at the same toll-free number .