SCA-5 Townhall Meeting in Cupertino Draws Protesters

By David Li,

Hundreds of Silicon Valley Asian American residents attended the Senate Constitution Amendment No. 5(SCA-5) townhall meeting at Cupertino Community Hall in the afternoon of March 2, 2014. The townhall meeting was moderated by Dr. Albert Wang, APAPA Chair. The four panelists were Bob Huff, State Senator, Lin-chi Wang, Past Chair, Ethnic Studies Dept, UC Berkeley, David Lehrer, President, Community Advocates, and Henry Der, past Deputy Superintendent, California Department of Education.
Two students hold up a sign outside Cupertino Community Hall (provided by Chinese United).

About 200 Asian Americans protested outside the Cupertino Community Hall before and during the townhall meeting. They held various signs against SCA-5, and chanted slogans such as “No to SCA-5” and etc.

A Chinese American protester mentioned that the goal of SCA-5 was very clear according to its sponsor state Senator Hernandez’s own words “California’s public universities and colleges should have all tools at their disposal to ensure their campuses reflect the demographics of our state.”

The sign held up by two Asian American students provided a rebuttal to Mr. Hernandez’s intention. “I study hard. Please do not reject me into UC based on my race.” Our public universities and colleges need the brightest and hardest working students to keep America the world-wide leader in higher education and technological innovation in the 21st century.

Many upset Asian American residents have expressed their disappointment toward the Democratic Party over SCA-5 in the state on WeChat, a popular social media mobile app. “Bob Huff and David Lehrer got all support from the audience while Ling-chi Wang and Henry Der got boos many times pushing for modified SCA-5. Now we know who is supporting our interests, the republicans,” wrote an Asian American attendee of the townhall meeting on WeChat.

The townhall meeting was co-hosted by United Asian Americans for Activism (UAAFA), APAPA, SVCA, and CMAIN.

Background About SCA-5

California Senate SCA5 tries to amend CA constitution to allow affirmative action based on race and gender in state college admissions. SCA-5 was passed in the California Senate on Jan. 30, 2014. It now awaits to be voted in the California State Assembly. If approved, SCA-5 will be presented to California public voters as a referendum at the statewide election on Nov. 4, 2014.

Some states allow affirmative action in college admissions based on social-economic status, but not on race. In some states, affirmative action is banned altogether. The following is a report of arguments from both sides on Michigan’s state constitution ban on affirmative action.