CALIFORNIA – This week, Marc Morial, President of the National Urban League, endorsed Proposition 16 and addressed the state’s business pipeline, stating that California’s lack of Black representation in business started with Proposition 209.

For those that don’t know, Proposition 16 is a California ballot measure that would end the ban on affirmative action in the state, which would effectively work to dismantle the structural racism that prevents women and people of color from equal access to hiring, promotions, and state university admission decisions.

More importantly, this year California has the chance to pass Proposition 16, which will provide good jobs, better wages, and access to better schools for all Californians. With the potential reintroduction of affirmative action, Californians can expect to see drastic changes within the public space.

In his op-ed titled “California’s Corporate Pipeline Needs A Refresh,” Marc Morial said that”…without affirmative action, women and minorities are paid less, given fewer chances at top jobs, and denied the types of career-making opportunities that White men use to climb the corporate ladder.”

“According to Institutional Shareholder Services, only 7.3% of the five highest-paid executives at financial companies in the Russell 3000 were racial or ethnic minorities. Heidrick & Struggles also reports that African Americans made up just 10% of new director appointments in the Fortune 500 last year.”

However, and as Morial continues, it doesn’t have to be that way. “California can join the 41 other states that already have affirmative action as a tool to level the playing field by considering race and gender when making college admission decisions that can springboard young people into coveted business roles.”

Currently, the median net worth of White high school dropouts is 70 percent higher than that of Black adults with some college education; for every $100 in White male wealth, a Black woman has 83 cents… Should Proposition 16 be passed, these inequities would be addressed accordingly.