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No on Propositions 53 and 54

September 28, 2003

Here are The Times' recommendations on the two other issues on the recall ballot.

Proposition 53. NO. Unquestionably, California needs to pay more attention to roads, state parks, sewers and other infrastructure. But Proposition 53 would be a bad way to go about it. The measure requires that up to 3% of the general fund be dedicated to non-school infrastructure. Since no new funds would be provided, other programs would have to be cut. A new mandate, robbing one part of the general fund to pay another, is not the answer. Vote no on Proposition 53.

Proposition 54. NO. This measure, banning most government collection and use of information on a person's race, ethnicity, color or national origin, is described by proponents as a leap toward a colorblind society. If only that were true. That race and ethnicity would no longer matter if government just stopped asking about them is not believable. Ending racial data collection would hamper efforts to curb racial profiling by police, to understand and treat racial variations in many diseases and to ensure fairness in government hiring. Colorblindness is an honorable ideal, but Proposition 54 would do nothing to bring it about. Vote no.

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