SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — Calls for racial justice during recent protests in California and across the country are bringing back a controversial push to reverse California’s ban on the consideration of race and sex in public education, employment and contracting.

After Proposition 209 passed in 1996, Black and Latino enrollment at University of California campuses dropped significantly. The argument is again heating up about whether to reverse that ban.

“Anyone who would vote against it, I would wonder not only where their heart is but whether or not they have an inherent bias that veers toward promoting privilege based on color,” said UCSF medical alumni association president Ramona Tascoe.

“Every candidate should be evaluated on his or her merit without regard to race. That is what we are striving for in California,” said Stanford University public policy professor Lanhee Chen.

Before making his speech and voting yes on ACA-5, state assemblyman Evan Low received 3700 calls and e-mails in opposition to the amendment.

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