The California Business Roundtable Supports Proposition 16

Rob Lapsley
President, California Business Roundtable

The California Business Roundtable (CBRT) Board of Directors has voted to support Proposition 16, the November ballot measure that will repeal Prop 209 and remove the ban on affirmative action involving race-based or sex-based preferences from the California Constitution. The Board of Directors voted to support Prop. 16 as part of a broader ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion, both within CBRT itself, and in the broader business community.

The board chairman, Brett Bittel, said, “Proposition 16 will help allow small, minority-owned and women-owned businesses better access to capital, especially in applying for and receiving important state contracts. However, Prop. 16 must be just the beginning of a broader effort by the state. The state must also remove the significant bureaucratic barriers that make it cost-prohibitive for many businesses to engage in the state bidding process.

“The broader business community is already working to make substantial improvements to diversify supply chains to support more minority- and women-owned businesses. Prop. 16 will remove existing barriers and allow the state to make that same commitment. Prop. 16 is even more critical now, when small, women- and minority-owned businesses are disproportionately affected by the ongoing economic shutdown and support its passage in November.”

At the same time, the CBRT Board of Directors adopted a long-term diversity and inclusion plan as well as a set of guiding principles for the organization and its members.

Like organizations throughout the country, CBRT has been undergoing a months-long project to determine ways in which we can expand and support better diversity in the business community and within our own organization. The result is a long-term, meaningful approach that includes a set of clear metrics on which we will be held accountable. As the business organization whose membership includes CEOs and senior leadership of some of California’s largest employers, we are committed to engaging in the C-suite conversation, backed by data to be collected by the Center for Jobs and the Economy.

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