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April 1 , 2003

Survey quizzes region
on affirmative action, racial data

Full report

More than half of Sacramento area residents think the United States should keep affirmative action laws and policies, though they’re divided by where they live, gender, race, education and political affiliation, according to a survey by researchers at California State University, Sacramento.

The survey also shows 52 percent of the region’s residents think the state should stop collecting data on race and ethnicity. Such a change is proposed by the “Racial Privacy Initiative,” scheduled for the California ballot in March 2004.

The findings are the latest from the “Annual Survey of Public Opinion and Life Quality in the Sacramento Region,” and come as the Supreme Court prepares to hear a challenge to admission policies at the University of Michigan’s law school. The case has reignited the national debate on affirmative action.

Overall, 52 percent of Sacramento area residents said affirmative action is still necessary in the United States and 40 percent think it isn’t.

Residents of Placer (49 percent) and El Dorado (47 percent) counties are more likely to support ending affirmative action than those in Yolo (38 percent) and Sacramento (37 percent) counties.

Sixty percent of Republicans said it is time to end affirmative action, while 63 percent of Democrats said it should be kept. And 57 percent of women and of those with college degrees think affirmative action should be maintained.

The second “Annual Survey of Public Opinion and Life Quality in the Sacramento Region” was carried out by CSUS sociology professor Amy Liu and more than 30 students at the Institute for Social Research. They surveyed 996 randomly selected adults in the Capital Region from Feb. 15 to March 13. The margin of error is 3 percent.

A copy of the findings is available as a link from the press release at www.csus.edu/news. Additional media assistance is available by contacting CSUS public affairs at (916) 278-6156.

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California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
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