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Equal Educational Opportunity Initiative

Campaign Update
300,000 signatures collected

Andrea Guerrero
Students for Educational Opportunity
Berkeley, California

May 15, 1998

Thanks to all who have supported student efforts to place the Equal Educational Opportunity Initiative (EEOI) on the ballot. With your help we have been able to collect almost 300,000 of the 700,000 signatures we need to qualify the Equal Educational Opportunity Initiative (EEOI) for the ballot. Though the April 17 deadline has passed, which would have qualified the EEOI for the November ballot, we have one more opportunity to collect the additional signatures by June 20, to qualify the EEOI for the next general election which is right now scheduled for the year 2000.

We Still Need Your Help

We need your continued support to meet the June deadline. With less than $20,000 and 2,000 volunteers we have been able to collect one-third of our signatures. In order to collect the additional signatures in the weeks remaining, we must raise at least $200,000 and must redouble our efforts to collect signatures.

Thus far, students have shouldered the financial burden of the campaign and can no longer do so. Our loan checks are gone and our credit cards are maxed out. This issue is too important for students to support alone and we appeal to all those who believe in fighting for equal opportunity. We need your help NOW!

It is imperative that we qualify the EEOI for the ballot. Proposition 209 has decimated minority populations at the most prestigious public universities in California. This loss not only threatens the moral integrity of this nation and calls into question its commitment to equality of opportunity, but also compromises the quality of education that our public institutions can provide to our students.

Thousands of Students Have Been Denied Equal Access to Education

Thousands of qualified minority students have been denied admission to our premier universities. The numbers of African American, Latino/Chicano, and Native American students admitted into these universities have fallen dramatically, and in the worst instance have fallen by as much as 50 to 70 percent at UC Berkeley. James LaGrone, an African American senior from Oakland with a 4.0 GPA and a 1390 SAT (San Francisco Chronicle: 4/17/98 p. A21), is but one example of the 800 students denied admission to Berkeley who had GPAs of 4.0 or above and average SATs of 1200.

Now at the elementary and secondary schools, enrichment programs that might someday obviate the need to use affirmative action in higher education, are being eliminated under the mantle of 209. Instead of building a bridge into the next century that carries us together in prosperity, we are building a bridge that stretches backwards to the last century, dividing us, separate and unequal.

You Can Make a Difference

The EEOI is an affirmative step towards increasing access and opportunity for all Californians and we ask for your support once again. We have run a lean grass-roots campaign thus far, and have relied heavily on supporters like you to send us donations and signatures. With the end of semester, we will lose many of our student volunteers who will leave for summer employment. We need your help now more than ever in the second half of our signature drive to ensure that this important initiative is placed on the ballot.

Sign a Petition, Help Gather Signatures, and Send Donations

If you have not already done so, please sign the petition, which you can download from, request as an attached file from email, or receive by mail from SEO at 510-601-8405. Help us gather signatures by distributing the petition in person, forwarding email, printing petition into newsletters, broadcasting information at meetings, linking your websites to EEOI site. Finally, please send much needed donations to Students for Educational Opportunity (Committee ID#972198) at P.O. Box 5247, Berkeley, CA 94705.

Published in In Motion Magazine March 9, 1998.