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Denver Mayor Hickenlooper to State: "Vote No on 46"

October 17, 2008

Denver, CO – Mayor John Hickenlooper has publicly announced his opposition to Amendment 46, which would ban preferential treatment or hiring quotas based on race or gender. Supporters are calling the measure a "Civil Rights Initiative," but opponents say it could actually be a step backward for civil rights.

Hickenlooper believes programs that 'level the playing field' are more important than ever if Coloradoans want to be competitive in a global economy. He also notes that the drive to get Amendment 46 on the budget, and the money to get it passed, have not come from Centennial State residents.

"This is an out-of-state initiative that's trying to override local control. If we wanted to do this locally, we could. If decades-old, even centuries-old, forms of prejudice still exist in certain industries, it's our responsibility to balance that out. But this amendment, I think, will ultimately undermine opportunity and equality for Coloradoans."

Hickenlooper adds he's concerned about the effects the measure could have on higher education in Colorado, because he believes campuses should resemble the community as much as possible.

"If those campuses become largely one ethnic type or another, that limits the educational vitality for everyone."

Backers of Amendment 46 say the state is at a point in history where everyone should be treated the same. Opponents argue that view doesn't fully reflect the reality of life in Colorado.

Eric Mack/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - CO