When Walter Capps went to Washington, D.C., in November for orientation as a newly elected congressman, he found himself fielding questions about the California Civil Rights Initiative: "What's it all about? What's the impact?"
Approved 54 to 46 percent, the initiative prohibits state and local governments from "granting preferential treatment" to any individual or group on the basis of sex, race, color, ethnicity or national origin in the areas of public hiring, contracting or education. The intent, supporters said: To create a color-blind society. Opponents said: To end still-needed affirmative action programs instituted 30 years ago.
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