Published January 24, 2024
On January 17, 2024, the Encinitas City Council voted unanimously to not hire a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) coordinator and not convene a DEI advisory group. Even though four of the five Encinitas council members are registered Democrats, the city council has responded to concerned citizens and reason in shooting down the state-initiated DEI proposal. A parallel development is happening in another San Diego North County city – Carlsbad – where the city council will eliminate 12 city positions, including the city’s chief innovation officer and senior program manager for DEI in the next fiscal year.
On January 17, 2024, the Encinitas City Council voted unanimously to not hire a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) coordinator and not convene a DEI advisory group. Even though four of the five Encinitas council members are registered Democrats, the city council has responded to concerned citizens and reason in shooting down the state-initiated DEI proposal.
This positive development is a prime example of the culture war, waged by the far left to capture America and Americans in race-centric, identity-based illiberalism, finally reaching a turning point. And we must keep pursuing the shared goal of restoring and reclaiming America’s fundamental values and principles.
Mandated by the state through the Housing Element Plan, City of Encinitas contracted a DEI firm –Opportunity Consulting – to produce a study on reducing “barriers to racial and ethnic equity” in the Encinitas housing market. The final product was an ideologically loaded document accusing the city of clustering “[l]ow-income and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) residents” in underserved areas and recommending the city promote racial equity among “the city staff, policymakers, and public.”
And how did Opportunity Consulting reach the findings of inequities in the study? The DC-based firm first circulated a community survey that resulted in 129 responses (half of which came from the mayor’s donors), followed up with 21 interviews of local stakeholders and hosted a community forum attended by 24 residents. Not only were the cherry-picked survey questions biased and politicized, the entire research process was unscientific. Asking rhetorical questions presumptive of racial bias and drawing foregone conclusions based on a tiny sample are emblematic of the DEI camp’s modus operandi.
This time, even progressive local officials have chosen to not go along with the plan, thanks to the right amount of pressure exerted by courageous Encinitas residents.
CFER did not participate in Encinitas’s victory against DEI, but we are happy to share this encouraging win with a broader audience. We are grateful to those who spoke up against the Opportunity Consulting proposal at the city council meeting last week (including a CFER friend) – they and those like them are the “ordinary heroes” we need if we want to win the culture war!
A parallel development is happening in another San Diego North County city – Carlsbad – where the city council will eliminate 12 city positions, including the city’s chief innovation officer and senior program manager for DEI in the next fiscal year. There, as in Encinitas, many residents have organized themselves in opposition to the woke ideology in local schools and the local government. One leading group, the Carlsbad Education Alliance, has been CFER’s ally in championing transparency, accountability and academic excellence.
While it is rightful to celebrate the great news, we should not drop our guard and slack off. The radicals will not easily give up their mission of indoctrination and division. CFER’s school-district research initiative, a comprehensive database on information pertaining to the teaching, training and financing of DEI and CRT in nearly 300 California public school districts, has some alarming findings. Of all the school districts surveyed, only 10% of the school districts scored four or higher, meaning that 90% of the schools engage in indoctrination and ideological inculcation of some sort. My colleague and CFER Executive Director Dr. Wenyuan Wu recently published ananalysis on DEI hiring in higher education. She writes: “[d]evotees to the doctrine of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are all too willing to dismiss our longstanding legal tradition of equal justice to perpetuate new forms of discrimination.”
As school districts in California start to debate their 2024-25 spending plans (LCAP, local control and accountability plans), please keep up the pressure and carefully monitor the LCAP adoption process in your local school district. Attend your school board meetings, review the LCAP draft and make sure DEI consultancies like Opportunity Consulting don’t get the opportunity to waste taxpayer funds on DEI.
The fight must go on. And we are here to help, whether it is to help local parents and citizens organize your grassroots movements, or to provide rigorous research on timely issues such as DEI. May I ask you for a kind donation today so that we can keep on keeping on?
About Californians for Equal Rights Foundation (CFER):We are a non-partisan and non-profit organization established following the defeat of Proposition 16 in 2020, with a mission to defend and raise public awareness on the cause of equal rights through public education, civic engagement and community outreach. In 1996, California became the first U.S. state to amend its constitution by passing Proposition 209 to ban racial discrimination and preferences. Prop. 209 requires that “the state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.” CFER is dedicated to educating the public on this important constitutional principle of equal treatment.