Last Saturday, September 19, about 100 cars — all decorated with signs and flags — drove down Milpitas streets including Abel, Jacklin, and Park Victoria, to spread a message to vote NO on Prop 16.
This event was endorsed by Californians For Equal Rights (CFER) and planned by a team of 40 volunteers in Milpitas.
Tina Xu, the rally’s main organizer, was thrilled with the turnout. Xu estimates around 200 attendees were on hand.
Proposition 16, which will be on this year’s November 3 ballot, could restore affirmative action in California. If it passes, it will allow gender, race, and ethnicity to be used in government decision-making policies. However, those who planned and attended the rally feel that Proposition 16 only promotes inequality.
“I hope Milpitas can hear our voice,” said Xu. “We don’t want division by race.”
The event featured speakers such as congressional candidate Ritesh Tandon, Milpitas City Council candidate Suraj Viswanathan, and Assembly District 25 candidate Bob Brunton.
“Let’s all pledge to defeat Prop 16 this November, and stop race-based discrimination, and give real equal opportunity to All,” wrote Tandon in an email to The Beat after the rally.
Viswanathan feels the same way. “Since I believe racial discrimination in any form is wrong, I have no choice but to oppose Proposition 16. I did not come to California sixteen years ago from India with but $100 in my pocket to be discriminated against because of my ethnicity,” shared Viswanathan. “Nor did I come here expecting to be treated unfairly or receive preferential treatment because of the color of my skin. I did not come here to be a number on a quota list.”
The first such car rally occurred on July 3 of this year in Cupertino; others have been organized in places across the state including Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Carmel Valley. The Saturday rally in Milpitas was the fourteenth one.