Ardmore NAACP community forum addresses affirmative action

By: Helen Headlee Email
By: Helen Headlee Email

Tonight at the American Legion in Ardmore people sounded off on state question 759 on affirmative action. Ardmore chapter NAACP president Elizabeth Williams is staunchly opposed to the measure.

"If it got passed, my granddaughter may not be accepted into OU because of a quota number," Williams said.

If passed the measure would get rid of affirmative action in education, government employment, and contracting. Gender or race would no longer be a factor in hiring decisions or choosing a company for a government contract.

It would apply to state and city governments and all associated agencies, but it would have no bearing on federal contracts and hiring.

State Representative Pat Ownbey says ultimately this measure will save money.

"Under the affirmative action program when tax payer dollars get tight we still have to pay more dollars for the same job because we have to use minority companies in some cases," Ownbey said.

For Williams this isn't enough of a reason.

"Because doing away with it...women are at risk for jobs and opening businesses," Williams said.

But Ownbey says its about merit.

"We need to look at these companies based on what they can do, what the bid is and go with that bid," Ownbey said.

For the voters it's all about getting information.

"Being informed and staying on top of things politically is a good idea," said voter Jason Cowen, who attended the forum.


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