Statement From President Michele Siqueiros: Governor Vetoes Key Legislation to Improve Transparency and Diversity in Gubernatorial Appointments

October 9th, 2023
2021 Michele Siqueiros 250x250(1)
Michele Siqueiros

I am deeply disappointed in Governor Newsom’s decision to veto both SB 702, by Senator Limon, and AB 603, by Assemblymember Cervantes – two critical pieces of legislation that would have established a baseline of reporting on the demographic diversity of gubernatorial appointments, including the demographic diversity of the California Community Colleges Board of Governors, California State University Board of Trustees, and the University of California Board of Regents. The Campaign for College Opportunity has long advocated for appointments that include the talent and perspective of all Californians and represent the full richness and diversity of our state. In our reports, Left Out and Representation Matters, we found that our higher education governing boards do not reflect the diversity of the students that they serve. The veto of these two common sense bills is a missed opportunity.

We know that California can and must lead the way in an unapologetic commitment to advancing racial equity at all levels of public service and have seen this demonstrated by Governor Newsom firsthand via numerous appointments and in his most recent honored commitment to appoint a Black woman to the U.S. Senate. These commitments demand that we be unafraid to be explicit about race – including the willingness to hold a mirror to our appointed leaders and higher education governing bodies and ask if they are collectively representative of the communities they were chosen to serve. The Campaign for College Opportunity will continue to shine a light on the progress made (or not) to be inclusive and diversify our higher education governing boards, and toward ensuring we close persistent racial and ethnic equity gaps for our students.