Celebrating Diversity: African American
A Commitment To Service
Vietnam, Gray Davis saw firsthand the disproportionate burden placed on
people of color to fight that war. After returning from Vietnam, the
Governor was moved to do something about it. His first job in politics
was for Tom Bradley, the late African-American mayor of Los Angeles.
Investing in Public Education
Davis has targeted historically disadvantaged communities with
resources to help people help themselves. That means investing in and
reforming our schools.
- Increased Funding K-12 - Since
becoming governor, he has increased funding for K-12 education by $9.6
billion, or 30 percent - the largest increase in CA history.
- Raised academic standards - in every classroom and for all groups of students in our public schools.
- Increased College Financial Aid - Expanded the Cal-Grant program to guarantee all qualifying high school seniors the assistance to pay for college.
- College Admissions - Four-Percent
Admissions Program ensures admission at a UC school for the top 4% of
students from every high school in California. Since the "Four-Percent"
program was implemented in 2001, African-American freshman admissions
have increased by 30 percent.
- In addition, Governor Davis
signed legislation that establishes an African-American Political and
Economic Institute at California State University, Dominguez Hills.
- Housing Discrimination - Banned housing discrimination based on income or financial status.
- Hate Crimes - Made
the nation's toughest hate crime laws even tougher by making
hate-motivated murder punishable by the maximum penalties available
under the law (life imprisonment and the death penalty).
- Racial Profiling - Ordered
the CHP to analyze traffic stop data - including the race of those
stopped, the reason and outcome. Racial profiling is outlawed in CA and
all officers are required to undergo training to preclude racial
- Health Insurance for Children - Increased enrollment in the Healthy Families health insurance program from 2,200 African-American kids ('99) to 17,695 today.
- Infant Mortality - Quadrupled
funding for a state program aimed at reducing black infant mortality
rates by helping at-risk mothers get appropriate health services.
Improving Safety for African-Americans
Governor requested the CHP to develop an African-American traffic
safety initiative to reduce the high rate of death and injury among
- Appointed the first African-American Secretary of Health and Human Services, Grantland Johnson.
- Appointed African-American woman to serve as first Small Business Advocate, Sonya Blake.
governor in the nation to appoint African-Americans to both the
Adjutant General and Assistant Adjutant Generals positions in the Dept.
of the Military.