In my blog entry earlier this week concerning affirmative action and diversity, I had planned to report on recent developments with SA2020 (its Civic Engagement component) in working toward more diversity on City of San Antonio boards and commissions. But I got distracted, so I will correct that oversight today.
About a month ago, I posted that SA2020 had adopted an objective of increased diversity, but the Civic Engagement people had put off creating an objective until a baseline was determined. In that posting, I speculated that the objective would be to have boards and commissions that “look like San Antonio” – i.e., racially and ethnically balanced.
Earlier this month, the Civic Engagement people confirmed my suspicion when they published a report that concluded there were not enough Hispanics and women on City of San Antonio boards. The basis for this conclusion was that Anglos currently held 42.4% of all board positions even though they comprised only 26.6% of the city’s population. Similarly, women held only 33.1% of all board positions even though they comprised 51.2% of the population.
The Civic Engagement people made no attempt to explain or understand this discrepancy, yet immediately jumped to the conclusion that it should and can be fixed by working toward “a significant change that more closely approximates the diversity of the city’s projected population in 2020.”
Effecting a change in favor of more minorities and fewer Anglos on San Antonio boards shouldn’t be difficult considering that boards are appointed by our Hispanic mayor and a City Council that has six Hispanics, two Asians, one African-American, and only one Anglo. But this objective became paradoxical and problematic this week when both liberal and conservative Supreme Court justices reaffirmed this week in an affirmative-action decision that racial balancing is illegal.
Incidentally, when the head of Civic Engagement, Molly Cox, first provided these numbers and goals to me, I told her that as a male Anglo, I would try to help out the city by not volunteering for any of its boards and commissions.
Funny how things work in a democracy.
Diversity of Boards – 2012
African American (5.2%)
Male – 66.9%
Female – 33.1%.
Diversity of San Antonio – 2010
African American (6.9%)