Poll Has MCRI Above 50 Percent
Today, Inside Michigan Politics (IMP) released poll results that showed the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (MCRI) winning 55 to 36 percent. 

The proposal would ban institutions from using Affirmative Action programs that give preferential treatment to groups or individuals based on their race or gender. 

The poll results are from a survey of 600 likely voters conducted by Marketing Resource Group (MRG) for IMP from March 13-17. It has a plus or minus 4.1 percent margin of error. This was the same survey group that MRG polled to get results on the gubernatorial race (see related story). 

Those surveyed were read the actual ballot proposal language and then asked how they would vote. The results of the MRG poll was markedly different from those of the EPIC/MRA poll taken from March 5-8. That EPIC poll had the MCRI losing 44 to 47 percent.

Civil Rights Conference To Address MCRI
The Civil Rights Commission (CRC) is convening a conference next Monday designed at creating a civil rights agenda and strategic plan for the state. One item, in particular, set to be addressed is the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (MCRI).

CRC Chairman Mark BERNSTEIN said the state is currently locked in a heated debate over the ballot proposal, which he said "threatens to tear our state apart." MCRI seeks to end state-backed affirmative action programs and incentives under the argument that these "racial preferences" are being used as a crutch by minorities. It's set to appear on the Nov. 7 ballot.

Civil rights leaders and other representatives from the state's corporate, political, legal, academic, philanthropic and faith-based communities are coming to Wayne State University to work out a overall statewide civil rights plan of action, not a plan to defeat MCRI, said Department of Civil Rights Spokesman Harold CORE.

The conference will address segregation, hate crimes and affirmative action, Core said. While the MCRI subject is bound to come out in the affirmative action session, the point is to look at quantitative results and the lesson learned for case studies on affirmative action programs. He said the CRC has been advocates for affirmative action since the 1960s and the forum will look at how those programs have fared and how they should continue.

"For us, this is larger than and started before MCRI," Core said.

Gov. Jennifer GRANHOLM is among the planned featured speakers. Others include Georgetown University law professor Sheryll CASHIN, who authored "The Failures of Integration: How Race and Class are Undermining the American Dream."

"Our state is at a critical juncture," Bernstein said. "We learned from the 2000 Census Report that Michigan is one of the most segregated states in the country and that Metropolitan Detroit is the most segregated area in the nation."

Contact:  Harold Core 517-241-3986 
Agency: Civil Rights