Malia Cohen

Malia M. Cohen

Member, Board of Equalization, 2nd District

News Release
For Immediate Release
June 10, 2020

NR 20-05
Contact: Regina Evans
1-916-445-4081
Regina.Evans@boe.ca.gov

Chance for Equality on November Ballot

Assembly Constitutional Amendment (ACA) 5 may create the opportunity for minority businesses to finally have a shot at their fair share of government spending

Sacramento – The California State Assembly passed a measure to add Assembly Constitutional Amendment (ACA) 5 to the November ballot today, June 10, 2020. It will now go to the State Senate.

ACA 5 has the ability to overturn Proposition (Prop) 209, which ended affirmative action in California (CA) in 1996. Since that time, it is estimated that minorities and women have missed out on about $1 billion annually in government contracting opportunities according to studies by the Equal Justice Society and Asian American Justice Center.

“Without legislation like ACA 5, the Board of Equalization (BOE) and other state administrative bodies do not have the power to equalize contracting for minorities and women,” said Malia Cohen, the only black member of the State Board of Equalization which administers the $70 billion State of California property tax system. “Those who boil Proposition 209 down to college enrollment don’t understand how this legislation impacts people when they graduate. Passing ACA will empower administrators to develop policies with the power to create equality for all.”

“If ACA 5 passes the State Senate, CA voters will have a right to fight injustice at the ballot box this November. It is important for voters to understand that voting yes to ACA 5 opens the door for equalizing government contracting for all Californians.”


State Board of Equalization Member Malia M. Cohen represents nearly 10 million constituents residing in 23 counties in Northern and Central California, extending from Del Norte County in the north to Santa Barbara County in the south. Board Member Cohen is the youngest Constitutional Officer serving in California.

The Board of Equalization is California's statewide elected tax board. Its five members include four members elected in districts, and the State Controller. Under its constitutional mandate, the BOE oversees the assessment practices of the state's 58 county assessors, who are charged with establishing values for approximately 13.6 million assessments each year. In addition, the BOE assesses the property of regulated railroads and specific public utilities, and is responsible for the alcoholic beverage tax and tax on insurers.

Note: This news release may discuss complex tax laws and concepts. It may not address every situation and is not considered written advice. Changes in law or regulations may have occurred since the time this news release was written. If there is a conflict between the text of this news release and the law, decisions will be based upon the law and not this news release.