Friday, May 27, 2011


Ward Connerly, author and leader of efforts to require equal treatment of all in public education, employment and contracting, will be the keynote speaker at the Humboldt County Republican Party’s Reagan Centennial/Republican-of-the-Year dinner on Thursday, June 23.

As a member of the University of California Board of Regents, Connerly led a majority of the board to vote to end UCs use of race as a means of admissions. He then served as chairman of the California Civil Rights Initiative campaign (Prop. 209 in 1996), which passed by 55-to-45 percent. He led efforts to pass similar state initiatives in Michigan, Nebraska and Washington.
He is president of the American Civil Rights Institute, a non-profit organization the objective of which is to “educate the public about the need to move beyond race and, specifically, racial and gender preferences.”

He is the author of “Creating Equal: My Fight Against Race Preferences” and a new book, “Lessons From My Uncle James: Beyond Skin Color to the Content of Our Character.”

He describes it as “one part memoir, one part moral guide” that sets forth “a new starting point for the discussion about character that America must have in order to move beyond race for good.”

At the dinner, civic leader Dennis Hunter will be honored as Republican of the Year. He served four terms as an elected board member of the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation & Conservation District; served on the Redwood Region Economic Development Commission from 1992-2007 and on several community boards including Easter Seals and the Greater Eureka Chamber of Commerce.

Honored as Volunteer of the Year will be Karen Brooks, a businesswoman, wife and mother who became active in politics for the first time in 2010 as the party’s nominee for the First Assembly District seat. The program also will include a centennial tribute to the late President Ronald Reagan.

“We are very pleased to honor two fine Humboldt County citizens and to have such a compelling speaker as Ward Connerly,” said Peter Hannaford, chairman. Invited dinner guests will gather at the Ingomar Club for the event.