California spent half a billion dollars on “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” (DEI) initiatives since the 2020 fiscal year, according to a new report, even as the Golden State suffered other significant problems such as rising crime and homelessness.
CORE, a consumer protection nonprofit, released the 38-page report last week, highlighting how California is “under increasingly progressive leadership over the last several years” and “has often pushed the envelope on [DEI] concepts in taxpayer-funded entities.”
“Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is becoming California’s newest billion-dollar industry – on the taxpayer’s dime,” lead researcher Will Coggin told Fox News Digital. “It’s everywhere from kindergarten classrooms to the Department of Fish and Wildlife.”
The report revealed exorbitant spending for DEI and “critical race theory-framed activities” such as:
- $49,500 for the Department of Fish and Wildlife in “contracts for ‘racial equity’ trainings and workshops for employees.”
- $29,000 for the California High Speed Rail Authority in “consultants budgeted in FY2021-22 as part of its effort to form a Diversity Task Force.”
- $180,000 for the Department of Conservation in 2020-2021 including “nearly $88,000 in training geared toward critical race theory and racial equity themes from contractors well connected within the state of California.”
- $414,000 on DEI goals for the Department of Water Resources in 2020-2021.
The report also states that $110 million was spent at the county level, and nearly $90 million at the city level on DEI initiatives.
In another notable example, the Department of Conservation spent $9,000 on copies of one of the books at the center of the Critical Race Theory debate, “How to Be an Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi. The book was distributed to staff, “including ‘Supervising’ and ‘Senior’ oil and gas engineers in the Department’s Geologic Energy Management division.”
“Instead of effectively addressing issues like housing, crime or homelessness, California officials have chosen to line the pockets of well-connected diversity consultants,” Coggin said.
CORE based its report on the results of hundreds of California Public Records Act requests sent to state and local governments, higher education institutions and K-12 school districts.
“The results are unmistakable,” the report states. “[S]pending related to DEI and critical race theory-framed activities is a vast and growing component of taxpayer-funded spending at all levels of California government.
“Public institutions seized the opportunity to expand their budgets and implement ultra-progressive policies often without public awareness.”