Please note: the celebration was broadcast on Assemblymember Ramos’s Facebook page. It was recorded and can be viewed at https://www.facebook.com/AsmJamesRamos
SACRAMENTO— Dignitaries including Assemblymember James C. Ramos (D-San Bernardino) and San Bernardino Superior Court Presiding Judge R. Glenn Yabuno of the San Bernardino Superior Court were joined today by tribal representatives and cultural performers to celebrate California Native American Day and the second time the state’s court personnel are granted a paid holiday.
City of San Bernardino Mayor Helen Tran and District 5 San Bernardino County Supervisor Joe Baca Jr. also attended the California Native American Day commemoration a few days in advance of the actual holiday – Friday, September 22 – when the courts will be closed. Baca’s father, former U.S. representative Joe Baca Sr., worked with Ramos to push for greater recognition of Native American contributions at the state and federal levels.
Ramos successfully introduced AB 855 in 2021 to grant state court employees the first-ever paid state holiday on California Native American Day. The bill allowed judiciary employees, covered by a different state code than other California employees, to swap one paid holiday for another.
Ramos, a member of the Serrano/Cahuilla tribe, is the first and only California Native American lawmaker elected in the state’s 173-year history. He labored to enact a California Native American Day since 1998.
“I was a San Manuel council member when I started working toward this goal with then-Assemblymember Joe Baca Sr. This is one more step forward in recognizing and building knowledge about the history, culture and contributions of California’s Native Americans,” Ramos said.
Yabuno said, “Courts across California will for the second year recognize Native American Day as a judicial holiday on Friday, September 22, 2023, thanks to the partnership of Governor Gavin Newsom, Assemblyperson James Ramos, and the California Native peoples. The San Bernardino Superior Court is honored to celebrate the historic and cultural contributions of California Native Americans.”
Ramos observed that California has the greatest number of Native Americans residing within its boundaries. “It is fitting that we begin to expand our commemoration of this holiday and recognize the history, culture and contributions of California’s First People.”
The Judicial Council of California sponsored AB 855. Other supporters included the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, the Tribal Alliance of Sovereign Indian Nations, California Tribal Business Alliance and the Nashville-Enterprise Miwok-Maidu-Nishinam Tribal Council.
Assemblymember James C. Ramos proudly represents the 45th Assembly district which includes the Cities of Fontana, Highland, Mentone, Redlands, Rialto and San Bernardino. He is the first and only California Native American serving in the state’s legislature. Ramos chairs the Assembly Committees on Rules.