Senator Mendoza Supports Bill to Include History of Chinese Americans in California School Curriculum

August 15, 2016

Sacramento – Senator Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) today issued the following statement regarding his vote on AB 2864 by Assemblymember Ed Chau (D-Monterey Park):

“I am honored to vote for AB 2864 to promote awareness of our shared history with Chinese Americans who heroically built the Trans-Continental Railroad across the desert and the Sierra-Nevada Mountain Range by including this subject matter in the state’s K-12 history curriculum.

“It is time that we learned, to the exclusion of none, about every Californian who helped build our great state. It is unfortunate that it has taken an act of the Legislature to get this done.

“However, I am honored to cast a vote for laws of inclusion like this one after so many prior laws in history were passed for exclusion and discrimination.”

SB 2864 was approved by the State Senate today 34 to 1.

Specifically, AB 2864 requires the California Instructional Quality Commission, in its next history-social science curriculum framework adoption cycle, to include curriculum on the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the Geary Act of 1892, and the contributions of Chinese Americans to the establishment of the Transcontinental Railroad.

Chinese immigrants came to the United States in large numbers during the California Gold Rush and in the 1860s to build the Transcontinental Railroad. Once gold became scarcer and labor more competitive, there was hostility towards the Chinese. This hostility led to the passage of anti-Chinese immigration laws, such as the Page Act of 1875 and the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. The Geary Act was a United States law that extended the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 by adding onerous new requirements to an already highly-discriminatory piece of legislation.

Senator Tony Mendoza, a Los Angeles native and former elementary school teacher in East Los Angeles, represents the 32nd Senate District encompassing portions of Los Angeles and Orange Counties. For more information about Senator Mendoza visit his website or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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