As the first California Native American elected to the state legislature, Assemblymember James C. Ramos (D-Highland) held his in-district swearing-in ceremony on February 9 at California State San Bernardino. The swearing-in was conducted by Speaker of the Assembly Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood).
The program featured remarks by Speaker Rendon, Congressman Pete Aguilar (D-Redlands), Assemblymember Jose Medina (D-Riverside), Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D-Discovery Bay), President of California State San Bernardino Tomas D. Morales, and Secretary of San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Ken Ramirez.
As the first California Native American elected to the State Legislature, this historic swearing-in highlighted the culture of native peoples in California with performances of Big Horn Sheep Songs lead by Assemblymember Ramos and members of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, and Intertribal Bird Songs lead by Wayne Nelson. The event was held at the Santos Manuel Student Union and holds special significance to Assemblymember Ramos, as it is named after his great-great-grandfather Santos Manuel, who established the San Manuel Reservation.
The program also included the following presentations from community members across the 40th Assembly District: Master of Ceremonies performed by Terrance Stone, CEO for Young Visionary Youth Leadership; opening song by Ecclesia Christian Fellowship Choir; invocation by Pastor Reginald Young, CEO and Crisis Chair for San Bernardino Pastors United; Pledge of Allegiance led by the Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio; The Star Spangled Banner Performed by Jack Musgrove Jr. of San Bernardino; closing performance by San Bernardino Pacesetters Drill Team & Drum Line.
“I am so proud and thankful for all who came out to join me and my family at the community swearing-in ceremony,” said Assemblymember Ramos. “It is truly remarkable, when you consider the San Manuel people faced dwindling numbers following the atrocities of a 32-day battle in 1866, to bouncing back and experiencing poverty for generations, to now having a member of their tribe elected and sworn-in to the State Legislature. There is much more work to get done together as a community to move people forward. I am committed to working on the issues that are important to our district like jobs, education, homelessness, social bullying in schools, mental health, public safety, and resources for veterans. Together with my colleagues I will fight to make sure the State of California serves all people in the Inland Empire.”