Instead of Columbus Day, California Assemblyman Roger Hernandez, D-West Covina, has introduced legislation that would recognize the second Monday in October as Native American Day.
“Columbus Day is still recognized in California, despite the egregious actions taken against Native American people,” said Hernandez in a statement announcing Assembly Bill 55.
His bill would recognize Native American Day as state holiday and would require the governor of California to proclaim it as such, meaning state agencies would close. Currently, the governor recognizes the fourth Friday of September as Native American Day.
Hernandez, in his statement, said the legislation, “is inspired by the recognition that the so-called discovery of the America’s by Columbus eventually led to the genocide of Native Americans. This bill hence provides the proper respect and recognition to our Native American nations.”
AB 55 has run into opposition from lawmakers who feel Columbus should still be celebrated, reported the Los Angeles Times.
“As a proud fifth-generation Italian American, I support Columbus Day and the contributions of Italians to California,” said Sen. Cathleen Galgiani, D-Stockton.