Recent tragedy in WI highlights need to pass proposed legislation

The tragedy at the Gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, has underscored the need for passage of bills and initiatives addressing the discrimination that particularly targets America’s Sikhs. There are several on-going campaigns whose demonstrable need has become heightened.

If you live in California, there are two pieces of legislation that need your immediate support to move forward:

  1. The Revised Curriculum Framework Bill (source: SALDEF): “The Revised Curriculum Framework Bill was introduced in the California State Senate by Senator Hancock, and co-authored by Senators De Leon and Wyland, and Assembly Members Alego, Davis, Eng, Portantino, and Yamada.  This legislation aims at updating the history and social science curriculum in the State of California, itwill allow completion of K-12 History Social-Science Curriculum Framework (H/SS-CF).  This is important to Sikh Americans because it will give the opportunity to create awareness and education around Sikhism.” The bill is currently suspended, but there is a 48-hour window in which public support will pull this bill out of the Suspense File and on to the Assembly floor for a vote. Click here for more information and instructions to contact Mike Gatto, Chair of the Assembly Appropriations Committee, and John Perez, Speaker of the Assembly by this Thursday.
  2. The California Workplace Religious Freedom Act (source: Sikh Coalition): The Workplace Religious Freedom Act (AB 1964) clarifies existing law to ensure that otherwise qualified candidates for employment cannot be discriminated against based on religious grooming, clothing or other practices. This bill is currently under consideration by the California Senate. Request that your State Senator supports this bill using the petition provided by the Sikh Coalition.

At the national level, there is a campaign to have the FBI recognize anti-Sikh hate crimes.  Sadly, there is no recognition by the FBI about the targets of a hate crime attack, and even the victims of the tragedy in Wisconsin – who were targeted because of their appearance – would not be acknowledged as Sikhs in the FBI hate crime database. California Senator Dianne Feinstein is asking her fellow Senators to support the Sikh Coalition’s demand that the FBI begin tracking hate crimes against Sikh Americans. You can request that your federal Senator to sign this letter to the FBI using a petition on the Sikh Coalition website.


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