Capitol Alert

California Assembly passes bill to ditch ‘Redskins’ mascots

In this photo taken Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013, Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Watsonville, center, talks with state Senators Tom Berryhill, R-Twain Harte, left, and William Monning, D-Carmel/
In this photo taken Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013, Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Watsonville, center, talks with state Senators Tom Berryhill, R-Twain Harte, left, and William Monning, D-Carmel/ AP

A handful of California high schools would need to ditch their “Redskins” mascots under legislation that passed the state Assembly on Monday.

The movement urging rejection of a term many Native Americans call outdated and racist has largely focused on the professional football team in Washington, D.C. California lawmakers added their voices to those pressuring team owner Dan Snyder with a resolution last year.

Now they have turned their attention closer to home. California schools last year included nearly 40,000 students identified as American Indian and the state has the largest population of American Indians in the U.S.

Assembly Bill 30, which would prohibit California high schools from using the name starting in 2017, passed the body on a 57-9 vote Monday. Voting against it were a group of Republicans and Assemblyman Adam Gray, D-Merced, whose district contains one of the four California high schools that would have to find a new name.

“This historic measure is part of a national movement,” said Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Watsonville. “For far too long we’ve allowed stereotypes and derogatory terms to become normalized to our younger generations.”

Call Jeremy B. White, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 326-5543.

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