Photo: (left to right) Assemblymember Ramos’ Staff, Anais Franco, Assistant Principal Sarah Sinopoli, Area Superintendent Janet Wilson, Chairman (former) Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians Dr. Anthony R. Pico, Assemblymember James Ramos, PACEs Science Statewide Facilitator Dana Brown, Chief External Affairs Officer Bob Morales, Community Liaison Stephani Congdon, and Regional College & Career Coordinator Cherie Padilla.
Bob Morales invited Assemblymember James Ramos to visit with our students, their families, and staff members at our Alta Vista Innovation High School on August 5, 2022.
With gratitude for Area Superintendent, Janet Wilson, and her exemplary staff supporting the wonderful opportunity, Assemblymember Ramos had a dialogue directly with some students in the conference room and invested an abundance of time with engaging with more students, families, and staff during his time spent with everyone.
PACEs Science Statewide Facilitator, Dana Brown, brought Dr. Anthony R. Pico (former Chairman 26-years), Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians to Alta Vista Innovation High School. Assemblymember Ramos and Dr. Pico worked tirelessly together several decades earlier with the changing of California's Constitution supporting casinos on Tribal land.
Mr. Ramos was unaware the Dr. Pico would be at the high school and the moment he walked in the door and saw his cherished friend, his joy was palpable.
The decades-long friends embraced.
Tears of joy were permeating through the learning center.
Assemblymember Ramos had an engaging dialogue with a few students in the conference room.
Following he sang his cultural song and shared his heart with students, families, and staff.
Remaining even longer, Mr. Ramos spoke directly with some more students.
Area Superintendent Janet Wilson shared, "When he sang his beautiful Native song for our students, parents, and staff, it was magical. Sharing his culture with us was a gift that we will all remember forever. His heartfelt caring for our students was real and made them feel so valued. Both Assemblyman Ramos and Viejas Tribal (former) Chairman Anthony R. Pico gave our students HOPE and INSPIRATION to imagine the possibilities for their own lives. It was such an honor and all of us who had the privilege to be part of the visit will never forget their kindness. Sharing their culture was a gift".
Following Governor Newsom's apology to Native Americans in California for the genocide and slaughter of Native American children, youth, families, and Elders, Governor Newsom stated he wanted "truth-telling" in public education in California.
Assemblymember James Ramos is the author of AB1703 California Indian Education Act | California Indian Education Task Force, which passed and became law on 8.22.22. This bill establishes the California Indian Education Act and encourage school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools to form California Indian Education Task Forces with California tribes local to their regions or tribes historically located in the region.