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ACR-92 50th Anniversary of the Watts Revolt.(2015-2016)

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Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 92
CHAPTER 188

Relative to the 50th Anniversary of the Watts Revolt.

[ Filed with Secretary of State  September 21, 2015. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


ACR 92, Gipson. 50th Anniversary of the Watts Revolt.
This measure would commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Watts Revolt.
Fiscal Committee: NO  

WHEREAS, Economic equality is a critical component of community well-being and the maintenance of social peace; and
WHEREAS, In 1964, there were a total of 8 revolts across African American communities in various cities, including Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, and Jersey City, that occurred as a result of racial tension and economic deprivation; and
WHEREAS, August 2015, will mark the 50th Anniversary of the Watts Revolt (also known as the “Watts Rebellion”), which began on August 11, 1965, when Marquette Frye and his brother were stopped by police on a suspicion of drunk driving, which resulted in a hostile confrontation between the Frye family and police officers on the scene; and
WHEREAS, The Watts Revolt was a reaction to a long history of systemic racial and economic injustice, including frustration with the passage of Proposition 14 of 1964 in California, which sought to nullify the state’s fair housing law; and
WHEREAS, This historic event, which took place in the greater Watts neighborhoods of Los Angeles and the City of Compton, involved six days of protest resulting in 34 deaths, 1,032 injuries, and over $40 million worth of property damage; and
WHEREAS, Between 31,000 and 35,000 adults participated in the revolt over the course of six days. At that time, it was the most significant uprising in the history of the South Los Angeles region; and
WHEREAS, The Watts Revolt is an important part of Los Angeles history and it is critical that we mark the 50th anniversary of this event appropriately; and
WHEREAS, The McCone Commission, Chaired by John McCone, was established by Governor Edmund G. Brown to investigate the Watts Revolt and identify solutions to ensure that this incident never reoccurred; and
WHEREAS, The results of the investigation found that the Watts Revolt was a result of discrimination in employment, education, housing, healthcare, and law enforcement; and
WHEREAS, The aforementioned issues persist within these communities today; and
WHEREAS, When discussing the topic of social unrest in America, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “I would be the first to say that I am still committed to militant, powerful, massive, nonviolence as the most potent weapon... But it would be morally irresponsible of me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society”; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, the Senate thereof concurring, That the Legislature commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the Watts Revolt, one of the largest uprisings in 20th century America; and be it further
Resolved, That the California Legislature urges the development of public and private solutions to statewide and local disparities on the basis of legal and institutional racism in areas, including, but not limited to, education, employment, housing, healthcare, and law enforcement; and be it further
Resolved, That the California Legislature pays tribute to the establishment of institutions that sought to remedy the key challenges in the South Los Angeles community, including the Watts Labor Community Action Committee, California State University, Dominguez Hills, Charles R. Drew Postgraduate Medical School (currently Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science), the Martin Luther King, Jr. General Hospital (currently the Martin Luther King, Jr. Outpatient Center and Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital); and be it further
Resolved, That the California Legislature celebrates the organization of local, peaceful actions to redirect community energy in positive and constructive ways, including the development of the Watts Summer Festival, Watts Summer Games, and Watts Christmas Parade; and be it further
Resolved, That a copy of this resolution be transmitted to the City of Los Angeles and the City of Compton, which are encouraged to disseminate copies to local, community, and statewide organizations throughout California; and be it further
Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.