SACRAMENTO—Assemblymember James C. Ramos (D-Highland) today urged the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to confirm the nomination of U.S. Representative Deb Haaland (D-New Mexico) as Secretary of the Interior. If approved by the Senate, Haaland would be the first Native American to serve in a position that oversees federal bureaus and agencies critical to Native American governance, education, and culturally sacred lands.
“I am asking that the Energy Committee members refer her historic nomination to the floor and that the full Senate approve this historic nominee,” Ramos said.
“As the first California Native American elected to the state legislature, I know that Rep. Haaland can bring a unique perspective and understanding of the impact the Department of Interior plays in the lives of all Americans and especially on our country’s American Indian population.” Ramos, of Serrano/Cahuilla descent, is a lifelong resident of the San Manuel Indian Reservation. He was elected chairman of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indian Tribal Government and was the first Native American appointed to California State Board of Education. The lawmaker was also the first Native American elected to the San Bernardino Community College District Board of Trustees and County Board of Supervisors where he served as its chairman.
Among the bureaus and agencies within the Department are Indian Affairs, Indian Education, Land Management as well as the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Geological Survey.
In his letter to California’s U.S. senators and Energy Committee members, Ramos wrote, “I know her ascension to this post will foster a new and healthier relationship between the federal government and tribal governments across the country.” He added, “As a Laguna Pueblo single mother, she struggled to support her family while always remaining faithful to her values and succeeding in the public arena.”
Assemblymember James Ramos proudly represents the 40th Assembly district which includes Highland, Loma Linda, Mentone, Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands, and San Bernardino. He is the first and only California Native American serving in the state’s legislature.