SACRAMENTO, CA — Senator Ricardo Lara’s (Bell Gardens) resolution to place a statue of American pioneer Sally Ride in the Statuary Hall located in the United States Capitol received unanimous bipartisan support today in the Senate Governmental Organization Committee by a vote of 10-0. Senate Joint Resolution 4 would make Sally Ride the first woman to represent California and the first member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community to be placed in the Statuary Hall.
“Sally Ride is a modern representation of the American Dream,” said Senator Lara. “Having a statue of Sally in the U.S. Statuary Hall will serve as a reminder to our youth – particularly young girls – that anything is possible when you work hard and reach for your dreams. I thank my colleagues for advancing this resolution to properly memorialize Sally for her accomplishments.”
Created in 1864, The National Statuary Hall Collection was authorized by the United States Congress to allow each State to provide two statues of notable citizens for display in the United States Capitol. The two statues currently on display representing California are President Ronald Reagan and Father Junipero Serra. Any state can request the Joint Committee on the Library of Congress to approve a replacement of a statue the state has provided for display.
“Sally broke so many humanly conceived barriers with intelligence, imagination, courage and good humor, and her legacy continues to inspire those who dream that anything might be possible when you diligently pursue your dreams,” said Sally Ride’s sister Revered Bear Ride during the Committee hearing.
Equality California, the National Organization for Women and the Association of California Commissions for Women attended the committee hearing to speak in support.
Dr. Sally Ride made history on June 18, 1983 when she became the first American female astronaut and youngest person to soar into space when she traveled aboard the space shuttle Challenger. After leaving NASA in 1987, she focused her efforts on science education and on teaching young people, especially girls, that there are no limits to what they can achieve. In 2001, Dr. Ride cofounded Sally Ride Science, along with her life partner Tam O'Shaughnessy, to create classroom materials, programs, and professional development courses for 3-8th grade educators and their students. They place a strong emphasis on gender and racial equality in the classroom and on introduce students to working scientists, engineers and mathematicians who exemplified this diversity in their respective fields. Dr. Ride went on to serve her country, California, and future generations as a member of the President’s Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology; Director of the California Space Institute, inductee into the National Women’s Hall of Fame, the California Hall of Fame, the Aviation Hall of Fame, and the Astronaut Hall of Fame.
Senator Ricardo Lara was elected in 2012 to represent the 33rd Senate District, which includes the cities and communities of Bell, Bell Gardens, Cudahy, Huntington Park, Lakewood, Long Beach, Lynwood, Maywood, Paramount, Signal Hill, South Gate, South Los Angeles, Vernon, and Walnut Park.