SACRAMENTO, CA — Senator Ricardo Lara’s (D-Bell Gardens) resolution to place a statue of American pioneer Sally Ride in the Statuary Hall located in the United States Capitol cleared a vote of the California Senate today by a vote of 22-10. 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.
“The California Senate is sending a powerful message by approving SJR 4,” said Senator Lara. “It’s time that we modernize our representatives in the Statuary Hall and recognize the invaluable contributions of women to this great state. Sally Ride is a modern depiction of the American Dream.”
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.
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.
“SJR 4 will inspire young girls and LGBT youth who will finally see themselves depicted in the U.S. Capitol,” added Lara.