RESOLUTION CHAPTER _______

Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 127—Relative to the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander community.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

SCR 127, Lara. Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander community.

This resolution would recognize the role that Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders have played in the development of California throughout the state’s history and encourage all federal, state, and local organizations to promote the preservation of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander history and culture.

WHEREAS, Making up more than 347,000 community members, the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) community in California has one of the largest NHPI populations in the United States. In addition, the NHPI population increased by 29 percent between 2000 and 2010; and

WHEREAS, The NHPI community makes up an incredibly diverse group comprised of a number of different ethnicities, including, but not limited to, Guamanian or Chamorro, Native Hawaiian, Marshallese, Fijian, Samoan, and Tongan. Outside of Hawaii, California has the largest population of Native Hawaiians, numbering 74,932. The second largest NHPI group is Samoan with a population of 60,876. Guamanian or Chamorro is the next largest NHPI group in California, with a population of 44,425. The largest Fijian and Tongan populations in the United States are also found in California, with populations of 24,059 and 22,893, respectively; and

WHEREAS, As a result of the Spanish-American War in 1898, the illegal overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1893, and the German-American conflict in Samoa in 1899, the United States came to assume formal government control of Guam, Hawaii, and American Samoa. Because of this, the Chamorros of Guam, the Hawaiians of Hawaii, and the Samoans of American Samoa became part of the United States. Many Pacific Islander migrants were men enlisted in the United States Armed Forces, and others worked in various plantation and entertainment industries. Today, these Pacific Islanders are American citizens or American nationals; and

WHEREAS, An influx of NHPIs arrived in California in the 1950s after World War II. Post World War II, military service brought Pacific Islanders from the United States territories of American Samoa and Guam to California. Ten percent of Native Hawaiians and 12 percent of Guamanian or Chamorro Americans are veterans, compared to the statewide average of 8 percent. Native Hawaiians and Tongans came to California seeking economic opportunities, with many Tongans migrating to California via American Samoa. Mormon church activities also brought Tongan students and other NHPI immigrants to California. Many NHPIs initially settled in southern California cities such as Carson, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oceanside, and San Diego, while others settled in Sacramento and San Francisco. Most NHPI Californians today reside in the greater Sacramento, San Francisco, and Los Angeles areas; and

WHEREAS, The 2010 Census Bureau data shows that NHPIs are continuing to become a growing part of our nation’s economy. California has the greatest number of NHPI-owned businesses in the continental United States. Between 2002 and 2007, the number of NHPI-owned businesses increased 30 percent, while the number of United States businesses overall increased only 18 percent. During that same period, NHPI-owned businesses also saw a 48-percent increase in revenue, while total business receipts for United States businesses increased only 33 percent. Data show that about 56 percent of all Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander businesses were owned by people of Native Hawaiian origin in 2007; Guamanian-owned or Chamorro-owned businesses accounted for 10 percent, Samoan-owned businesses accounted for 8 percent, and businesses owned by people of Other Pacific Islander descent accounted for 25 percent; and

WHEREAS, The NHPI community faces unique challenges as a result of its distinct history and community experience. As a result, the NHPI community organized and helped institute an update to the federal Office of Management and Budget’s Statistical Policy Directive No. 15 in 1997 to establish a specific Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander category relative to the collection of data; and

WHEREAS, The Legislature recognized the importance of requiring state agencies, boards, or commissions collecting and reporting demographic data on major Pacific Islander groups, including Hawaiian, Guamanian, Samoan, Tongan, and Fijian in Sections 8310.5 and 8310.7 of the Government Code; and

WHEREAS, While NHPIs represent diverse ethnic, religious, and political backgrounds, they all also share similar cultural values and norms. These values include a respect and deference for elders, appreciation for reciprocal labor and time, and an understanding of communal and intergenerational authority; and

WHEREAS, Preserving our Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities throughout California is critical to our state history and for the preservation of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander culture, history, traditions, and other elements of their heritage; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate of the State of California, the Assembly thereof concurring, That the Legislature recognizes the role that Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders have played in the social, economic, and political development of California throughout the state’s history; and be it further

Resolved, That the Legislature encourages all federal, state, and local organizations to promote the preservation of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander history and culture, including the preservation of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities; and be it further

Resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.

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