Ramos is a member of the Serrano/Cahuilla tribe and a lifelong resident of the San Manuel Indian Reservation.
SACRAMENTO—California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) and Assemblymember James C. Ramos (D-Highland) today announced formation of the California Native American Legislative Caucus. Ramos will lead the new group.
“I feel a solemn obligation as the first California Native American legislator in the state’s 170-year history to advocate for California’s first people and to be that voice that has been absent in the many policy discussions that have shaped the state,” Ramos said. “The California Native American Legislative Caucus will focus on issues facing the California Indian People and on increasing their representation in the political system.”
Rendon observed the state’s first Legislature met on December 15, 1949: “California now rightfully takes pride in our diversity and how that is reflected in our Legislature, but it was not until 2018 and the election of Assemblymember Ramos that a California Native American served in either the Assembly or Senate. It took too long.”
“I am pleased to announce the creation of the California Native American Legislative Caucus,” Rendon said. “It will be charged with increasing awareness and education in the Legislature about the culture, history and impact of various social issues on our state’s Native Americans. Its membership will set out goals and work with other legislative caucuses to ensure all Californians have a voice in the Capitol’s chambers.”
Ramos is a member of the Serrano/Cahuilla tribe and a lifelong resident of the San Manuel Indian Reservation. In 1866, his great-great grandfather, Santos Manuel, led his people to safety in the San Bernardino Mountains to escape militias hunting and killing Indians for state-paid bounty money. His family, the Yuhaviatam (People of the Pines), was decimated and dwindled down to less than 30 members. “We were almost wiped of this earth because of a policy of genocide initiated by California’s first governor, Peter Burnett,” Ramos said.
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Carmen Davis - Founder, Publisher and Executive Editor
Mrs. Davis is the founder, publisher and executive editor of the only Native American wholly owned and operated national tribal business publication, Native Business Magazine, and the producer of the annual and nationally attended Native Business Summit.
Mrs. Davis is also president of Davis Strategy Group has over 23 years of service to Indian Country and as an entrepreneur she has successfully established, operated, managed and grown several businesses in multiple sectors. She is equal parts a strategic visionary and behind-the-scenes implementor, essential in guiding and overseeing every process of brand development, business expansion, nation-to-nation relationship building and more.
She was named in 2009 as one of the first recipients of the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development’s, “40 Under 40” award which recognizes up and coming community and business leaders from across Indian Country.