(KRON) — California state lawmakers gathered in Sacramento on Tuesday morning to announce a new proposed bill, AB1314 which would enact a “Feather Alert”, or an emergency notification system to inform police law enforcement and media of a missing Indigenous person.
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The proposed bill, authored by California Assemblymember James Ramos, D-District 40 and others, proposes that the emergency alert system already in use by the California Highway Patrol for Amber and Silver Alerts could also be used to support missing Indigenous peoples. Assemblymember Ramos stated in a press conference that the, “legislation to create a new tool for fighting the silent epidemic of violence against Native American people, and especially our women and girls.”
The bill is coauthored by a long list of state lawmakers and is sponsored by the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians, a federally recognized tribe and sovereign tribal government in California. Assemblymember Ramos says this collaboration was the result of discussions with tribal leaders and advocates.
The rates of murdered and missing people in Native American communities is a shameful state and national tragedy that does not receive the scrutiny and attention it deserves.Assemblymember Ramos
Assemblymember Ramos announced that Assemblymembers Cristina Garcia and Devon Mathis are joining him as joint authors on this legislation, making it a bipartisan effort.