Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Missing and murdered people

San Diego County’s tribal communities are all located within the 75th Assembly District – we have more sovereign tribal governments than any county in the nation. Their safety, security and prosperity are very important to me, and for our region. That’s why the second annual Missing and Murdered Indigenous People (MMIP) summit, which took place in Sacramento Feb. 12 and 13, was so important.

The event was sponsored by the Yurok Tribe and the Wilton Rancheria from Northern California. Participants included state legislators, California Attorney General Rob Bonta, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla, Pala Chairman Robert Smith, Jamul Chairwoman Erica Pinto, members of law enforcement and families of murder victims.

Homicide is the third leading cause of death for Indigenous women and girls – they are murdered or go missing at higher rates than any other ethnic group. California has the nation’s fifth largest caseload of MMIP cases, mostly involving women and girls.

Indigenous men and boys are two times more likely than non-American Indians to die from homicide, and rates of human trafficking are skyrocketing. The situation is not improving; the number of unsolved cases is going up. Action is needed now.

This session I am introducing AB 2944. The bill authorizes the Governor to appoint a Red Ribbon Panel to develop long-term plans to address this crisis. The panel will include tribal, state and local government representatives to ensure that a comprehensive, interdisciplinary plan can be put in place.

The panel will build on the recently enacted “Feather Alert” system created in 2022, a statewide alert system similar to existing Amber and Silver Alerts for missing children and seniors.

I am now serving my 12th year in the Legislature. We are still dealing with this problem, and it’s gotten worse. That’s unacceptable! AB 2944 will help save lives.

 

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