SACRAMENTO, CA – Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo (D-Los Angeles) presented Assembly Concurrent Resolution 27 (ACR 27) honoring the legacy of civil rights, labor and LGBTQ leader Bayard Rustin this week.
Born on March 17, 1912 in West Chester, Pennsylvania, Rustin dedicated his entire life to advancing justice and dignity for all. He was a close advisor to Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., organized the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and promoted equity through nonviolent protests. An openly gay African American, Rustin understood the intricate intersections of marginalized identities and fought tirelessly for progress and opportunity. His extraordinary efforts promoted unity and transformed the landscape of activism.
“Bayard Rustin is an unsung hero in American history largely and unfortunately vacant from our history books,” Assemblymember Carrillo said. “His fight to strike hatred and intolerance with his compassionate and nonviolent philosophy is a lesson for us all. It’s my honor to recognize one of our nation’s most respectable civil rights leaders during Black History Month.”
“He was a gay African American in an era where those qualities were impediments to functioning not only in the larger society, but also in the African American community,” Assemblymember Shirley Weber, Chair of the Assembly Black Caucus, said. “And yet he became the friend and confidant of Thurgood Marshall and Martin Luther King, Jr. and other Civil Rights leaders because he embodied unwavering commitment to equality and justice for every person.”
ACR 27 also supports the Bayard Rustin Commemorative Stamp Campaign, an effort led by Assembly District 51 and Echo Park community leader, Lauren Buisson. Rustin’s inclusion on the United States Postage Stamp corrects an oversight and properly salutes his contributions.
"Bayard Rustin is a civil rights icon, an LGBTQ icon and an American icon, whose powerful story is a reminder of the extent to which all of our struggles for equality and justice are linked," said Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur. "Recognizing his life and legacy is critical to ensuring that everyone dedicated to the fight for civil rights and social justice may be inspired by his example."
ACR 27 included the early co-authorship of Assemblymembers Cervantes, Cooper, Gipson, Jones-Sawyer, Low and Weber, and Senators Atkins, Galgiani and Wiener and passed the Assembly floor with 65 co-authors, mounting a strong effort to support a Bayard Rustin United Postal Service commemorative stamp.
Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo was elected as the representative of the 51st Assembly District in December of 2017. She is a member of the Health, Appropriations, Utilities & Energy, Labor and Rules Committees. Carrillo represents the people of East Los Angeles, Northeast Los Angeles, and the neighborhoods of El Sereno, Echo Park, Lincoln Heights, Chinatown and parts of Silver Lake.