State Proclaims June as Portuguese Heritage Month
Asm. Salas honors Portuguese community at the State Capitol
SACRAMENTO – Today, Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) was joined by Portuguese community leaders from Kings County and throughout the state to present Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR) 52. The resolution declares the month of June as Portuguese Heritage Month to promote the history of Portuguese heritage and to recognize the many contributions to California made by the Portuguese community.
“The first Portuguese settlers came to California and laid the groundwork for much of the agricultural operations that continue to thrive in the Central Valley today,” said Assemblymember Salas. “The Portuguese heritage has contributed greatly to the social, economic, and cultural makeup of our state and I am proud to honor the Portuguese culture and heritage with ACR 52.”
“The Central Valley has a strong Portuguese community that continues to contribute to California in many ways. I am proud to celebrate the Portuguese culture alongside other Portuguese leaders from throughout the state,” said Supervisor Craig Pedersen, Kings County.
“We are honored to receive this recognition,” said Supervisor Joe Neves, Kings County. “For much of my life I have worked in the agriculture industry in some way or another and am proud of my Portuguese roots.”
The Portuguese Heritage Society of California designated the second Saturday of June as a day to celebrate Portuguese culture through music, dance, art, cooking, parades, and other festivities.
Currently, there are nearly 330,000 Portuguese living in California. Portuguese Americans continue to thrive in agricultural communities of the San Joaquin Valley, including Hanford and Lemoore in Kings County as well as Shafter, Wasco, and Bakersfield in Kern County.
In the early 19th century, the first Portuguese settlers came to California from the Azores Islands. These Portuguese immigrants were excellent farmers and ranchers who contributed significantly in expanding California’s agricultural industry into the largest in the country, contributing greatly to California’s strong state economy.
ACR 52 was approved with unanimous support by the Assembly and will be referred to the Senate for further consideration.