Bill Text: CA SCR61 | 2019-2020 | Regular Session | Amended


Bill Title: Sister state relationships with Ethiopian regional states.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 7-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-09-13 - Ordered to inactive file on request of Senator Skinner. [SCR61 Detail]

Download: California-2019-SCR61-Amended.html

Amended  IN  Senate  August 12, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Concurrent Resolution
No. 61


Introduced by Senator Skinner
(Principal coauthor: Assembly Member Bloom)
(Coauthors: Senators Beall, Dodd, Hill, and Wieckowski)
(Coauthor: Assembly Member Chu)

June 17, 2019


Relative to a sister state relationship with Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. sister state relationships with Ethiopian regional states.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SCR 61, as amended, Skinner. Sister state relationship with Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. relationships with Ethiopian regional states.
This measure would extend to the people of the regional states of Amhara, Oromia, Somali, the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region, and Tigray an invitation to join with California in sister state relationships.

This measure would express the Legislature’s support of efforts to launch a sister state relationship between Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and California.

Fiscal Committee: NO  

WHEREAS, The Ethiopian Embassy to the United States in Washington D.C. and the Ethiopian Consulate General in Los Angeles, which covers the western half of the United States, including California, as its consular district, have expressed interest in the creation of sister state relationships between the State of California and the Ethiopian regional states of Amhara, Oromia, Somali, the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region, and Tigray; and
WHEREAS, Diplomatic relations between the United States and Ethiopia, dating back over a century to 1903, have grown from mere state-to-state relations to people-to-people relations with the presence of large Ethiopian diaspora communities in the United States, including in California; and
WHEREAS, The economic, political, and cultural relations between Ethiopia and the United States, driven by the excellent friendly relations between the two countries and the people-to-people relationships that continue to grow in leaps and bounds, need further consolidation through local government relationships in both countries; and
WHEREAS, Ethiopia and the administration of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali are committed to upholding and expanding human rights in Ethiopia; and
WHEREAS, California is one of the largest hosts of Ethiopian diaspora communities that can bridge and further consolidate the economic, political, and cultural relations between California and the aforementioned five Ethiopian regional states, particularly the regional state of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region and the regional state of Tigray, and
WHEREAS, Ethiopia is one of the fastest growing economies in Africa, with the aforementioned five Ethiopian regional states playing a leading role, including Addis Ababa, which serves as the capital city of Ethiopia and the regional state of Oromia; and
WHEREAS, Ethiopia’s capital city, Addis Ababa, is the diplomatic and cultural capital of Africa and hosts the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), and is third to New York City and Geneva, Switzerland, in diplomatic missions; and
WHEREAS, California, as the fifth largest economy in the world, can reach out to the African continent through Ethiopia and the aforementioned five Ethiopian regional states as its principal gateway; and
WHEREAS, The sister state relationships between California and key Ethiopian regional states will foster commerce, tourism, environmental protection and sustainable development, technological and educational advancement, and cultural and people-to-people relations that are the bedrock of the spirit of entrepreneurship and development of the two friendly nations; and
WHEREAS, Both the State of California and representatives of the Ethiopian government strongly believe a unanimous and concurrent resolution of the Senate of the State of California will facilitate and advance the already strong economic, political, and cultural relations between California and the Ethiopian regional states of Amhara, Oromia, Somali, the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region, and Tigray; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, THE ASSEMBLY THEREOF CONCURRING, That the Legislature, on behalf of the People of California, hereby extends to the people of the regional states of Amhara, Oromia, Somali, the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region, and Tigray an invitation to join with California in sister state relationships in order to promote and assure mutually beneficial educational, economic, environmental, scientific, and cultural exchanges that will lead to a closer relationship between Californians and the citizens of these five key Ethiopian regional states; and be it further
RESOLVED, That the Secretary of the Senate transmit copies of this resolution to the presidents of the regional states of Amhara, Oromia, Somali, the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region, and Tigray, and to each Senator and Representative from California in the Congress of the United States.

WHEREAS, With the April 2018 election of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali, new interest and opportunities exist to build a relationship with Ethiopia, through the approximately 150,000 Ethiopians and Ethiopian Americans living in California, that promotes education, trade, and investment; and

WHEREAS, Through a letter from the Ethiopian embassy, Prime Minister Ali has indicated a desire to connect with the Silicon Valley to strengthen the economy; and

WHEREAS, Ethiopia has one of the fastest growing economies in the world. In 2015, the World Bank highlighted that Ethiopia had witnessed rapid economic growth with real gross domestic product growth averaging 10.3 percent between 2004 and 2014; and

WHEREAS, EDGET, the Ethiopian Diaspora Group in Silicon Valley, whose leaders represent large constituencies in the South Bay, the San Francisco Bay area, Los Angeles, and San Diego, formed to promote and facilitate investment, trade, and educational exchange; and

WHEREAS, In September 2018, Ethiopian Vice Consul Abebe Nigusu received a commendation on behalf of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali for Ethiopian New Year from the State Senate; and

WHEREAS, Timket is an Orthodox Tewahedo celebration of Epiphany, marking the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River. On January 19, 2019, the City of Oakland joined with 13 Ethiopian Orthodox churches from the San Francisco Bay area in celebrating Timket, the first time that all of these churches have come together in 27 years. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf declared January 19 to be Ethiopian Orthodox Day in the City of Oakland; and

WHEREAS, Ethiopia’s agricultural market constitutes 85 percent of the labor force. Principal crops of Ethiopia include coffee, legumes, oilseeds, cereals, potatoes, sugarcane, and vegetables. Ethiopian exports are almost entirely composed of agricultural commodities, paramount among them coffee; and

WHEREAS, The capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, has a diverse economic portfolio similar to that of California. Its labor force is situated primarily in the trade and commerce, transport and communication, and agricultural industries; and

WHEREAS, Similar to the Bay Area Rapid Transit system, Addis Ababa has a complex, efficient light rail system for public transportation. Future expansion of this system is planned to link the entire province; and

WHEREAS, President Sahle-Work Zewde, the first female president of Ethiopia, was elected unanimously by the Federal Parliamentary Assembly. She is currently the only female head of state in Africa; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate of the State of California, the Assembly thereof concurring, That the Legislature expresses its support to launch a sister state relationship between Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and California; and be it further

Resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.

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