Thursday, December 23, 2010
After Hanukkah and before Christmas, the city of Pacific Grove has marked another day for reflection: the Day of Inclusion, Dec. 17.
The state Legislature made the day official last year with the passage of ACR 76. Dec. 17 marks the anniversary of the 1943 Magnuson Act, which repealed the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 – a federal law barring people of Chinese ancestry from becoming U.S. citizens.
On Dec. 15, the P.G. City Council voted to recognize the Day of Inclusion for the second consecutive year.
“It was really in honor of the Chinese village that we had down where Hopkins [Marine Station] is now,” says City Manager Tom Frutchey, referring to the immigrant fishing community that thrived on the P.G. shore from the mid-1800s until a fire and eviction drove out its residents in the early 1900s.
The day also honors contributions of other immigrant groups, adds Mayor Carmelita Garcia, who placed the item on the regular agenda.
Gerry Low-Sabado, an outspoken descendent of the Chinese village, thanked councilmembers and encouraged them to keep the history of P.G.’s Chinese people alive.
But other than the council resolution, the Day of Inclusion came and went without much ado in P.G.
“It’s one thing to pass it,” Low-Sabado notes, “but another to celebrate it.”