We are thrilled to announce the successful and unanimous passage of SB 403, authored by Senator Aisha Wahab, sponsored by Equality Labs, and supported by CAIR-CA, through the Assembly Judiciary Committee! This passage marks a significant step forward in the ongoing battle against caste discrimination in California.
SB 403 is a landmark bill combatting caste-based prejudice and discrimination. The bill protects individuals from any form of discrimination or harassment based on their caste or caste-affected background, ensuring that all Californians are treated with dignity and respect, regardless of their caste or social origins.
In a 2018 Caste in the United States Report developed by Equality Labs, two in three Dalits (the term used for those of the lowest class in South Asia’s caste system) reported being treated unfairly at work, one in three Dalit students reported being discriminated against during their education, and 25% of Dalits surveyed reported facing verbal or physical assault based on their caste.
We applaud Equality Labs and the cosponsors for pioneering anti-caste bias legislation in America and thank Senator Wahab for her bravery in standing by one of our most vulnerable populations despite the controversy surrounding this crucial bill. The bill will now move to the Assembly Appropriations Committee, where it will be assessed for any costs to the California State Budget.
This milestone is a reminder of the importance of solidarity and continued action. CAIR-CA remains steadfast in our commitment to fighting all forms of discrimination, including caste discrimination. We will continue to work tirelessly to create a society where everyone, regardless of their background, is treated with dignity, fairness, and equality.
We encourage you to remain engaged and informed as SB 403 progresses through the legislative process. Together, we can bring about meaningful change and build a future free from the binds of caste discrimination.
Thank you for your unwavering support and dedication to the pursuit of justice.
CAIR-CA Policy & Government Affairs Manager