Davis drafted a letter to Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, who is leading the legislative effort in the Assembly, urging the California legislature to approve a resolution to commission a statue of Ride.
“Sally Ride personifies the California and American spirits of exploration and discovery,” said Davis. “Sally was a pioneer of space exploration and she was a tireless advocate in promoting STEM education, especially for girls. Having her presence grace the halls of the Congress would be a fitting tribute and an inspiration to the many Americans who visit the Capitol everyday.”
A long-time San Diego resident, Ride was the first American woman in space and later taught physics at UC San Diego. With her partner Tam O’Shaughnessy, she co-founded Sally Ride Science, which develops educational programs to inspire middle and high school students, particularly girls, about science.
Since 1864, each state has been allowed to display two statues in the Capitol. State Sen. Ricardo Lara of Bell Gardens is the author of a resolution in the state Senate to replace Spanish missionary Father Junípero Serra, whose statue was added in 1931, with a statue of Ride. In 2009, a statue of Ronald Reagan replaced one of Thomas Starr King, which was also donated in 1931.
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