Mendez monument gets approval

STUDENTS in Lincoln Elementary School for “Mexican” children in 1930s (Smithsonian photo).

A proposal to establish a permanent monument to honor the Mendez v. Westminster school desegregation decision was approved by the Westminster City Council meeting on Wednesday night. The vote was 4-0 in favor with Councilwoman Margie Rice absent.

Councilman Sergio Contreras proposed that the city approve such a monument, have city staff find the right location, and organize the design and fund-raising for such a tribute.

The city has already applied for funding for “The Mendez Historic Trail and Green Street Bikeway Project,” and such a monument could be located there. The monument would be similar to those currently in place and proposed for Sid Goldstein Freedom Park.

The 1945 Mendez decision, which outlawed segregation in public schools in California by race or ethnicity, was a precursor to the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision which banned school segregation nationwide.


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