Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 84


Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 84-Relative to a sister state relationship with the Azores.

[Filed with Secretary of State August 21, 2002.]

SCR 84, Costa. Sister states: Azores.

This measure would extend an invitation on behalf of the people of California to the people of the Azores, Portugal, to join with California in a sister state relationship.

WHEREAS, The Azores is a group of nine islands strategically located in the Atlantic Ocean 800 miles west of Portugal, a two-hour

flight from the capital city of Lisbon; although the Azores continue to be part of Portugal, they have been administrated autonomously since

1980; and

WHEREAS, The first Azorean settlers in California can be traced back to the early 19th century, when they engaged in whaling and gold

mining; a large wave of Azorean immigrants moved into California at the end of the 19th century and industriously set up considerable

agricultural operations, especially dairying and intensive vegetable and fruit farming; and

WHEREAS, Historically, California has been a popular destination for migrants from the Azores, creating strong cultural ties between the

two regions; currently there are roughly 500,000 Portuguese people living in California, approximately 90 percent of whom have either

come directly from the Azores or have Azorean parentage; and

WHEREAS, People continue to migrate to California from the Azores, creating a large concentration of Azoreans in California,

especially around the East Bay and the Central Valley, and many maintain strong ties to their ancestral homeland; and

WHEREAS, The Azores have many characteristics in common with California, including enjoying similarly mild climates and having

similar prominent economic activities, such as agriculture, tourism, wine growing, and fishing. Agriculture is an important industry for the

people of the Azores, where approximately 28.7 percent of the population is engaged in that activity; and

WHEREAS, The Azores are a destination for mainland Portuguese as well as international tourists who come to enjoy the natural beauty as

well as sites of historical significance. Like California, the Azores have the combination of mountains, ocean, and open land. Diving, fishing,

hiking, golf, tennis, and relaxing on the beach are just a few of the activities tourists enjoy; and

WHEREAS, California and the Azores could benefit greatly from increased cooperation as some similar challenges are faced in both

regions. Because of the volcanic nature of the islands, they are subject to severe earthquakes in much the same way that California is. Soil

erosion, air pollution, and droughts have also been common problems; and

WHEREAS, A sister state relationship would promote mutual trade and commerce and increase the potential for educational, environmental,

and cultural relations between the Azores and California; now, therefore, be it Resolved by the Senate of the State of California, the Assembly

thereof concurring, That the Legislature of the State of California, on behalf of the people of California, extends to the people of the Azores an

 invitation to join with California in a sister state relationship in order to encourage and facilitate mutually beneficial economic, educational,

environmental, and cultural exchanges and to lead to a more indelible and lasting relationship between California and the citizens of the

Azores; and be it further Resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.