The California Senate has passed Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 18, titled “Compassionate California”. Introduced into the Senate by Senator Dave Cortese (D-San Jose), the Resolution would declare California to be the first Compassionate State in the United States of America. The Resolution passed the Senate with no opposition (32-0) and now heads to the Assembly Floor for a vote before it is officially enacted.
The Charter for Compassion was unveiled to the public in 2009 carrying forth the vision of creating a global civil society that would ask us to treat others as we would like to be treated. While SCR 18 is not an official adoption of the international Charter of Compassion, it does recognize the state as a model of compassion and proclaims California to be a Compassionate State.
“Our State is home to many industries, organizations, and individuals who seek to serve the needs of our communities through compassion, and it is through them that we have risen to be a model of compassion within the Union,” said Senator Cortese. “When we lead with compassion, especially during times of increasing uncertainty, we generate positive benefits that ripple through every sector of our civic and community life.”
Seventeen communities in California have passed “Compassionate Resolutions”, including the County of Santa Clara, through a Resolution introduced by Senator Cortese during his term on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, with numerous additional community initiatives underway. Over 450 cities, counties, and states spread across 54 countries globally have already or are actively in the process of declaring themselves “Compassionate” communities.
Research demonstrates that practicing compassion produces positive benefits in all sectors of civic and community life, including business, education, safety, public health, economic, and physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
““Compassion is at the heart of peace and harmony in community” says Girish Shah of the Silicon Valley Interreligious Council and Compassionate California, adding, “this bipartisan resolution brings Compassion in the public square to build a more just and compassionate society.”
“The passing of this Resolution is highly significant as it further lays the groundwork for policies advancing issues of inclusion, diversity, and equity, says Marina Councilmember Dr. Lisa A. Berkley of Compassionate California, adding, “It lies at the intersection of positive psychology, social and environmental justice, and legislation and further establishes a foundation for policy rooted in care and compassion for the Earth and all her beings.”
As the Resolution states, “The state, along with its 58 counties and 482 cities, regularly empowers and supports compassionate programs and nonprofit services to improve the lives of all California residents and treat them with dignity, with emphasis on supportive services to child and youth programs, the elderly, the disabled, the homeless, veterans, immigrants, vulnerable and protected populations such as those defined by race, ethnicity, religion, culture, gender, sexual orientation and identity, nativity, native language, and related issues, workers, and small businesses”
Senator Dave Cortese represents State Senate District 15 which encompasses most of Santa Clara County, including the cities of Campbell, Los Gatos, Cupertino, Saratoga, Monte Sereno, and much of San Jose, stretching from the Santa Cruz Mountains to the west and Mountain Hamilton Range to the east.