OLYMPIA – The Washington State Senate passed a resolution Friday honoring the contributions of Sikh Americans to the culture and history of Washington state and the United States.
The measure was sponsored by Sen. Sharon Shewmake (D-Bellingham), who spoke about Sikh culture and recognized the service of Sikhs Americans, in particular the contributions of the Sikh community in Whatcom County, including caring for people displaced by devastating floods on the Nooksack River.
Shewmake’s comments were followed by remarks from Sen. Manka Dhingra (D-Redmond), the first Sikh American elected to a state legislature in American history, who spoke about how Sikh values have inspired her and many others to public service. “This is a religion that was talking about equality among humans back in the fifteenth century,” said Dhingra. “The religion is based on the fact that we all are born out of the same light.”
Sen. Yasmin Trudeau (D-Tacoma), the first Muslim American to serve in the Washington State Legislature, then spoke on the importance of pluralism and solidarity across religions and cultures.
The Senate also recognized members of the Sikh community in attendance, including Whatcom County Executive Satpal Singh Sidhu, elected in 2020, as well as Kent City Councilmember Satwinder Kaur, elected in 2018.
The session was opened with a prayer by Jasneet Kaur, outreach coordinator for the Pacific Northwest Gurdwara Council.