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Knight Touts St. Francis Dam Memorial Bill in Santa Clarita

Congressman Held Press Conference Regarding New Legislation

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Valencia, CA, August 4, 2015 | comments

Rep. Steve Knight (CA-25) held a press conference on Tuesday to formally announce his recent introduction of a bill that would create a Memorial Site for the victims of the 1928 St. Francis Dam Disaster and designate parts of the San Gabriel Mountains as a federally protected wilderness area. 

A crowd of about 50 gathered at Tesoro Adobe Historic Park in Valencia to hear the Congressman speak and answer questions about the legislation. Rep. Knight explained the importance of memorializing the victims of the tragedy and of creating the wilderness area, stating that there has been a longstanding effort in the community to do both. 

“This legislation is long overdue,” said Knight in his speech. “The victims of the St. Francis Dam Disaster deserve to be memorialized, and that’s exactly why we are here today.” 

Rep. Knight’s speech was preceded by presentations from a variety of locals. Dr. Alan Pollack, President of the Santa Clarita Historical Society, kicked off the event with a brief account of the 1928 St. Francis Dam Disaster in which approximately 425 people lost their lives. Next, Chuck Cullen of the Lakota Nation spoke about the history of San Francisquito Canyon where his family settled centuries ago and suffered heavy losses by the St. Francis Dam disaster. Then the crowd heard from Rudy Ortega Jr., Tribal President of the Tatavium Band of Mission Indians, who delved deeper into the importance of the proposed Castaic Wilderness Area and performed a Native American blessing on the legislation along with his cousin.

“It is great to see people from all around the Santa Clarita Valley come out to support this legislation,” said Knight after the event. “This is something that many in the community would like to see accomplished and I’m proud to be a part of the effort to make it happen.” 

 
 

 

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