October 10, 2014 (Fremont, CA) – In the second of our four-part series, we bring you the story of Amandeep Singh, a young man who was pivotal in enacting AB1964, or California’s Workplace Religious Freedom Act. In 2012, Police Cadet Amandeep Singh – a resident of Yuba City, CA – testified before the Committee on Labor and Employment at the California State Assembly about his experiences as a Sikh trying to join law enforcement. Cadet Singh had tried joining a police agency for seven years but was not allowed to do so because of his Sikh articles of faith (specifically, his turban and unshorn beard).2014-October-Amandeep-Singh-quoteCadet Singh’s compelling testimony was critical in helping to pass AB1964, a law that provides workers in California with the nation’s strongest protections against religious discrimination.

Click here to read Cadet Singh’s testimony from the 2012 hearing.
Click here to watch a video of the 2012 hearing.
Click here for photos from the 2012 hearing.

It was only after the passage of AB1964 that Cadet Singh’s desire to start a law enforcement career became a reality. Cadet Singh is currently enrolled at the Yuba College Police Academy and hopes to work as a uniformed police officer when he graduates. We wish Cadet Singh the best of luck and thank him for all his efforts in helping to enact the very law that protects him today.

Community Leadership Makes a Difference This victory could not have been possible without the tireless efforts of the California Sikh community, which made numerous trips to the state capitol to testify at hearings and show their support for AB1964. Although the bill was introduced by State Assembly Member Mariko Yamada and sponsored by the Sikh Coalition, the grassroots activism of the California Sikh community during each step of the legislative process made all the difference.

If you know of anyone impacted by AB1964, please contact us at advocacy@sikhcoalition.org.As always, we urge all Sikhs to practice their faith fearlessly.

Missed the previous AB1964 impact story? Read about Deputy Sheriff Khalsa here.