Carbajal Statement on Juneteenth Becoming a Federal Holiday

Washington, DC – Congressman Carbajal issued the following statement after President Joe Biden signed S. 475, the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, into law. Rep. Carbajal voted to pass this legislation in the House last night, where it passed with bipartisan support.

Slavery was a scourge on our nation’s history that should not be ignored or swept under the rug. Today, we took a small but important step to reckon with our past and look to the future.

“I was proud to cast my vote to make Juneteenth a federal holiday, cementing this celebration of freedom for enslaved African Americans as an American tradition. This is long overdue and I am thankful for the advocacy of all those who have helped make this possible.

“This weekend, I hope every member of our community will join me in celebrating Juneteenth as a national holiday for the first time. As we celebrate Black lives and liberation, we must continue working to address systemic racism in order to make our nation more equal, fair, and free.”

Congressman Carbajal recently awarded the 2021 Congressional Women of the Year Award to two Central Coast advocates advancing racial justice in our community. Santa Barbara poet Sojourner Kincaid Rolle won the award for her work to raise awareness of our diverse cultural history. She is heavily involved with Juneteenth Santa Barbara and Healing Justice Santa Barbara, where she has worked to exhume past stories as a reminder of where we have been and where we can go as a nation. Courtney Haile from San Luis Obispo also won the award for her work as co-founder of R.A.C.E. Matters SLO, a grassroots organization amplifying racial justice and centering Black voices through art and culture.

Congressman Carbajal will attend a Juneteenth celebration in Lompoc this weekend. For more information, please contact

Rep. Salud Carbajal represents California’s 24th congressional district, encompassing Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and part of Ventura County. He sits on the House Armed Services Committee, Agriculture Committee, and Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, where he serves as the Chair of the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation.


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