Contra Costa Board of Supervisors Passes Resolution Supporting Exoneration of Port Chicago 50

"We're not going to stop until this happens."

On October 11, 2022, California's Contra Costa Board of Supervisors passed a resolution supporting local, state, and federal efforts to exonerate the sailors wrongfully convicted of mutiny following the Port Chicago disaster of 1944.

East Bay Regional Park District's Director Beverly Lane, whose Board of Directors approved the naming of Thurgood Marshall Regional Park – Home of the Port Chicago 50, was at the meeting to make a statement:

  • "East Bay Regional Park is really proud to say that we have 2500 acres of the former Naval Weapons Station which will become the Thurgood Marshall Regional Park – Home of the Port Chicago 50.

    We are pleased to say we have plans for a visitor center which will be a spot where people can meet before they go to the [National Park Service's Port Chicago National Memorial] Naval Magazine and which will also convey this story to the public for many, many years to come. On behalf of the Park District and the National Park Service, we appreciate this resolution and all of us hope the exoneration happens sooner than later."

District 3 Supervisor Diane Burgis spoke on the subject of exoneration:

  • "320 souls lost their life and it is just outrageous that it is taking so long for this to happen. We are all united on this and for those fifty men who were not only doing that hard work and survived but they were willing to step up and say this is not okay. The bravery and the courage and the hard work that it took to stand up for that and then to live the rest of your life knowing that you were not exonerated. That's heartbreaking. It's just very unfair.

    I want to thank Congressman [Mark] DeSaulnier and Congressman [George] Miller for sticking with this because we're not going to stop until this happens."

District 3 Supervisor John Gioia on U.S. Congressmember Mark DeSaulnier's exoneration measure in U.S. Congress:

  • "The U.S. House passed the resolution, but the story is the U.S. Senate pulled it out. I mean, think about that. The Senate amended the bill to pull out the exoneration resolution. To me that is a pretty clear statement that some folks are still not willing to recognize the harm and racism that existed and, frankly, continues to exist. The fact that the Senate would pull out this resolution is a commentary on the state of affairs, still, of this country." ⋆