California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed a new law that ends restrictions on lowrider cruising, a cultural tradition developed by Latinos in the state.
Defining tradition: Lowrider culture, developed by Mexican Americans in Southern California after World War II, involves modifying cars to ride lower to the ground and painting them with elaborate, colourful designs.
* Groups of lowriders would then “cruise” these vehicles slowly through town, an activity that has faced harassment from police over the years.
* The former law placed limits on how low vehicles could ride, and allowed cities and towns to impose their own cruising bans.
Breaking boundaries: Assemblymember David Alvarez, the sponsor of this new legislation, described the law as a “major win” for Californians.
* The new law removes the restriction that prevented the body of a vehicle from being closer to the ground than the bottom of its rims.
* It also revokes the ability of cities and towns to impose their own cruising bans.
Reactions: Supporters, such as Jovita Arellano, president of the United Lowriders Coalition, express their happiness about the new legislation.
* “As we’ve always said, cruising isn’t a crime,” said Arellano. “We’re really happy that the state assembly members, the senators and the governor have embraced our culture that is really important to us.”
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