April 1st, 2011

Big Damn Heroes

National Women's History Museum Legislation - please ask your representatives to support this

Note: The museum has *private funds* to cover construction - the legislation approves the site for the museum.

We are thrilled to announce that on March 30, 2011, Representative Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) reintroduced The National Women's History Museum Act. Identical bills were introduced in both houses -- the House bill is HR 1269 and the Senate bill is S. 680.

The National Women's History Museum Act provides a permanent site for NWHM where it will house its collections and further its educational services. The location at 12th Street S.W. and Independence Avenue S.W. is across the street from several of the nation's most iconic museums, such as the National Air and Space Museum, the National American History Museum and the National Gallery of Art. It's the right place for a comprehensive museum on women's accomplishments. The bill provides that NWHM will pay fair market value for the vacant site and will fund the construction with private funds.

"The 235 years of our nation's history are replete with women who have been trailblazers-- from Abigail Adams to Kristi Yamaguchi-- but there is no single institution dedicated to chronicling half our population's stories. Our sons and daughters need to know those stories," Rep. Maloney said. "Of the 210 statues in the U.S. Capitol, only nine are of women; of the 2,400 national historic landmarks in the country, only five percent document women's achievements. So a National Women's History Museum that will celebrate, honor and document the roles women have played in American life is long overdue."

"Thanks to the generous support of private contributors all across the country, the dream of a national museum dedicated to honoring the contributions of American women is close to becoming a reality," said Rep. Biggert. "This is an exciting opportunity to create a permanent educational institution here in Washington that will serve as an inspiration to the millions of young women and girls who visit our nation's capital each year. I look forward to working with Rep. Maloney, Sen. Collins, and all of my colleagues to send this bill to the President's desk."

"A women's history museum is long overdue in the nation's capital," said Senator Collins. "It would be the first institution in the region that showcases the many important social, economic, cultural, and political contributions that women have made to our country. And all this could be done at virtually no cost to taxpayers. The museum would help ensure that future generations understand what we owe to the many generations of American women that helped build, sustain, and advance our society. It is a great use for an empty lot on our National Mall, and it makes good fiscal sense."

NWHM President & CEO Joan Wages said, "Washington, DC is a city of symbols and a beacon to the world. The National Women's History Museum will show that our nation honors our women. Women deserve this recognition for the many contributions they have made to the building of our country. "

HR 1269 was introduced with 22 cosponsors: Representatives Sandy Adams (R-FL), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Karen Bass (D-CA), Judy Biggert (R-IL), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Madeleine Z. Bordallo (D-GU), Susan A. Davis (D-CA), Barney Frank (D-MA), Raul M. Grijalva (D-AZ), Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), Jesse L. Jackson Jr. (D-IL), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Cynthia M. Lummis (R-WY), Doris O. Matsui (D-CA), Gwen Moore (D-WI), James P. Moran (D-VA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Janice D. Schakowsky (D-IL), Jean Schmidt (R-OH), Jackie Speier (D-CA), and Fortney Pete Stark (D-CA).

S 680 was introduced with 19 cosponsors: Senators Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Mark Begich (D-AK), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Kay Hagan (D-NC), Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Patty Murray (D-WA), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI).

Go to http://www.nwhm.org/html/building/news/archive/hr1269.pdf to read the text of HR 1269. Please contact your Representatives and Senators and ask them to cosponsor and pass The National Women's History Museum Act!