House Unanimously Votes To Approve The Creation Of A National Latino Museum
It's time that Congress recognize "500 years of Latino contributions to the founding, shaping, building, and the defending of this country."
The U.S. House of Representatives voted Monday to approve legislation that would create a national Latino museum in the nation’s capital. The initiative had wide bipartisan support and passed unanimously by voice vote.
The House just voted to approve the creation of a National Latino Museum. “It's time for our children to come to a museum and see the stories of their own heritage,” says @RepSylviaGarcia, by @PatriciagDC https://t.co/OVp05xRXhQ— NBC Latino (@NBCLatino) July 27, 2020
"It's time for Latinos to see our contributions, our culture and our history reflected in all institutions, including the Smithsonian museums," said Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas, on the House floor. "It's time for our children to come to a museum and see the stories of their own heritage."
Today, it was my privilege and honor to preside over the U.S. House of Representatives as we considered H.R. 2420, legislation by my friend @RepJoseSerrano that would create a National Museum of the American Latino. pic.twitter.com/IDWUk06Jdx— Rep. Nydia Velazquez (@NydiaVelazquez) July 27, 2020
Danny Vargas, chairman of the board of the Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino, told NBC News ahead of the vote that, “it is a wonderful feeling to know that the House of Representatives has come to realize the importance of an institution that can recognize and commemorate the over 500 years of Latino contributions to the founding, shaping, building, and the defending of this country. We’re elated."
Pictured: Danny Vargas, via NBC News
The idea of a national museum dedicated to telling the history, story and contributions of the nation's diverse and growing Latino community has been in the works for decades.
A report two years ago by the University of California, Los Angeles largely mirrored a 1994 report by the Smithsonian Institution Task Force on Latinos that concluded that not enough is being done to recognize and include Hispanic contributions, going as far as labeling it “a pattern of willful neglect” toward the Latino population in the United States."
Vargas tells NBC News that moving forward with a Latino museum is particularly prescient nowadays, "for a community that is the backbone of what’s keeping the economy afloat during the pandemic. We’re many of the essential workers right now, as we have been [and] we’re being disproportionately impacted by the pandemic."
Next up, the Senate.