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New York City Council Approves Resolution Urging Congress to Pass Smithsonian American Latino Museum Act

Historic Resolution Was Sponsored by Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Passed Yesterday By Voice Vote

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Yesterday, the New York City Council passed Resolution 405, sponsored by Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, the first Latina to serve in this historic role, calling upon Congress to pass and the President to sign H.R. 1217 and S. 568 to designate the Arts and Industries Building as the home of the future Smithsonian American Latino Museum on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

“We applaud the New York City Council for its leadership regarding the creation of a Smithsonian American Latino Museum,” said Cid Wilson, board chair of the Friends of the American Latino Museum (FRIENDS). “Passage of Resolution 405, by one of our nation’s largest and most diverse cities, sends a strong message that Congress must act this year to complete the telling of U.S. history. We thank the Big Apple and look forward to working with the Council to highlight their support on Capitol Hill.”

New York City is the perfect home for a resolution of this significance calling on Congress to pass the Smithsonian American Latino Museum Act. The city is home to over 2.2 million Latinos who make up 27.5% of its population, and New York City is the historical and symbolic hub of the waves of new Americans that built and enriched our nation.

“I would like to thank Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for her leadership and embrace of the campaign to create the American Latino Museum,” stated Estuardo Rodriguez, executive director of FRIENDS. “Every day across this nation there are history lessons taught that fail to mention the critical role American Latinos have played in the founding and growth of our nation. One way we can address that glaring omission is by ensuring our history stands side by side with the other museums of the Smithsonian Institution.”

FRIENDS worked with Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito in support of the resolution and Wilson, along with FRIENDS Executive Director Estuardo Rodriguez, testified at a hearing of the Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries and International Intergroup Relations. They were joined by Congressman José Serrano (D-NY), Juan Cartagena of LatinoJustice PRLDEF, and others who similarly testified in support of the museum and resolution.

Friends of the American Latino Museum, a 501(c)(3) incorporated in Washington, D.C., strives to create a museum in our nation’s capital to educate, inspire and encourage respect and understanding of the richness and diversity of the American Latino experience within the U.S. and its territories by highlighting the contributions made by Latino leaders, pioneers and communities to the American way of life.


Jonathan Kent: 646-801-5567