The following letter was sent to Sec. Bunch on Nov. 22nd on behalf of a bipartisan group of 82 Members of Congress. To read the original letter, click here.

Lonnie G. Bunch III
The Smithsonian Institution

Dear Secretary Bunch:

The 116th Congress saw the passage of the creation of two new Smithsonian Museums into law. It comes with great excitement and comfort to have a partner at the helm who oversaw the creation of the extraordinary Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture that opened its doors in September 2016. Further, we applaud you for how quickly your team has begun to work to lay the foundation for both the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum and the National Museum of the American Latino.

As we continue to move through this process, we want to take this opportunity to re-emphasize Congressional intent as stated in the authorizing legislation that both the National Museum of the American Latino and Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum be located on or near the National Mall, to the maximum extent practicable. From our perspective, the National Mall is the two-mile park from the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial, bounded on the north and south by Constitution and Independence Avenues.

With more than 25 million people visiting the National Mall each year, it comes as no surprise that many Smithsonian Institutions have claimed this area as their home and best for the diffusion of knowledge. The addition of the two new Museums on the Mall will further the Smithsonian’s mission by showcasing and highlighting the untold and overlooked contributions to our nation of both women and Latinos. It is fitting that these two museums be prominently located in the two-mile area we describe above as that will help ensure that more visitors will be able to enjoy and learn from them.

We appreciate your consideration of Congressional priorities as the Smithsonian works to establish these important museums. We look forward to working together and having a continued dialogue on how best to meet this intent.


  1. Tony Cardenas
  2. Carolyn B. Maloney
  3. James P. McGovern
  4. Salud Carbajal
  5. Gwen Moore
  6. Nanette Diaz Barragán
  7. Sylvia R. Garcia
  8. Juan Vargas
  9. Grace F. Napolitano
  10. Alan Lowenthal
  11. Ruben Gallego
  12. J. Luis Correa
  13. Pete Aguilar
  14. Jerry McNerney
  15. Kathleen M. Rice
  16. Joaquin Castro
  17. Jesús G. “Chuy” García
  18. Darren Soto
  19. Jackie Speier
  20. Dwight Evans
  21. Veronica Escobar
  22. Jimmy Gomez
  23. Jahana Hayes
  24. Mike Levin
  25. Lucy McBath
  26. Amata Radewagen
  27. Frederica S. Wilson
  28. Norma J. Torres
  29. Jaime Herrera Beutler
  30. Anthony G. Brown
  31. Jan Schakowsky
  32. Ritchie Torres
  33. Alma S. Adams, Ph.D.
  34. Linda T. Sánchez
  35. Marc A. Veasey
  36. Sheila Jackson Lee
  37. Julia Brownley
  38. Jenniffer González-Colón
  39. Donald M. Payne, Jr.
  40. Brenda L. Lawrence
  41. Katherine M. Clark
  42. Michael F.Q. San Nicolas
  43. Dina Titus
  44. Jamaal Bowman, Ed.D.
  45. Grace Meng
  46. Marie Newman
  47. Suzanne Bonamici
  48. Mark DeSaulnier
  49. Mark Takano
  50. Emanuel Cleaver, II
  51. Karen Bass
  52. Teresa Leger Fernandez
  53. Bonnie Watson Coleman
  54. Jim Costa
  55. Barbara Lee
  56. Madeleine Dean
  57. Stephen F. Lynch
  58. Tom O’Halleran
  59. Reemphasizing Congressional Intent on Site Location for
  60. Smithsonian National Museum of the American Latino and
  61. Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum,
  62. Additional Signatories
  63. Thomas R. Suozzi
  64. Debbie Dingell
  65. Adriano Espaillat
  66. Nikema Williams
  67. Henry Cuellar
  68. Judy Chu
  69. Marilyn Strickland
  70. William D. Keating
  71. Frederica S. Wilson
  72. Bobby L. Rush
  73. Rashida Tlaib
  74. Raul Ruiz
  75. Raul M. Grijalva
  76. Eric Swalwell
  77. Yvette D. Clarke
  78. David Trone
  79. Brian Fitzpatrick
  80. Henry C. “Hank” Johnson Jr.
  81. Lori Trahan
  82. David N. Cicilline