Friends of the American Latino Museum applaud this step forward; call for the full Senate to bring legislation to a vote

Washington, DC — Today, the Senate Rules Committee unanimously voted to approve and advance the National Museum of the American Latino Act, a bill to establish a museum on the National Mall dedicated to honoring the contributions of Latinos throughout American history, out of committee. With broad bipartisan support, the Friends of the American Latino Museum (FRIENDS) now urges Senate leadership to bring the legislation to a final vote and send on to the President’s desk.

“We applaud and appreciate the unanimous support of the Senate Rules Committee to advance the bill and open the door for final passage by the full Senate,” said Danny Vargas, Chairman of the FRIENDS board. “It is a testament to the broad bipartisan nature of this legacy initiative that will illuminate the American story for the benefit of everyone. As we see the finish line within reach of this decades-long process, we are hopeful that we will soon celebrate this bill becoming law so we can begin building a world-class institution we can all be proud of.”

“Today’s action by the Senate Rules Committee is the last procedural hurdle before the full Senate is able to take up and, finally, pass the National American Latino Museum Act,” said Estuardo Rodriguez, President & CEO of FRIENDS. “This historically bipartisan initiative has overwhelming support grounded in the commitment to tell the full American story, one that serves to bring our nation together united in the contributions, talent and sacrifice that has made our nation great. We look forward to the full Senate’s passage of the National American Latino Museum Act in the coming days.”

As acknowledged by the Smithsonian Institution in a 1994 report, Willful Neglect, exhibits and collections of U.S. Latino history are the most underrepresented across all of its museums. In 2011, a presidentially-appointed commission to study the potential creation of a National Museum of the American Latino submitted its report to explore the feasibility of a museum as was recommended in Willful Neglect. The National Museum of the American Latino Act fulfills the report’s recommendations to move forward with the creation of a Smithsonian National American Latino Museum, and takes an important step towards righting the ongoing disparities in our nation’s museums that remain today.