Council members Laurie Cumbo and Ben Kallos are asking their counterparts in Utah and Oklahoma to pass resolutions in support of the creation of a National Women’s History Museum on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
“To my colleagues in fellow city councils in Salt Lake City and Oklahoma City, we are asking them to ask their U.S. Senators to do what’s right for women in their state as well,” Kallos said during a press conference Monday on the steps of City Hall.
A bill to create a museum focused on the history of women and their accomplishments across the world was introduced by New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney. The measure passed in the House, 383-33, but Senators Mike Lee of Utah and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma have held it up, claiming it would cost too much to form a commission that would begin to formulate plans to build the museum.
“They keep saying it costs money but it doesn’t. It will not take one dime of federal money, and if they would please explain why they’re opposed to setting up a commission to look at the idea of creating a women’s museum,” Maloney said, adding the commission would be funded through money already being raised by a nonprofit.
The City Council’s Committee on Women’s Issues introduced a resolution on Monday in support of creating the museum and the full Council is expected to vote on it at its stated meeting on Wednesday.
“These senators should have to explain why women’s history is less important than the history of textiles, the postal service and spies,” Kallos said. “The senators believe that at some point this would cost money and therefore they oppose even studying this idea and having a commission. They’ve put the cart before on the horse on this, women need to have a voice and they need to get out of the way.”