|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 10, 2014
New York City Council Passes Resolution Calling on Federal Government to Build National Women’s History Museum
New York, NY -- New York City has added its to voice to the growing call for a National Women’s History Museum in DC, after a resolution in support passed the City Council today. The Council, under the leadership of Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito, passed Resolution 354, calling for the Senate to end delays and pass legislation advancing the museum's formation on the National Mall. Congresswoman Maloney successfully passed legislation to move forward with a National Women’s History Museum in the House of Representatives 383-33, but two Senators, Mike Lee of Utah and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, are holding up the companion bill in the Senate, which has the support of all 20 women senators.
Council Members Ben Kallos and Laurie Cumbo, Chair of the Women’s Issues Committee, co-sponsored the resolution in support of federal bill H.R. 863 by Congresswomen Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and urging passage of its companion bill in the Senate. The museum would be supported through donations already being raised by 501(c)3 organization, National Women's History Museum.
By some estimates, women comprise only 10% of the figures represented in United States textbooks.
“Many thanks to Councilman Ben Kallos and Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo for introducing legislation to support the establishment of a commission to study the creation of a National Women’s History Museum on the Washington Mall, and to Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for making passage a priority. For too long, women’s contributions to this great nation have been ignored, overlooked, unknown or forgotten because there is no comprehensive museum to showcase our achievements. I am so pleased that this bill is moving forward in the City Council, and that there will be a strong statement from New Yorkers about how important it would be to have a National Women’s History Museum to chronicle women’s achievements,” said Congresswoman Maloney (D-NY).
“Young women must have a place they can go to see the accomplishments of incredible women throughout American history—a museum for the next generation of leaders, CEOs, and American Presidents to be inspired by. I commend Congresswoman Maloney for advancing the National Women's History museum, and call on Senators Lee and Coburn to end delays and move forward,” said Council Member Ben Kallos.
“Our nation would not exist without the vital contributions of women throughout the course of American history. The representation of women in the pages of our textbooks and in the grand halls of our cultural institutions does not reflect the many sacrifices of our heroines who have exemplified great courage and strong leadership. I commend U.S. Representative Carolyn Maloney for introducing legislation to explore the creation of a National Women’s History Museum that would pay tribute to women - past and present- whose stories have gone untold. As Chair of the Committee on Women’s Issues in the New York City Council, I am proud to co-sponsor a resolution with Council Member Ben Kallos calling for the passage of the companion bill to H.R. 863 in the U.S. Senate,” said Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo, Chair of the Committee on Women’s Issues.
“Since our earliest days, American women have had to fight against injustice and discrimination – a struggle that unfortunately continues in 2014,” said Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, co-Chair of the Women’s Caucus. “The National Women’s History Museum in our nation’s capital would shine a light on the unique and integral role women have played in advancing equality throughout American history, and would inspire new generations of young women to continue our on-going fight for justice. I’m proud to be a part this bipartisan coalition and urge our members of Congress to move forward with creating a commission to establish this museum, so we can properly celebrate and recognize the courageous women who made our country what it is today.”
“The role of women in the history of our great nation has been seriously understated at educational institutions. The establishment of this women 's museum will in some measure correct this misconception and injustice. Young American women need to know that they have unlimited potential, not based on platitudes, but based on a rich history of achievement,” said Council Member Karen Koslowitz.
"Women have made enormous contributions to this country and those contributions should be recognized and saluted, among other things to inspire future generations to greater accomplishments. Congratulations to Rep. Carolyn Maloney for her tireless leadership on this issue and to Councilmembers Ben Kallos and Laurie Cumbo for adding the official voice of New York City to the call for the museum. I am proud to join with them," said former Congresswoman, Comptroller and DA, Elizabeth Holtzman.
"Senators Mike Lee and Tom Coburn should have to explain to their mothers and every woman voter in their districts why they are blocking the creation of the National Women’s History Museum. The rich history of this country’s women leaders deserves recognition and a permanent seat on the Mall. The sidelining of one of the most significant movements for social justice this country has experienced must not be allowed," said Sonia Ossorio, President of the National Organization for Women, New York City.
"We are profoundly grateful to New York City for its robust support of a national women's history museum. Until women's history is integrated into the national narrative, the same attitudes regarding gender and its role in determining what someone can and can't do will continue to be reinforced year after year. New York has produced countless women whose accomplishments and contributions played an indispensable role in shaping our society and whose legacies must be preserved and celebrated. Women like founding suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton, investigative journalism pioneer Nellie Bly, music legend Billie Holiday, Visiting Nurse Services founder Lillian Wald, entrepreneurs Madam C.J. Walker and Estee Lauder, political icons Eleanor Roosevelt and Shirley Chisholm; and so many more. Learning about remarkable women in history will help young girls to recognize the possibilities in their own lives. Furthermore, when young boys grow up recognizing that women played a significant role in building this nation they know their female classmates and colleagues have value and valuable opinions," said Joan Wages, President and CEO of National Women's History Museum. ###