President waited for 5 years for bill stalled in congress to reach his desk to establish a permanent place for Latino culture in the nation’s capital

By Xavier Becerra

During Hispanic Heritage Month in 2003, I introduced legislation to take the first step toward realizing an idea that has long fueled the beliefs and aspirations of millions of Americans who believe that our nation’s museums should reflect America. On May 8, 2008 – nearly five years later – the Commission to Study the Potential Creation of a National Museum of the American Latino Act was signed into law by President George W. Bush.

Now that the legislation is law, a 23 member commission will soon be formed to study the feasibility of and plan for a new national museum in the nation’s capital that is dedicated to portraying the art, history and culture of the Latino population of the United States.

Specifically, the commission will be charged with producing three things: one, a national conference to bring stakeholders, experts, policymakers and other interested parties together to discuss the museum’s viability; two, a fundraising plan to create an extensive public-private partnership; and three, a report to Congress detailing a recommended plan of action on how to move forward with the museum from concept to reality.