Entertainment stars Eva Longoria and Emilio Estefan will lead the national campaign launched by the Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino (FRIENDS) to support passage of a bill to provide a home for a Latino museum.
Senate Bill 1868 would designate the historic Arts and Industries Building on the National Mall in Washington, D. C. as the site for a Smithsonian American Latino Museum.
The bill was recently introduced by U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J) and has bipartisan support from others, including U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), U. S. Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA) and U. S. Rep. Lleana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla), according to a news release from FRIENDS.
In all, 15 senators support the measure, but it needs more visibility before members of Congress and the nation, the news release says.
“The bill is an integral first step toward ensuring the numerous Latino contributions to American history are reflected in our federal institutions,” said Longoria.
” . . . I am urging my community to call their representatives today and tell them to pass the Smithsonian American Latino Museum Act so our shared history may have a home,” the actress said.
Estefan, the record producer and wife of singer Gloria Estefan, also said Congress needs to be encouraged to pass the bill. After working on the National Museum of the American Latino Commission, Estefan said he found that ” . . . community members nationwide are eager for a museum to educate the people about the Latino community. ”
“It’s time to do what is right and secure a location for the future Smithsonian American Latino Museum,” he said.