A step forward in the establishment of a women's history museum in our nation's capital.
The National Women's History Museum Act of 2009 came a step closer to real this week when HR 1700 was passed by committee, in this case the House Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee on Public Buildings and Emergency Management. zzzzz. We'll take what we can get.
Most bills do not make it this far.
GovTrack helps you follow the bills you are interested in with a status tracker showing how far little Bill still has left to go. HR 1700 needs to be voted on by the House, then the Senate (hoo boy...so woman-friendly, our Senate) then to the President's desk.
And getting this far has worn our little Bill out.
I am not a charter member of many things: The Puppy Power Club, the Service Readiness Team, and the National Women's History Museum Project. Founded in 1996, NWHM has spent most of its energy lobbying for a spot on the Mall and drumming up membership. Getting other national women's organizations to join its coalition has also been a priority. Who else could get the Junior League, Hadassah, and the DAR to agree on anything? Noticably absent: NOW. And I am still trying to get to the bottom of that.
Highlights of the Bill:
To authorize the Administrator of General Services to convey a parcel of real property in the District of Columbia to provide for the establishment of a National Women’s History Museum.
Real. NMWH has a "virtual" museum on its website. We will not settle.
The property is generally bounded by 12th Street, Independence Avenue, Maryland Avenue, the James Forrestal Building, and L’Enfant Plaza, all in Southwest Washington, District of Columbia, and shall include all associated air rights, improvements thereon, and appurtenances thereto...
So...not the Mall. But there is not much space left on the Mall, and we are not going to argue the Latino-American Museum which was granted the Castle spot instead of us. This parcel is actually known as the Cotton Annex, which is irritatingly ironic. Let us all agree not to refer to it as on "the apron" of L'Enfant Plaza.
The purchase price for the property shall be its fair market value based on its highest and best use as determined by an independent appraisal commissioned by the Administrator and paid for by the Museum.
In other words, not government money. (how to support the museum effort)
...shall be dedicated for use as a site for a national women’s history museum for the 99-year period beginning on date of conveyance of that portion to the Museum.
Good thing Jesse Helm is dead.
Most of this Bill is a real estate closing, which explains the committee it was sent to. Since this will be a private organization, and not a government endeavor, the Bill does not attempt to dictate the contents or mission of the museum. This will make the alarmist-news people happy, so they can imagine (then be outraged by) the Lesbian Wing and the multi-media history of abortion. Because women's history is all about sex, you know.
One fairly conservative and generally Republican veteran I know said during a recent election, "Do you know there are three women running for Governor seats?"
I said dryly, "Oh, yeh, we're out there." In fact, 28 women have been governor. 28 women, 50 states, 233 years.
There have been 37 women in the US Senate since we invented it.
Half of them have been elected since the founding of the NWHM Project.
Passing the NWHM Act might be easier than passing the ERA. But only because we are willing to take a building the National Health Museum Project didn't want.