Congressman José E. Serrano

Representing the 15th District of New York

The Serrano Report - May 6, 2019

May 6, 2019
The Serrano Report

In Washington, D.C.

Congressman Serrano Leads Reintroduction of Bipartisan Legislation To Create a Smithsonian National Museum of the American Latino

Congressman Serrano, along with Congressman Will Hurd (R-TX), Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), Congressman Tony Cárdenas (D-CA), and Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) reintroduced the National Museum of the American Latino Act, which would establish a Smithsonian National Museum of the American Latino on the National Mall dedicated to honoring the contributions of Latinos to the United States. Members of Congress and advocates from around the nation gathered to discuss the bill at a press conference today.

“Latinos have played an integral part in America’s history since its founding. Their stories, contributions, and sacrifices deserve a place in Washington, D.C. that honors and showcases an important part of our shared history. With passage of this legislation, we will be one step closer to making the American Latino Museum a reality. This is one of a few truly bipartisan and bicameral efforts in the Congress that honors Latinos’ diverse contributions to the American story. I am proud to work with Congressman Hurd to lead this effort in the House, and thankful for Senator Menendez’s and Senator Cornyn’s leadership in the Senate,” said Congressman Serrano.

Congressman Serrano and his colleagues were also joined by a bipartisan group of members and advocates at a press conference this week where they discussed the importance of establishing a Latino Museum and urged passage of the bill in the 116th Congress. Participants included: Reps. Tony Cárdenas (D-CA); Barbara Lee (D-CA), Co-chair of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee; Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ), Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee; Joaquin Castro (D-TX), Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Sylvia Garcia (D-TX); Peter King (R-NY); Dan Newhouse (R-WA); Danny Vargas, Chair of the Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino Board; Estuardo Rodriguez, President and CEO of the Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino; and Julissa Arce, Nationally Bestselling Author, Writer, Speaker, and Social Justice Advocate.

Watch the press conference here:

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The National Museum of the American Latino Act builds on nearly 16 years’ worth of work in laying the foundation for the establishment of a future museum. In 2003, the first Congressional bill was introduced to study the creation of a museum. In 2008, with Presidential and Congressional leadership, a 23-member Commission was established to study the viability of a museum. In 2011, the Commission’s work culminated in a final report that detailed that the creation of a museum on the National Mall was indeed feasible. In 2019, this legislation will act on the Commission’s report and put into motion the process of establishing a Latino Museum, similar to those that established other Smithsonian museums. The creation of a national American Latino Museum would educate Americans and visitors from around the world on the innumerable contributions that Latinos have made on American history and culture.

In addition to Congressman Serrano (D-NY15) and Congressman Hurd, the bipartisan effort in the House included the following Members as original cosponsors of the bill: Reps. Tony Cárdenas (D-CA-29), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA-3), Joaquin Castro (D-TX-20), Jenniffer González-Colón (R-PR), Sylvia Garcia (D-TX-29), J. Luis Correa (D-CA-46), Peter King (R-NY-3), Darren Soto (D-FL-9), Grace Napolitano (D-CA-32), Sean Duffy (R-WI-7), Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY-7), Barbara Lee (D-CA-13),  Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ-3), Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH-16), Linda T. Sánchez (D-CA-38), and Dan Newhouse (R-WA-4). A link to the House bill can be found here.

In addition to Senators Menendez and Cornyn, the bipartisan effort in the Senate included the following Senators as original cosponsors: Cortez Masto, Capito, Feinstein, Rubio, Harris, Portman, Booker and McSally.

Congressman Serrano on Passing of Former Governor Rafael Hernández Colón

Congressman Serrano made the following statement on the passing of former Puerto Rico Governor Rafael Hernández Colón:

“Puerto Rico mourns the passing of one of its most important figures in the last 50 years – former Governor Rafael Hernández Colón. Hernández Colón was a statesman, the youngest governor in Puerto Rico’s history, and a man who dedicated his life to public service. I deeply respected him as a man and his leadership throughout the years. My thoughts and prayers are with his family - his wife, sons, and grandsons- and loved ones.”

Chairman Serrano Leads Hearing on 2020 Census

Last week, Congressman Serrano, Chair of the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, led an oversight hearing on 2020 Census preparation with Dr. Steven Dillingham, Director of the U.S. Census Bureau; Robert Goldenkoff, Director of Strategic Issues, Government Accountability Office (GAO); and Nicholas Marinos, Director of Information Technology and Cybersecurity for GAO.  Congressman Serrano has fought against the inclusion of a citizenship question in the 2020 Census and has also worked to adequately fund the Census Bureau as it prepares to administer the 2020 Census. 

“We are now in the critical stages of the rollout and administration of the 2020 Census.  Unfortunately, we seem to have more uncertainty than I have ever seen at this point in the decennial cycle.  That is almost entirely the result of the decision to try and add an untested citizenship question to the form.  While we wait for the Supreme Court to rule on the legality and constitutionality of that addition, I am deeply concerned that the Bureau remains unprepared for and unwilling to admit culpability in creating this situation. As Chairman of the Subcommittee that oversees funding for this agency I am committed to helping make the 2020 Census run smoothly,” said Congressman Serrano.

Watch the hearing here:

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In the Bronx

Congressman Serrano Meets with Claremont International School Students

This week Congressman Serrano met with Bronx students from Claremont International School as part of their participation in the Close Up Foundation High School Program. The program allows a group of students and teachers from New York to visit their Members of Congress and staff to demonstrate the accessibility of democratic government and provide a forum for students to express their views on policy issues.

“It is always a pleasure to host students in my office to hear their thoughts and concerns on issues that affect our community and beyond. The doors to my office are always open to our students and constituents,” said Congressman Serrano.

Congressman Serrano with students from Claremont International School in the Bronx.