March 4, 2009, Washington, D.C. - In order to help project an accurate and positive image of Iranian Americans, the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) has become a member of the Coalition for the National Museum of the American People. The coalition comprises an alliance of ethnic organizations (Irish, Italian, Greek, Jewish, and Polish, to name a few) who have come together to promote the establishment of a major new national museum in Washington, D.C. The story of Iranian Americans will be part of the Museum.
The Museum of the American People would tell the full story of the making of the American people, starting with the first migrations some 20,000 years ago and extending that story through the waves of migration and immigration that lead up to the present day. It would highlight the diversity and richness of the cultures from which we came and emphasize the right of everyone to both an original identity and an American identity.
In September of 2008, Congressmen Maurice
Hinchey (D-NY) and Tim Bishop (D-NY) introduced legislation (H.R. 6883) calling
on Congress to consider the establishment of the National Museum of the American
People. The legislation would establish a Presidential Commission to study the
establishment of the Museum. The commission would be appointed by the President
and Congress and be charged with exploring such issues as the cost and
fundraising plan to build and operate the Museum, site of the Museum, and
details of the story the Museum would tell. Congressmen Hinchey and Bishop plan
on reintroducing the legislation in late March.
Inclusion in the coalition to establish the National Museum of the American People means that PAAIA will be listed as a coalition member and will assist in gaining support on Capitol Hill for the establishment of a national commission to study the proposal. If the legislation is passed, coalition members may have the opportunity to present nominees for the commission to the President and Congressional leaders and suggest scholars who could assist with the story that the Museum would tell.
Click here to learn more about the effort to establish the National Museum of the American People.
PAAIA is a 501(c)(4) "civic/social welfare organization" that is permitted by law to engage in issue advocacy and lobbying activities. As a social welfare organization, PAAIA can and should ideally have an affiliated political action committee to enhance its political influence building activities. The affiliated PAC will allow the organization to get directly involved in elections at the state and national levels by providing contributions to candidates running for public office.
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