During Hispanic Heritage Month in 2003, Representative Xavier Becerra introduced legislation that, when his ultimate dream was realized, would establish a museum in the nation’s capital to educate visitors from around the world about the history, culture, and art of the American Latino community. As his co-author on 2007’s H.R. 512, Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen shares his belief that national museums should reflect the whole of America.
The bill, unanimously passed by the House of Representatives on February 6, 2007, establishes a commission to explore the museum’s viability, develop a fundraising plan for a public-private partnership, and report to Congress with a plan for taking the museum from concept to reality.
The son of working-class immigrants, Representative Becerra was the first in his family to graduate from college, earning his B.A in Economics and Juris Doctorate from Stanford University. Congressman Becerra represents California’s 31st Congressional District and is the first Latino to serve on the House Committee on Ways and Means. He is a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and a board member for the Close Up Foundation, the nation’s largest youth civic education organization.