From the Office of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi Statement on Passage of the California Missions Preservation Act

November 17, 2004

Washington, D.C. -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi today announced that the House of Representatives passed the California Missions Preservation Act, which would authorize $10 million in matching grants for the preservation of California’s 21 historic missions. 

“The missions shaped the future of our state and are an integral part of its history," Pelosi said.  “The missions are the most frequently visited historical attractions in the state.  This legislation ensures that we can preserve the historic missions for generations by matching federal funds with $50 million in private donations.”

The bill was introduced in the House by Congressman Sam Farr and in the Senate by Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein.  The legislation is headed to the President’s desk to be signed into law.

"I commend Congressman Farr and Senators Boxer and Feinstein for their leadership on this issue, as well as our Congressional colleagues for supporting California’s missions," Pelosi said.

Built between 1769 and 1798, the California missions were the first European settlements in our region and formed a chain along the coast from San Diego to Sonoma. Each mission became a bustling settlement inhabited by Europeans and Native Americans.  Mission San Francisco de Asis, also known as Mission Dolores, was founded on June 29, 1776 and is the oldest building in San Francisco.

Mission Dolores is suffering the ravages of time and heavy usage.  The funds this legislation would help to repair and restore the mission, enlarge and upgrade the mission museum, and construct a memorial honoring the Native Americans.  Some of the other missions are at even greater risk, needing seismic retrofits to ensure that they survive the next earthquake.

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