Statement in Support of California Missions Preservation Act
D.C. -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi inserted the following
statement into the Congressional Record today in support of the
California Missions Preservation Act (HR 1446) which passed the
House by voice vote:
I am pleased to rise in support of H.R. 1446, the California Missions
Preservation Act. This legislation will provide $10 million in matching
grants for the preservation of Californias 21 historic missions,
to be matched with $50 million in private donations. The missions
are the most frequently visited historical attractions in the state,
receiving more than 5.3 million visitors annually.
As every California
schoolchild learns, the missions shaped the future of California.
Built between 1769 and 1798, the 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.
Francisco de Asis, the sixth mission to be created, was founded
on June 29, 1776, just five days before the signing of the Declaration
of Independence on the opposite side of the continent. Popularly
known as Mission Dolores, it grew to become the great City of San
Francisco. It now lies near the geographic center of the city and
at the heart of the citys cultural and religious life.
adobe and massive beams of sequoia wood, Mission Dolores survived
the devastating earthquake of 1906 practically without damage. But
as the oldest building in San Francisco, Mission Dolores is suffering
the ravages of time and heavy usage. The main altar, two side altars,
the statuary, the gardens, and the cemetery are in need of repair
and restoration. The mission museum must be enlarged and upgraded
to ensure that mission artifacts are properly preserved and protected.
Funds are needed for the construction of a memorial honoring the
Native Americans on whom the success and the very survival of the
Dolores needs significant repairs and improvements, some of the
other missions are at even greater risk, needing seismic retrofits
to ensure that they survive the next earthquake. If we lose these
missions, we will lose an essential strand in the fabric of our
states history. I urge my colleagues to vote for the California
Missions Preservation Act."