From the Office of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi: Statement in Support of California Missions Preservation Act

October 20, 2003

Washington, 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:

Mr. Chairman, 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 California’s 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.

Mission San 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 city’s cultural and religious life.

Built with 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 mission depended.

While Mission 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 state’s history. I urge my colleagues to vote for the California Missions Preservation Act."




Current Presss Releases
2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003
2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998 | 1997 | 1996