by Lynette Long, Ph.D., President of EVE
April 29, 2012 · Comments Off
The Harriet Tubman Statue project in Maryland had a major victory this legislative session. The statue bill passed both houses of the General Assembly and is currently awaiting the Governor’s signature.
After passage in the House of Delegates 133-0, an eleventh hour amendment of the House version allowed by Senate President Mike Miller threw procedural obstacles in the way of passage. With time running out and many bills held up in a power struggle over the budget, sponsor Del. Susan Lee and Chairman Pete Hammen finessed the rules and got the Senate version amended and passed so the bills would be identical and not require a conference committee.
Coalition leader and Maryland NOW president Linda Mahoney expressed her disappointment that some in the legislature are still unwilling to have Harriet Tubman be one of the two official Maryland statues in Statuary Hall Collection in the U.S. Capitol: “I would have preferred to have the original bill from 2011 passed. However, we looked at the demographics in the legislature and decided that a Harriet Tubman statue in the U.S. Capitol now would be preferable to a possible statue in the Statuary Hall Collection in a decade or two. We want Harriet Tubman to be someone that girls and young women can look up to and realize that gender and ethnicity do not have to be a bar to achievement by individuals who want to improve the lives of the people around them.”