Underground Railroad
6:30 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Harriet Tubman House Moving Closer to National Park Status

Dan Maffei joins Tubman House President Karen Hill and other local offials at Congressional hearing
Dan Maffei joins Tubman House President Karen Hill and other local offials at Congressional hearing
Credit Office of Dan Maffei

Supporters and representatives from Central New York attended a Congressional Hearing in Washington today to push for the establishment of a Harriet Tubman National Park in Auburn.  It would be based around Tubman’s home. 

She is best known for fighting slavery through the Underground Railroad.  However, Congress member Dan Maffei feels that she stood for more. Harriet Tubman also had strong ties to Maryland, where she was born and supporters would like another park established there.  Representatives and supporters are hopeful that the bill (HR 664) will be passed, given that there is strong bipartisan support for it.  Through the course of her life, Harriet Tubman led over one thousand people out of slavery.  Maffei pushed for the bill before the House Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation Thursday, where several members showed their support. 

LOCAL LEADERS TESTIFY AT CONGRESSIONAL HEARING

President of the Harriet Tubman Home, Karen Hill felt confident leaving the hearing.  She especially liked the Auburn component of the legislation, which she believes will boost the region's economy. 

Hill says National Park status will create at least 70 jobs and will more than double the number of visitors each year - tourists who will stay longer, spending money at nearby restaurants and hotels.  The Sub-committee hasn't set a voting date for the bill.  But all 27 members of New York's Congressional Delegation have pledged their support and a total of 62 members have signed on as cosponsors.