Press Release Apr 4, 2016

Hundreds of People Voice Support for New National Park Commemorating Women's Equality

Today’s public meeting part of ongoing process to establish new national park site

WASHINGTON – Earlier today, U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, and Councilmember Charles Allen alongside additional federal and local representatives, listened to comments from hundreds of enthusiastic people supporting the designation of the Sewall-Belmont House & Museum as our nation’s newest national park site.

The Sewall-Belmont House, located in Washington, D.C. just steps away from the U.S. Capitol Building and National Mall, tells the story of women’s progress toward equality and explores the evolving role and contributions of women to society.

“Hearing from hundreds of passionate people speak up in support of including the Sewall-Belmont House in America’s National Park System was incredible,” said Kristen Brengel, National Parks Conservation Association’s vice president of government affairs. “Today’s meeting also marks a major milestone in the long process to achieve this designation, especially following the National Park Service’s study and Senators Mikulski and Capito’s bipartisan legislation.”

The public meeting on April 4, hosted by the Sewall-Belmont House, was just one part of a longer, ongoing process to include the historic house in the National Park System. Designating the Sewall-Belmont House a new national park site builds on long-standing partnerships with the National Park Service and U.S. Department of Interior.

The Sewall-Belmont House, adjacent to the Hart Senate Office Building, served as the headquarters for the National Woman’s Party. Led by Alice Paul, one of the greatest women’s rights advocates and political strategists in American history, the National Woman’s Party fought to expand our democracy through ratification of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing women the right to vote. The House contains the most complete collection of suffrage and equal rights movement artifacts in America. These documents, banners, newsletters, sashes and lobbying cards are treasures that help tell the story of women in America.

Currently, only eight out of more than 400 national park sites specifically tell the story of women’s history - that’s just two percent. As a national park site, the Sewall-Belmont House will ensure future generations can explore the important contributions women had in shaping equal rights in our country.

Senators Mikulski (D-MD) and Capito (R-WV) introduced the Sewall-Belmont House Act of 2015 (S. 1975) to “establish the Sewall-Belmont House National Historic Site as a unit of the National Park System (NPS).” This bipartisan bill is supported by more than two-thirds of all current female senators.

Staff from Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, Councilmember David Grosso and Senator Mikulski’s offices attended and provided comments in support of the designation.

About National Parks Conservation Association

Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than one million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s natural, historic, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.