Could President Barack Obama visit the Harriet Tubman Home in Auburn? U.S. Rep. Dan Maffei hopes so.
Maffei, D-DeWitt, sent a letter to Obama on Wednesday asking the president to visit the historic property and support efforts to establish the Harriet Tubman National Historical Park in Auburn.
"I invite you to visit Harriet Tubman's home in Auburn and join our efforts to preserve her legacy and promote our region's future," Maffei wrote. "Harriet Tubman was not someone who accepted the circumstances of her time — she fought tirelessly for freedom and progress and today that legacy is one worth fighting for.
"Please join us in central New York as we work together to get this long overdue legislation passed and help us make the idea of a national park in Harriet Tubman's honor a reality."
Maffei is the sponsor of legislation in the House of Representatives that would create the Harriet Tubman National Historical Park in Auburn and the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park on Maryland's Eastern Shore.
The park in Auburn would consist of Tubman's home and the Home for the Aged on South Street. Tubman's gravesite in Fort Hill Cemetery and the Thompson AME Zion Church would also be part of the park.
The same bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate by U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., and supported by both of New York's U.S. senators, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
In the Senate, the bill was passed by the Energy and Natural Resources committee. The next step is for the full Senate to vote on the measure. It's unclear when that will happen.
The House bill hasn't moved through committees yet, but Maffei continues to gather support for the legislation. As of Wednesday, his bill has 32 cosponsors.