Vice President Pence Meets With U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission
[L to R] David Cohen, Senator Pat Toomey, Rosie Rios, Frank Giordano, Vice President Mike Pence, Chairman Daniel DiLella, Lynn Forney Young, Cathy Gillespie, Congressman Robert Aderholt, James Swanson Official White House Photo by D. Myles Cullen
U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission provides Vice President with its overall program and strategic vision for 250th anniversary of American independence in 2026
WASHINGTON, DC (January 17, 2020 11:57 AM Eastern Standard Time)--At a meeting on Wednesday afternoon with Vice President Mike Pence, the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission submitted a wide-ranging report to guide the nation in observing the 250th anniversary of the United States in 2026. The Commission envisions a monumental national initiative to engage all Americans in the largest and most inclusive observance in our nation’s history. [View the Report]
“We as commissioners are building and refining a comprehensive plan to encourage the broadest possible participation in this once-in-a-lifetime celebration of our nation’s independence,” said Daniel M. DiLella, chairman of the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission. “We cannot do this alone. We need Americans throughout the country to support our efforts and actively participate.”
“The Commission is united in our goal to ensure the 250th commemoration is as diverse and inclusive as America itself,” said Noah Griffin, member of the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission. “We envision this as a highly participatory process that not only recognizes the strength of our individuality and unique stories, but also our common bond as Americans.”
The Commission’s Report to the President presents the vision and direction for America 250 (the brand name and commonly accepted alternative to the formal term Semiquincentennial) by outlining three overarching themes—educate, engage, and unite—designed to inspire the American spirit and encourage participation by all Americans. The report also provides guidance on how Americans may shape an observance likely involving more than 100,000 unique programs on the national, state and local levels.
“Our themes of education, engagement and unity provide the framework that will shape creative programming around America 250,” said Lynn Forney Young, officer of the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission. “By learning about our history, getting involved in our communities and remembering what unites us as Americans, we help set the stage for the next 250 years.”
With the submission of the Report to the President, the Commission expects to engage the White House and elected officials across party lines to help develop and execute America 250. To date, the Commission has raised nearly $3 million in private donations. Additionally, the Commission received $3.8 million in federal monies through the current fiscal year. These funds will provide the fuel for initial program development involving individuals and organizations in coordination with each state and territory, federal agencies, Native American tribes, and—working through the State Department—foreign nations. The Commission will also contribute to the development and execution of a series of national signature events and programs aimed at inclusively engaging the largest number of participants possible to advance America 250’s purpose.
“To achieve our vision, we will need substantial private and public resources over the next six years,” said Rosie Rios, officer of the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission. “These funds will help us achieve the programmatic and related infrastructure goals necessary to execute a successful commemoration, which has the ability to attract billions of dollars of resources that will positively impact local, state and national economies.”
Delivering on the purpose and vision of the strategic plan, the Commission is actively connecting with diverse nonprofit organizations, stakeholder groups and individuals across the country to ensure the national celebration engages the rich tapestry of individuals that make up this one indivisible nation. The Commission has already engaged thousands of Americans from different regions, racial and ethnic identities, political beliefs, genders, and income levels in a nationwide survey to understand how the key themes and ideas resonate with them. According to a recent survey conducted by the Commission, more than seven in 10 Americans feel positively about America 250’s purpose and more than two-thirds of Americans are interested in participating in the commemoration in some way. Americans also believe America 250 can have positive impacts for the nation by helping to unify the country, encourage civic engagement, and promote interest in civics and American history.
The U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission was formed in 2016 after both chambers of Congress unanimously passed the United States Semiquincentennial Commission Act. The bipartisan body is comprised of eight members of Congress, 16 private citizens and the leaders of nine federal agencies.
For more information and the full list of Commissioners please visit www.america250.org.
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