Monday, January 11, 2010
Contact: Kristin Strobel
Upcoming hearings to give general public a chance to tell panel who they think should represent Ohio in Statuary Hall
Statuary Committee to hold two public hearings on January 21st and 28th
at the Ohio Statehouse
Columbus — Ohio history buffs have a week or more to prepare for the opportunity to make their case to the Ohio General Assembly’s Statuary Committee about which Ohioan would best represent Ohio as part of the National Statuary Hall Collection at the U.S. Capitol. State Senator Mark Wagoner (R-Ottawa Hills) who chairs the committee is encouraging any Ohioan with an opinion to sign up to testify at one of two upcoming hearings on January 21st and January 28th at the Statehouse.
Both hearings will be held at 9:00 am in the Senate Finance Hearing Room of the Statehouse. The Chairman has asked that testimony be limited to five-minute presentations, giving more people the chance to testify and that written testimony be submitted three days in advance (January 18th for the hearing on January 21st and January 25th for the hearing on January 28th) so that copies can be provided for members of the committee. Those who wish to weigh in without appearing before the committee may simply submit their written testimony for the committee to consider. Nominations must be for an Ohioan who is deceased and testimony should clearly articulate why that individual should be Ohio’s ultimate pick.
National Statuary Hall was created by federal law in 1864 and allowed each state to provide two statues honoring worthy individuals from their state who have contributed to history. For more than 120 years, Ohio has bee represented by former President of the United States, Union general and U.S. Representative from Ohio, James A. Garfield and former congressman and Ohio Governor William Allen.
A federal law change in 2000 established a procedure by which states may petition to exchange their statutes and began an effort in Ohio to replace the statue of Governor Allen with an individual who better represents the values and traditions of Ohio. William Allen opposed the Emancipation Proclamation and the Civil War, which is inconsistent with Ohio’s distinguished history as a stop on the Underground Railroad and at the forefront of the abolition movement. In 2006, the Ohio General Assembly formally passed a bill to establish a bipartisan panel of legislators and tasked them with finding a suitable replacement for Governor Allen.
That panel has spent months traveling the state to learn about the lives and achievements of distinguished Ohioans, including former presidents, inventors, civic and social leaders, military heroes and athletes. In all, nearly 40 names have been submitted for consideration.
It is important to note that when the decision is made, the replacement statue will be funded with privately-raised dollars.
The Statuary Committee is comprised of Chairman, Senator Wagoner, Vice Chairman, Representative Tom Letson (D-Warren), Senator Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo), Representative Richard Adams (R-Troy), Senator Karen Gillmor (R-Tiffin) and Representative Tyrone Yates (D-Cincinnati).
For more information about the Statuary Committee or to sign up to testify, please contact:
Office of Senator Mark Wagoner
Room 129, First Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215