May 6, 2019

March 20, 2018

Press Release from Congresswoman Barbara Lee
Ninth Congressional District of California
U.S. House of Representatives

Senate Approves Lee Bill to Create Caribbean American Heritage Month

(Washington, DC)  –  The Senate this evening unanimously approved a bill  authored by Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) to designate a national Caribbean-American Heritage month.  The bill acknowledges and celebrates the contributions of Caribbean-Americans to the United States since the inception of the country.

“Establishing a Caribbean-American heritage month will help pay tribute to the tremendous contributions Caribbean-Americans have made throughout the history of this country,” said Lee.  “They have influenced every aspect of American culture, society and government.  Their history is interwoven with ours and should be recognized and celebrated.”

“I appreciate the bipartisan support of my colleagues in both the House and the Senate, especially Senator Schumer, in passing this measure, and I hope that President Bush will act quickly to designate June as national Caribbean-American month,” said Lee.

Lee’s bill (H. Con. Res. 71) was approved by the House on June 27, 2005 and had 81co-sponsors and support from more than 40 non-governmental organizations working on Caribbean-American issues.

Under Congress’ rules established in the 104th Congress, only the President has the authority to designate a period for annual national recognition of a community or cause. Congress may express the opinion that there is cause for such recognition; H. Con. Res. 71 is an example of such an effort.  Though the bill is non-binding, Lee plans to work with supporters to urge President Bush to follow Congress’ lead by proclaiming June national Caribbean American Heritage month in time for official celebrations this summer.

As the most senior Democratic Woman on the House International Relations Committee, and a member of the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee, Lee has worked to strengthen U.S. – Caribbean relations and wanted to raise awareness about the role that Caribbean people and their descendents have played in the United States.