Will President Obama accept Maffei's invitation to visit the Harriet Tubman Home in Auburn?

2013-08-13T03:05:00Z 2013-08-25T23:13:20Z Will President Obama accept Maffei's invitation to visit the Harriet Tubman Home in Auburn?Robert Harding | robert.harding@lee.net Auburn Citizen

We don't know a lot about President Barack Obama's upcoming tour of upstate New York, but we do know this: he will make a stop in Central New York during the two-day trip. 

Obama will visit the region as part of the "Better Bargain" tour to promote economic policies he says will benefit middle class Americans. His tour, which is scheduled for Aug. 22-23, will include stops in New York and Pennsylvania. 

The timing coincides with the start of the New York State Fair, which could be one stop for the president while he's in the area.

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But here's another possibility: President Obama could check out the Harriet Tubman Home in Auburn. 

Nearly four months ago, U.S. Rep. Dan Maffei invited Obama to visit Tubman's home. Maffei, D-Syracuse, is the sponsor of legislation, the Harriet Tubman National Historical Parks Act, that would establish two national historical parks honoring Tubman. One of the parks would consist of several sites in Auburn, including Tubman's home and the Home for the Aged on South Street.

"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. 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," Maffei wrote in April.

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"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's bill now has more than 70 cosponsors. The entire New York congressional delegation cosponsored the measure

A House subcommittee held a hearing on the bill in June. The bill needs to be advanced by the subcommittee before the full committee votes on the measure. 

Getting the president behind the bill might help move it along. Maffei acknowledged in an April interview that it would be "challenging" to fit a visit in the president's schedule. But he sees a potential presidential visit as a way to build support for the Tubman parks legislation. 

"I just think that the historical timing is right to have the president visit," he said at the time. "I wanted to help get momentum to establish the national park as opposed to wait until it happens and then try to get him to come up and dedicate it."

If Obama visits Cayuga County, it will be the first time a president has visited the county since then-President Bill Clinton traveled to the area in 1999. 

  Rep. Dan Maffei - Letter to President Obama by robertharding22

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(3) Comments

  1. movedsouth
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    movedsouth - August 16, 2013 10:46 am
    So are Obama's supporters, in the minority.
  2. lolauburn
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    lolauburn - August 13, 2013 8:45 am
    You live in a blue county of a blue state there chief. You might be in the minority.
  3. Slavedriver
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    Slavedriver - August 13, 2013 6:04 am
    We don't need Barack's two faced progressive liberal input in Cayuga county or NY
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