Congress passed Public Law 109-441 in 2006, authorizing a grant program to preserve sites that confined Japanese Americans during World War II so “. .. that present and future generations may learn and gain inspiration from these sites, and that these sites will demonstrate the nation’s commitment to equal justice under the law.” While no funding has yet been appropriated, Congress directed the National Park Service (NPS) to solicit public input and prepare a proposal for organizing and administering the grant program.
During September and October 2007, the NPS hosted 20 public listening sessions in 19 cities from Honolulu, Hawaii to Washington, D.C. More than 400 people participated in these sessions and expressed their thoughts and comment. The NPS also received more than 400 written comments which provided valuable suggestions and insight on the best ways to preserve and interpret this chapter in U.S. history.
All of the comments were reviewed, considered, and analyzed, and serve as the foundation of the grant’s proposed project categories, evaluation criteria, and program guidelines. The NPS invites the public to comment on these proposals either in person at January 17 meetings in Los Angeles, which will be audiocast over the world wide web, and/or by providing written comments through the NPS’ public comment website: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/imro. Written comments are due by Friday, January 25, 2008.
For those wishing to comment in person, the national meetings will be held in Los Angeles on Thursday, January 17, 2008, at 10:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. at Democracy Forum at the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy located at 111 North Central Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90012. The live audio broadcast of the meetings will be available on the internet. Details on how to access it will be available on the web page listed below.
From these comments, and those received earlier, the NPS will develop a report to Congress in mid-February. For more information on P.L. 109-441, please visit the following website: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/imro.