"Desperate Housewives" actress Eva Longoria Parker helped transform Capitol Hill into Hollywood today -- attracting a swarm of paparazzi, press, screaming fans, and autograph seekers as she joined a bipartisan delegation of lawmakers, cabinet members, celebrities and activists in the effort to bring a national museum for the American Latino to Washington, D.C..
Longoria Parker is one of 23 leaders from the American Latino community recently appointed by President Obama and congressional leadership to commission aimed at establishing a new National Museum of the American Latino.
The museum would be dedicated to the art, culture and history of the U.S. Latino community.
The commission is studying possible locations for the museum, considering what content would be featured and exploring how to pay for it. President George W. Bush authorized the creation of the commission in May 2008 and also created a mandate for it to return to Congress with a full report detailing its findings within two years.
Today, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar raised those expectations, asking the commission to report to Congress and the White House in one year with its findings.
"Today's kick-off of the National Museum of the American Latino Commission marks an unprecedented day of recognition for the Latino Community in our Nation's Capital," Salazar said. "The Latino commission is a select group of Americans that have been called upon to provide a plan for a national museum that preserves and shares a vital part of our nation's heritage for the benefit of all people interested in the richness of the American experience."
The Latino museum has the full support of Obama, according to Salazar. The former senator from Colorado announced the commission will be chaired by Henry R. Munoz III, the chairman and CEO of Kell Muñoz Architects, Inc., and will be vice-chaired by Comcast vice president Susan Gonzales and producer/musician Emilio Estefan, the husband of singer Gloria Estefan.
Celebs Use Star Power for Latino Cause
Longoria Parker, who arrived at the press conference dressed in a radiant red dress amid a feisty scrum of photographers, was joined outside the Capitol today by Estefan, Salazar, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., numerous members of Congress and other members of the newly established commission.
After today's press conference, Longoria Parker posed for pictures with students touring the Capitol grounds, and signed a few autographs -- including one of a picture of her in a red two-piece bikini. As she smiled with one nervous student, Longoria Parker joked, "I can feel his heart!"