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Campus Notebook: The Unknown Slave’

The Capitol Visitor Center could one day have its own version of “The Unknown Soldier— monument — one that instead commemorates the slaves who helped build the Capitol.

[IMGCAP(1)]Reps. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.) and Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) introduced a bill last week that would direct the Architect of the Capitol to commission a statue of “The Unknown Slave— for permanent display in the CVC’s Emancipation Hall.

It’s the second recent bill that aims to honor slaves in the CVC. A bill from Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), which directs the AOC to put up a marker acknowledging the role slaves played in the Capitol’s construction, passed the House on Tuesday.

Ackerman said he came up with the idea after a constituent visited the CVC and noticed that nothing in Emancipation Hall actually recognized the slaves.

Lewis’ bill, he said, will help fix that. But Ackerman also envisions a statue of a working slave that encompasses the “hard work and sacrifice— that went into building the Capitol.

“I hope they can do it expeditiously,— he said. “It would add a tremendous draw — not that we need it — to the Capitol Visitor Center.—

Open-Sourcing Congress. Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) will soon change his Web site to a design created by the public.

In May, Honda turned his Web site redesign into an open forum, offering $1,000 to the person who came up with the winning template. Honda was the first lawmaker to design his official page through “crowdsourcing— and ended up receiving 94 submissions.

The winning template puts new media front and center, with a box for videos and photos and a section that has a live feed to Honda’s Twitter page. It also has front page tabs to Honda’s blog, press releases and a bill look-up.

The winner of the contest, Chicago resident Jane Madsen, submitted six versions of her design in all, and constituents were able to offer ideas on improvements.

The result, Honda spokesman Michael Shank said, was “transparency at its best.— He said the site should be up in seven to 10 days.

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