DETROIT – The MotorCities National Heritage Area, a non-profit dedicated to historic preservation of the automotive and labor industries, recently bestowed its 2016 Milestone Award to long-serving U.S. Senator Carl Levin.
Levin helped create the legislative groundwork for the Automobile National Heritage Area in 1998 and was instrumental in its Congressional reauthorization in 2014.
A longtime champion for the automotive industry and for the preservation of its history and culture, Levin said automotive heritage is a source of great pride for many Michigan residents.
“This award relates to a subject that is dear to my heart, dear to the hearts of every person who lives in Michigan,” said Levin upon accepting the award. “It’s a matter of great pride to everybody who lives here, works here, or who has benefited from (the automotive industry). The middle class was almost born here; it surely was promoted by the automobile industry.”
Levin called it a “critically important heritage,” and commended the work of MotorCities to preserve, promote and interpret that heritage through grant funding, educational programming and tourism.
“This represents a lot. Such as tourism which is so important to (the state); the federal designation this has put on our automobile heritage benefits those efforts. It is very important to promote tourism and protect this heritage,” Levin said.
MotorCities Executive Director Shawn Pomaville was honored to present the award, and thanked the Senator for his unyielding commitment to the National Heritage Area.
“None (our work) would have been possible without Sen. Levin’s creation of the National Heritage Area in 1998, and again in 2014, when he paved the way for the reauthorization of the MotorCities so that we were able to retain our affiliation with the National Park Service,” said Pomaville. “
This marks the third year of the MotorCities Milestone Award. In 2015, The Hon. U.S. Rep. John Dingell received the award along with the UAW International Union – each part of a group whom came together with an idea to preserve southeast Michigan’s rich auto and labor heritage.