JAMESTOWN – National Comedy Center officials joined community leaders and elected officials Friday for a special announcement featuring U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer.
Schumer was in Jamestown Friday morning to announce that Congress will soon act on a piece of legislation involving the NCC.
“My great news today is the official designation of the National Comedy Center as the official comedy center of the United States is about to happen,” Schumer announced to a round of applause and cheers.
Schumer added that the designation is included in the federal lands bill that will be acted on by the Senate today and the house next week, with the president expected to sign it before February 22.
“And I was able, using clout I have in the Senate, to get it in that lands bill. It passed in the first stage in the Senate on Thursday, it will pass the Senate on Monday, it will pass the House a week later – the chairman of the House committee and speaker Pelosi said it’s going to pass without change – so it will be signed by the president in two weeks and there will be nothing standing in the way.”
Senator Schumer added the designation not only helps to increase national awareness of the NCC, but also helps make it eligible for funding.
“Once you become a nationally recognized center, when the comedy center will apply for the endowments and other fund sources, it gets them a leg up in getting money,” Schumer said. “And, when Journey [Gunderson] goes out to solicit other project contributors – the foundations and individuals – it will be much easier there too.”
Schumer also acknowledged that some of his colleagues were a little reluctant to include the designation in the bill due to the designation going to Jamestown rather than a major entertainment hub on the east or west coast, but he also said he was able to use reciprocity to still get the designation added.
“This was old fashioned backscratching. I wanted this very badly. There were a couple of others who were a little shaky on it for those reasons but they got stuff – nothing related to the comedy center – for their states in the bill so everybody’s happy,” Schumer explained.
Joining Schumer in his announcement on Friday morning were NCC executive Director Journey Gunderson, Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi, and County executive George Borrello.