News: Preservation Funding at Risk

Extremely important news from the National Trust for Historic Preservation:

Dear Preservationist,

As early as today, the U.S. Senate could vote on the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill. It is likely that a harmful amendment to this bill will be offered that would prohibit preservation-related activities under the Transportation Enhancements (TE) program – the single largest source of federal funding for historic preservation.

This change would be devastating to preservation projects that capitalize on existing historic resources to create jobs, improve the quality of life, and protect the environment. With the help of advocates like you, we overcame a similar threat to the program last month. Now we must rise to the challenge again to defend this important program.

The bill also carries damaging new language (Section 128) that would waive National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) review provisions designed to protect historic and cultural resources from disaster recovery projects. This measure is redundant and sets a harmful precedent of waiving the NHPA.

Please contact your U.S. Senators TODAY and ask them to vote NO on any amendment eliminating preservation-related transportation enhancements, and to OPPOSE Section 128 of the THUD appropriations bill.

Visit PreservationNation for more information on the importance of the Transportation Enhancements program to your state and the National Historic Preservation Act.

Thank you for standing up for historic preservation!

Your friends at the National Trust for Historic Preservation

CLICK HERE TO TAKE ACTION NOW.

Please take a minute to complete this form to have it automatically sent to your representatives. It barely takes any effort and could make all the difference in your community. As discussed on Preservation in Pink a few weeks ago, transportation enhancement grants are vital to historic preservation and to your town, state and our nation. Please don’t wait. Contact your senators today.

Making a Difference

You can make a difference by speaking up for what you believe. I don’t care how many people say that one person will not make a difference – a difference starts with someone, so why not you? How many of you want to see increased funding and attention to historic preservation during the Obama presidential years?

And how do we influence a possibility? The other day I received an email (thanks, Andrew!) about the open forum on the Obama-Biden Transition Team web page, change.gov. Here you can submit questions that need to be answered by the new leaders and vote on questions asked by others, thereby indicating voicing which are your most important issues. You can also submit “your story.” The website says:

To change this country, we’re counting on Americans from every walk of life to get involved. Tell us how an experience in your life showed you something that is right or something that is wrong with this country — and share your ideas for how to make it better.

Here is the email content shared with me:

“..there has been a good response, including the addition of many other excellent questions in favor of Historic Preservation (as well as at least one that is very anti-preservation).

If you have not yet voted, please do so and spread the word to all your preservation networks to encourage them to do the same.

If you have voted, please check back and vote on any questions that have appeared since your last check.

WATCH OUT, though, for the sneaky question that talks about Historic Preservation as a “Land-Grab” to benefit the rich.

Here are the steps to take: I encourage you to make the Preservation voice heard by taking just a few minutes to do the following:

1)      Go to http://change.gov/page/content/openforquestions20081229/

2)      You may need to sign in or create a username.

3)      There is a box that allows you to “Search Questions.”  Type in “Historic Preservation.”

4)      Click the check on each of the questions to indicate that you think they are important questions.

It takes just a few minutes, and may make a difference in the reception of your preservation advocates when they approach the new administration.  If you submit preservation questions, you may want to let us know so that we can continue to spread the word to make sure your issues are addressed on Capitol Hill and in the White House.

Also, if you belong to or manage other listservs, I encourage you to spread the word.

Kristen Harbeson

State Services Director,National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers 

444 N. Capitol St. NW  Suite 342,Washington, DC 20001

phone: 202 624 5465 /fax: 202 624 5419

e-mail: harbeson@sso.org website: www.ncshpo.org

_ _ _ _ _ _

Now, go make a difference, one by one!

VOTE on Tuesday November 4

American Flags near 30th Street Station, Philadelphia

American Flags near 30th Street Station, Philadelphia

America the Beautiful, Land of the Free, Home of the Brave.

Democracy only works when we employ it. Vote, please! If you don’t vote, you do not have a right to complain. (That would be called being a part of the problem, not the solution.) It doesn’t matter what your political opinion is, just VOTE on Tuesday. Or have your absentee ballot postmarked by Monday November 3.  Make your voting plans now if you haven’t already.

Our forefathers who believed in democracy will thank you for voting, as will future generations.

More on the 2008 Election & Preservation

Often a noteworthy comment goes unnoticed because not everyone is able to take time to read comments.  Missy Celii provided valuable insight to the post 2008 Election & Historic Preservation, which asked the question about the difference between Democrat & Republican views and practices of historic preservation.  Instead of leaving it hiding in the comments, I’m posting it here for all to read.

One difference is entitlement programs like CDBG/HOME. A lot of these funds are used by local governments and non-profits for housing rehabs, especially for the purpose of neighborhood stabilization. You know, the historic neighborhoods that every town or city has. The places where the average and minorities have historically and continually dwell, but that may today be facing problems like blight or gentrification. Obama would continue to make these funds available (which do a lot more than just rehab or preservation), while McCain plans to cut such funding.

One other difference, while a stretch concerns our world heritage. When foreign policy begins with diplomacy, there is the possibility that war and fighting can be prevented. Not only could this help preserve human life, but also human history. It pains me to think of what artifacts have been lost in Iraq and the Middle East, as well as wonder if it was a necessary loss.

-Missy Celii

2008 Election & Historic Preservation

November 4, 2008 is quickly approaching and I’m surprisingly interested and excited, unlike previous election years.  Once I accepted that politicians are politicians and it’s possibly a bunch of campaign promises, I’ve enjoyed watching debates and reading articles. 

This post is not about political opinions, just to clarify.  However, I deem myself far under qualified to discuss politics associated with historic preservation.  Therefore, I ask all of you readers for comments or a post answering the following questions.  What can you say about the future of the historic preservation field (and those related) after the next election?  What will happen if Obama becomes President? What will happen if McCain becomes President?  Can anyone offer an educated comparison?  Or what about historic preservation in terms of local and state elections – in the end, which of the elections will matter the most to historic preservation? There are so many factors to consider when voting. I won’t belabor them here, but I am curious to know which factors people consider when thinking about their lines of work.

Here are some articles for perusal if anyone is interested in responding to this post.  On the democratic side, I found Historic Preservation for Obama (HPfO), which is “a grassroots network of those in the historic preservation and rehabilitation communities, was formed to help realize this blueprint for America.”  I cannot find a similar site for John McCain. However, First Lady Laura Bush is the chairwoman of Preserve America, so that gives the Republican side a boost.  Will Cindy McCain take over Laura Bush’s role if given the chance?

Maybe this Democrat vs. Republican on the issue of historic preservation is actually quite simple.  Still, if someone could offer an educated political commentary, Preservation in Pink would very much appreciate it. Just no mudslinging, okay?