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ARCHIVES Home

ARCHIVES Home

ARCHIVES  March 2006, Week 4

ARCHIVES March 2006, Week 4

Subject:

Urgent Action Alert: Save NHPRC!

From:

Richard Pearce-Moses <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Richard Pearce-Moses <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 27 Mar 2006 22:38:27 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (105 lines)

Once again, the President’s budget has zeroed out all funds for the
National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).  I don’t
have to tell this group how important this program is to help us preserve
the nation’s records.

However, members of Congress need to hear this once again, and now is a
critical time for you to make your voices heard.  One of the first hurdles
is to get the money through the House Appropriations Subcommittee on
Transportation, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development, and related
agencies  Committee (generally know as T-THUD).

If you live in a state that has a Representative on T-THUD (whether your
district or not), please contact that committee member and tell them why
it’s important to save NHPRC.  Members’ sites with contact information are
listed at http://appropriations.house.gov/index.cfm?
FuseAction=AboutTheCommittee.MemberList&SubcommitteeId=15

Robert Aderholt, AL (R)
Ed Pastor, AZ (D)
Todd Tiahrt, KS (R)
Harold Rogers, KY (R)
Anne Northup, KY (R)
John W. Olver, MA (D - Ranking Member)
Steny H. Hoyer, MD (D)
Carolyn C. Kilpatrick, MI (D)
Joe Knollenberg, MI (R - Chairman)
Steven R. Rothman, NJ (D)
John Sweeney, NY (R - Vice Chair)
Ralph Regula, OH (R)
James E. Clyburn, SC (D)
Frank R. Wolf, VA (R)
John Abney Culberson, TX (R)


If your state doesn’t have a rep on the committee, it doesn’t hurt to
contact your member to begin to build “buzz” about NHPRC on the Hill.  Ask
them to contact members of T-THUD and Appropriations.

Remember, email and regular mail doesn’t work; the former is so much spam
and the latter takes too long because it has to go through anthrax
screening.  Fax or call.  I strongly encourage you to use some of those
free cell minutes and call the representative’s office; ask to speak to the
staff member who works on appropriations.  Scary?  You bet; I was a nervous
wreck the first time I called a Congressman’s office.  But just a few
calls  -- even if less than polished -- are surprisingly effective.  The
trick is, be nice.  Staff members are busy, and many are on the front lines
with abusive people.  Good manners and a bit of compassion can go a long
way to get a sympathetic ear.  “Thanks for taking my call.  I know how busy
your are, so I appreciate just a few minutes to tell you that I’m concerned
an important program to preserve our history was zeroed out in the
President’s budget.  The NHPRC has funded n. programs -- $n dollars – in
our state.  Without these dollars, these records might have been lost.”

You can find more tips on what to say or write on SAA’s website
(http://www.archivists.org/news/nhprc-FY2007-action.asp).  Scroll down to
find a link to “Guidelines for Writing Letters” and a fact sheet with
additional background on NHPRC.  Take a moment to look for NHPRC grants in
your state (http://www.archives.gov/nhprc/projects/states-territories/).
Also, take lime looking at the Joint Statement of SAA, COSA, and NAGARA.
There’s additional resources at http://savearchives.pbwiki.com/.

When you write or speak, please stress two things.

First, many federal programs and rights depend on local and state records.
Birth records are proof of US citizenship.  Voter registration records
entitle one to participate in federal elections.  Drivers license records
are being transformed into a national id.  State and local government
deserve federal help for these records.

Second, NHPRC grants will help states prepare for future disasters, such as
those caused by last summer’s hurricanes.  Second, we hope that Congress
will increase NHPRC’s funding to $20 million so that the Commission can
expand its preservation programs. (Note: NHPRC is authorized at $10 million
dollars, but we are asking for more because the $10 million figure isn’t
enough money to preserve the American historical record.  The archival
community is pressing very hard for more money.)

If you contact a member, please drop a note to Nancy Beaumont
([log in to unmask]) or Kathleen Roe ([log in to unmask]).  If
you made a phone call, a quick note of whose office you called is enough.
If you sent a fax, an electronic copy of the original word processing
document as an attachment would be great.

This is the first step.  We’ll need to do this soon with the Senate
subcommittee, then with the House and Senate Appropriations committees.
All along, messages to your members are helpful.

Thanks for everything you do!  Together, we can make a difference!

-- Richard Pearce-Moses
-- President, 2005-2006
-- Society of American Archivists

A posting from the Archives & Archivists LISTSERV List sponsored by the Society of American Archivists, www.archivists.org.
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