April 19, 2005—Since mid-March, when the archival community learned that President Bush’s proposed budget provides no funding for NHPRC grants and program administration, we have been very active in informing members of Congress of the need to restore funding. SAA, the Council of State Historical Records Coordinators (COSHRC), and the National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators (NAGARA) formed a Joint Task Force on Advocacy to coordinate efforts within the community. The Task Force has also worked closely with the Association for Documentary Editing and the National Coalition for History.
Initial efforts have focused on informing members of the House and Senate Appropriations committees, and the subcommittees that deal directly with the NARA appropriation, of the critical nature of the NHPRC funding. To date, our efforts have yielded more than 300 letters, at least 35 “live” visits, and countless phone calls to members of Congress. “Thank You!” to everyone who has participated in this effort.
Here’s what’s next, and what you can do to help:
- If you have colleagues who have not yet sent a letter, please urge them to do so before April 26, when the House Appropriations Committee will conduct a hearing on the National Archives budget. This hearing marks the beginning of a process that will likely continue into the summer, when the budget mark-ups are finalized by the House and Senate.
If you live or work in a district or state represented by a member of the House or Senate Appropriations committees:
- Fax a letter if you haven’t done so already.
- If you have already sent a letter, make a call or send an additional fax asking your member to attend the NARA Appropriations Hearing on April 26 and speak on behalf of NHPRC.
- If at all possible, visit your member in Washington or while he or she is in your district. Talk to the staff person in charge of appropriations, who can be very influential.
- If you are unsure of whether your member of Congress is on the Appropriations Committee or subcommittees dealing with NARA, see:
If you do not live or work in a district or state represented by a member of the House or Senate Appropriations committees:
- Fax a letter or call your Congressperson’s office and suggest that he or she contact the members of the Appropriations Committee and Appropriations subcommittees to urge their support.
- Submit public testimony to the Appropriations Committee for consideration as part of the NARA hearing on April 26. Although there will be no “live” testimony from the public, the Committee is accepting testimony via a Web site. Please click here for tips on preparing testimony and information about how to submit it.
Please forward this update to others who may be interested or able to help. There is strength in numbers!
Providing Public Testimony on NHPRC (April 2005)
NHPRC Budget Zeroed Out for FY2006! (February 22, 2005)
NARA Press Release (February 7, 2005)