We all know the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

If you don’t share your views with your legislators, then your views will not be considered when he or she votes on an issue that is important to you. It’s your duty to educate your legislators. There are thousands of policies and bills to be considered each Congressional session. Do not assume that your legislator or their staff are even aware of historic preservation issues. The average tenure of a legislative staffer is eighteen months, so you have to communicate regularly.

1

Identify your Representatives in Congress


Once you have figured out who your legislators are, call their office and find out which staff member handles historic preservation issues. Get their phone number and email address.

2

Answer two questions about your Representatives

Are they on committees important for Historic Preservation? While there is nothing that limits what issues you should bring to your legislator’s attention, certain issues resonate more specifically for those on key committees. For example, appropriations committee members are going to be more interested in funding that they are in program authorization.

Key Historic Preservation Committees

Is your representative a member of the Historic Preservation Caucus in the House of Representatives? If you representative is a member of the Caucus, be sure to thank them. If they are not, one of your action items should be to ask them to join.

Historic Preservation Caucus→

3

Pick the Issue

Each year Preservation Action redefines our priorities while responding to emergency legislation and taking cues from our annual grassroots survey. Our current priorities and those for 2012, 2011, and 201o are available online for your reference. Contact our office with any questions.

Current Legislative Priorities →

4

Take Action!

Send an email
We recommend sending email communication. While printed letters do stand out, regular mail must go through an irradiation process and can delay delivery by several weeks. Faxes are typically considered junk mail. You can email your legislator directly using the web forms provided in the “Find your Representative” or “Find your Senators” links above. If you have learned who the relevant staff person is, you should be able to email them directly.  At times this is more effective than contacting the legislator directly. Effective Letterwriting →
Call their District and/or Washington Offices
Are you well spoken? You likely won’t get through to the legislator, but staffers do log calls on particular issues. Don’t hesitate to call and advocate.
Make a Real Life Visit
Schedule an appointment! Whether you do it in-district, or you travel to Washington, your legislators are used to and expect visits from their constituents discussing a variety of issues. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t get an appointment with your representative; meetings with staff can be just as, if not more, effective. Guide to In-District Lobbying →

5

Share your Information with Preservation Action

If you make a visit, or if you hear anything back from your legislator as a result of your emails or calls, please let us know. It’s helpful for us to know who are friends and foes are!

Contact Preservation Action →