Researching your Representative’s Preservation Record
This list of questions is designed to help you create a Preservation Profile on individual legislators relevant to your meetings in Washington and in your district. Research these questions to help you know and remember the specifics of who you are speaking with, how they may be important to federal preservation policy, and how you might tailor your presentation and/or conversations for the best outcome.
The majority party has a much stronger voice in Congress than the minority. Although this should not effect your presentation to your legislator, it is important to keep in mind as you make your pitch. Not all Republicans think alike – nor do all Democrats, but the party platforms are a helpful bit of background.
Is your member of Congress on the following committees?
Amendments proposed to federal preservation legislation that impacts the National Historic Preservation Act, Section 106, the Historic Preservation Fund and other important preservation cornerstones often originates or is considered by this committee. In the 111th Congress, this committee debated a bill that would have provided full funding for the Historic Preservation Fund.
You should consider having a list of national parks with historic resources, and a list of National Register resources available during a meeting with a National Resources Committee member.
The funding levels of historic preservation programs funded via the Historic Preservation Fund and other sources are considered by appropriators. Programs funded through the Historic Preservation Fund are; State Historic Preservation Offices, Tribal Historic Preservation Offices, and previously Preserve America and Save America’s Treasures.
i. How many tax credit projects were processed through your State Historic Preservation Office last year? List three examples of projects your member might have heard of, and find at least one picture of each.
ii. How many Section 106 reviews were processed through your State Historic Preservation Office last year? List three examples of resources identified and saved through review and try to find a photograph of these.
iii. Identify examples of support your State Preservation Office provided local communities. Find a photograph illustrating this support.
iv. List all Save America’s Treasures (SAT) grants received by your state. If your state has received more than one SAT grant, pick what you consider to be the most exciting, and provide a picture and brief overview of funding sources, including the dollar amount of the SAT grant.
v. List all Preserve America communities in your state.
Programs that would impact federal revenue, such as Historic Tax Credits, are considered by these committees.
i. Provide a list of tax credit projects for the last calendar year. If possible, pick one in their district and present an overview of funding sources for this project, demonstrating how the tax credit supported the development.
ii. Brush up on the job generation and private investment leveraged by historic tax credits.
What is your Representative’s Record on Preservation Issues
5. Personal Connections to Historic Preservation
a. Does your legislator live in an historic district or in a designated historic building?
b. Is your legislator’s partner active in historic preservation activities?