Advocating for historic preservation
As Washington State’s only statewide preservation advocacy organization, the Washington Trust plays a key role in advocating for good preservation policy on both the state and national levels.
The 2023 Washington State legislative session is underway, and the state budget for the 2023-2025 biennium will be set in the coming months.
The Washington Trust is advocating for a number of preservation and Main Street programs this year as part of our slate of legislative priorities. Here’s an overview:
Washington State Main Street Program
Washington Main Street is a major driver of downtown revitalization, economic development, and community placemaking in Washington State. In acknowledgment of this, we support the governor’s proposed funding to continue the program:
- $700,000 over current funding levels for the biennium to provide services to 72 communities in the state’s Main Street network
- Read more
Department of Archaeology & Historic Preservation’s (DAHP) Capital Grant Programs
Washington’s historic places are crucial to our civic, social, and economic systems. To support these sites’ ongoing preservation, we support the following capital grant programs:
- Heritage Barn Initiative – $1 million
- Historic Courthouse Program – $4.76 million
- Historic Cemetery Grant Program – $515,000
- Historic Theater Grant Program – $515,000
Washington State Historical Society (WSHS) Programs
The Heritage Capital Project Fund is a grant program that is critical to the cultural organizations preserving our state’s history across Washington. We support the Washington State Historical Society’s request for full funding of $10 million to continue this important program. Read more.
Housing Bills We’re Watching
HB1110, 1026, and 1042 are the housing bills currently under consideration by the Washington State Legislature that we are keeping a particular eye on, due to their implications for and relevance to preservation. Read more.
Take Action Today!
To really make these proposals heard, we need your help. Contact your representatives or use the form below to remind them of the power of preservation and encourage them to support these programs in the next state budget.
Simply enter your name and address, and we will match you with your representatives and provide a letter for you to send directly with a few clicks!
Each year, Washington Trust staff members and volunteers travel to Washington, DC, to advocate for historic preservation programs and funding at the federal level as part of Preservation Advocacy Week (also known as “Lobby Day”). Joined by fellow advocates from across the country, we meet with our state’s representatives and senators to emphasize the value of preservation to Washington’s communities. This is our chance to speak directly to the senators, representatives, and other high-level lawmakers who can enact real change to federal historic preservation policy and budgets.
This year, we’ll be back in person in D.C. to meet with our legislators on Capitol Hill from March 6-8, 2023. If you’re interested in joining us, please email Executive Director Chris Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP!
Learn more on our Preservation Advocacy Week webpage.
Stay in the loop on the Washington Trust’s advocacy work and learn how you can help raise your voice in support of historic preservation. Click below to sign up for emails and make sure to select “Preservation Issues and Advocacy Alerts” from the list as an area of interest!