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 2021 Washington State legislative session is in the books, and the state budget for the 2021-2023 biennium is now set!
With your help, the Washington Trust advocated for a number of preservation and Main Street programs this year as part of our slate of legislative priorities. Here’s an overview of the final funding decisions related to those priorities:
Washington Main Street is a major driver of downtown revitalization, economic development, and community placemaking in Washington State. In acknowledgment of this, the state budget includes the following:
- Increased operating funding – The state operating budget increased Washington Main Street funding by $1.050 million to support the hiring of an economic recovery specialist and enable capacity building grants for Affiliates across the Washington Main Street network.
- House Bill 1279 increased the Main Street Tax Credit Incentive Program cap from $2.5 million to $5 million.
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’ recovery from the economic crisis wrought by COVID-19, the state budget includes the following:
Dr. Nettie Craig Asberry House
The Washington State legislature has included $910,000 in the state capital budget to support the Tacoma Colored Women’s Club (CWC)’s proposed acquisition of the historic Dr. Nettie Craig Asberry home in Tacoma. Dr. Asberry was a suffragist and civil rights activist, is believed to be one of the first African American women to earn her Ph.D, and founded the first chapter of the NAACP west of the Rocky Mountains. The Washington Trust was proud to be among a coalition of partners supporting this effort. Read the partners letter here!
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’re thrilled that the program’s request for $9 million was fully funded by the Washington State legislature. Learn more here.
Thank you to the many supporters, advocates, and partners who contacted their legislators in support of these programs!
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.
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!