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.
New tool to contact your legislators!
The Washington Trust is excited to share a new tool to help our audience contact their representatives about historic preservation issues. We are debuting an interactive form that sends your message to the appropriate representatives when you put in your street address. We will be using this tool throughout the legislative season and hope it will help make your grassroots advocacy easier!
To kick things off, we’ve put together a summary email of our legislative priorities for you to send off to your legislators, asking them to:
- Support Main Street
- Fund historic preservation capital grant projects
- Help restore the Dr. Nettie Craig Asberry House
- Support the Washington State Historical Society
The email that goes to your representative will be signed with your name and city—and of course feel free to add your own personalized message.
Stay tuned for next steps as session continues by signing up for “Preservation Issues and Advocacy Alerts” through our email list!
As we approach the season where the Washington State Legislature will set our state’s budget for the next two years, the need for preservation funding is stronger than ever as we deal with economic recovery from COVID-19. Historic preservation keeps money local and supports community character. Join us in telling the Governor and the Washington State Legislature to fund historic preservation and Main Street this budget cycle!
Our legislative priorities include:
Washington Main Street is a major driver of downtown revitalization, economic development, and community placemaking in Washington State. 2020 has proven, in more ways than one, that Main Street was built for economic recovery and small business support. The Washington Trust supports:
- Funding for recovery services – Washington Main Street can ramp up direct economic recovery services to communities across the state with an emphasis on organizational stability and small business retention.
- Enhancing tax credit program – Increasing the state cap of this existing program will allow sustainable local funding that doesn’t put Main Streets in competition with small businesses or other nonprofit organizations.
- Capital grants for Main Streets – Small businesses will benefit directly from the safety improvements, restorations, and physical improvements to their properties these grants would support.
Washington’s historic places are crucial to our civic, social, and economic systems. State funding has provided support to our communities through historic preservation – funding needed now more than ever to help recover from the economic crisis wrought by COVID-19.
In addition to continued funding for three existing grant programs:
The Washington Trust supports the creation of two new preservation grant programs:
Dr. Nettie Craig Asberry House
The Washington Trust is partnering with the Tacoma Colored Women’s Club (CWC) and others in support of funding the CWC’s 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. Read the partners letter here!
Washington State Historical Society (WSHS) Programs
Heritage Capital Projects – This grant program is critical to the cultural organizations across the state that preserve our state’s history. Heritage organizations requested over $9 million this upcoming round, showing a clear need for state support. Learn more here.
NEW! Diversity Equity & Inclusion Internship – WSHS is requesting $250,000 in funding for a new paid internship program that will place graduate students or recent graduates in local history museums and historical societies across Washington.
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 meeting with our legislators virtually the week of March 8. Although we’ll miss the in-person meetings, we’re excited for the opportunity this provides to include more voices in these important conversations. Our state’s representatives and senators want to hear why you, their constituents, value our historic places, and this virtual format makes that more possible than ever.
If you want to share your passion for the places that matter to you, we invite you to join us for our virtual meeting with your legislators! Before each meeting, we’ll work together to ensure you and the rest of the team have all the materials, talking points, and background information you need. And if it’s your first time joining us for Preservation Advocacy Week, we’ll help connect you with online training opportunities before the big meeting day.
Want to learn more? Please email us before Friday, February 12, to let us know you’re interested and receive more information. We look forward to raising our voices with you next month!
Learn more about this year’s advocacy priorities 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!