Each year, Washington Trust staff members and volunteers travel to Washington D.C. 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. In 2023, our 14-member delegation met in person with our legislators on Capitol Hill.
In 2024, we’ll be in person in D.C. once again to meet with our legislators on Capitol Hill from March 4-7. The Washington Trust has a limited number of stipends available to help with travel costs to D.C. If you’re interested in joining us, please email Executive Director Chris Moore at email@example.com ASAP!
Students and early-career professionals looking to learn more about preservation advocacy can apply for Preservation Action’s Bruce MacDougal Advocacy Scholars Program by January 22 for free registration, a travel stipend, and advocacy mentorship.
Advocacy priorities will include:
- Updates to the Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit – The Historic Tax Credit Growth & Opportunity Act (HTC-GO) is a bi-partisan bill that proposes important changes to the Historic Tax Credit to encourage more building reuse and more redevelopment in small, midsize, and rural communities. It would also make the credit easier to use and increase the number eligible properties.
- SHPO & THPO funding – Continued and increased funding for our nation’s State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPOs) that process thousands of important reviews and provide pass-through funding to local communities as well as our Tribal Historic Preservation Offices (THPOs).
- National grant programs – Continued funding for important national programs like the Civil Rights Initiative Competitive Grants, funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, the Save America’s Treasures Program, and the Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grants.
- National Heritage Areas – Continued funding in support of the 62 designated National Heritage Areas across the country, including the Maritime Washington National Heritage Area, which uses a portion of federal funds as pass through sub-grants available to maritime-based partners in the NHA.
Track federal preservation-related legislation by visiting Preservation Action or the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Action Center.