ACRA Visit to Congress, Washington, D.C., MARCH 26, 2009
Preliminary Statistical Results of Visit
Michael Polk, President, American Cultural Resources Association
A total of 24 members of the American Cultural Resources Association (ACRA) met at The Conference Center at the Maritime Institute (CCMIT) on March 25, 2009 for an organizational meeting prior to a trip to Washington, D.C., the next day. The purpose of the trip was to visit members of Congress or their staffers, have two briefings concerning historic preservation issues being considered by Congress, particularly those pertaining to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), often referred to as the "Stimulus Act”. These briefings were to be led by councils of the Democratic majority (David Watkins, Majority Staff Director) and the Republican minority (Jim Streeter, Minority Staff Director) in the House Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands . In addition, during lunch in the Rayburn Building, Constance Ramirez and Richard Walbauer of the National Park Service (NPS) and Reid Nelson and Tom McCulloch of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) were to meet with the group and discuss issues related to distribution of ARRA funds. Dr. Ramirez is Director of the NPS' Federal Preservation Institute and Dr. Walbauer is Assistant Director of the Institute. Dr. Nelson is the ACHP Director of the Office of Federal Agency Programs and Dr. McCulloch is a Program Analyst in that office.
A bus was hired by Headquarters of ACRA and most of the group traveled to the Capitol in the bus. All 24 eventually met up at the Capitol and began a series of meetings with various congress people and senators throughout the day. Nellie Longsworth, ACRA Government Relations Consultant, was instrumental in setting up these meetings and in bringing the NPS and ACHP to the Hill to speak to the group.
Following are the statistical results of the visits as best could be gathered during the bus ride back to Baltimore as well as follow up information obtained via email. Actual names of representatives and senators are included if such information was available while compiling this list. A more detailed accounting may follow. A list of the attendees for ACRA on the Hill is attached to this report. Also attached is the ACRA letter that was provided to each office visited (the individuals visiting also provided their business card as part of the visit).
United States House of Representatives
|Alabama||One (1) visited|
|Arizona||Three (3) visited|
|California||Four (4) visited|
|Colorado||Two (2) visited (Reps. Doug Lamborn and John T. Salazar)|
|Delaware||ACRA material left at one (1)|
|Florida||Four (4) visited; ACRA material left at four (4)|
|Georgia||Three (3) visited|
|Hawaii||Two (2) visited|
|Idaho||One (1) visited (Rep. Mike Simpson)|
|Illinois||One (1) visited|
|Maine||One (1) visited|
|Maryland||ACRA material left at three (3)|
|Massachusetts||Two (2) visited|
|Missouri||Six (6) visited; ACRA material left at two (2)|
|New Hampshire||Two (2) visited|
|New York||Four (4) visited|
Four (4) visited ( Reps. Brad Miller, Bob Etheridge, Virginia Fox,
G.K. Butterfield) ACRA material left at 3
|Ohio||Five (5) visited|
|Pennsylvania||One (1) visited|
|One (1) visited ACRA material left at 1|
|Tennessee||One (1) visited (Rep. Bart Gordon )ACRA material left at 1|
|Texas||One (1) visited|
|Utah||One (1) visited (Rep. Rob Bishop)|
|Vermont||ACRA material left at One (1)|
|Virginia||Two (2) visited|
|Wisconsin||ACRA material left at One (1)|
United States Senate
|Alabama||Two (2) visited (Senator Jeff Sessions and Senator Richard C. Shelby)|
|Colorado||One (1) visited (Senator Mark Udall)|
|Missouri||One (1) visited|
|North Carolina||Two (2) visited (Senator Richard Burr and Senator Kay Hagan)|
|Utah||One (1) visited (Senator Robert Bennett)|
|Virginia||Two (2) visited (Senator Mark R. Warner and Senator Jim Webb)|
The figures shown above indicate that representatives from 26 states of the US (just over half) were visited on March 26. Also, a total of 52 representatives or their staffers were actually visited by ACRA members and ACRA materials were left at another17 other representatives’ offices. A total of 9 senators’ offices were visited. In many cases (information is lacking at this point), actual representatives or senators were talked to, but in most, it was staffers of those congressmen or congresswomen. As Nellie points out, however, talking to staffers is often as good as talking to the representative or senator, since they are often even more knowledgeable about the subject.
In the House of Representatives there are a total of 435 voting members. The total visited by ACRA represents almost 12 percent of that total body. The total contacted is almost 16 percent.
In the Senate, there are a total of 100 voting members. The total visited by ACRA represents 9 percent.
In the Congress, there are a total of 535 voting members. A total of over 11 percent of the entire Congress was visited by ACRA and 14.5 percent were contacted on March 26.