[posted on behalf of Dennis Riley and Kathleen Roe, SAA Committee on Public Policy]
Archivists will be on Capitol Hill in August – and we hope you’ll join us!
In our ongoing effort to develop strong advocacy for archives at the federal level, SAA is co-sponsoring an “Archives on the Hill” day during our Joint Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, this August. We’re contacting you because you live and/or work in the district or state of a key member of Congress who can influence important legislation for archives funding—and we’re hoping you might participate.
We have two goals for “Archives on the Hill”:
- To raise awareness of archivists’ issues and concerns with key members of Congress. It’s a first step that sets the stage for us to make our presence felt in Congress.
- To give SAA members a “live” opportunity to be trained and to do real-time advocacy at the federal level. We hope to develop a strong cadre of archivists who are prepared to do legislative advocacy not only in Washington, DC, but also in their home districts and states.
Here are the preliminary details:
When and where? Archives on the Hill will be held all day on Tuesday, August 14, 2018, in Washington, DC. We’ll meet in reserved space on Capitol Hill for training and orientation, form small teams to conduct visits, and reconvene at the end of the day to debrief.
How will it work? We’ll match you with your members of Congress who serve on key House and Senate subcommittees and set up meetings in their offices. (In most cases, you’ll be meeting with staff rather than members, as Congress will be in summer recess.) You’ll spend 15-20 minutes in one or more offices talking about archives and key archival issues (like federal funding for archives, copyright, or electronic records). You’ll be teamed with others from your district or state to make these visits, and we’re hoping to place one experienced advocate on each team. You won’t be alone!
How will you know what to do and say? We’ll provide you with handouts, talking points, and background information for your meeting(s) and take care of setting up your appointment(s). We’ll also provide online training in advance on how to do a visit and how to discuss the issues so that you’re prepared. On August 14, we’ll meet as a group in the morning to get you and your team started. Colleagues will be available throughout the day in the Congressional office buildings (as well as by text and social media) to help you if you have questions. And we’ll debrief at the end of the day.
Who’s involved? SAA is working in partnership with the Council of State Archivists, the National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators, and the Regional Archival Associations Consortium on this important effort. Each organization is inviting participants so that we can share ideas and perspectives and provide a unified message in our meetings with Congressional offices.
If you’re able to participate, if you have questions before committing, or if you’re not attending the Joint Annual Meeting but would be willing to visit your Representative’s or Senator’s district office, please let us know at: firstname.lastname@example.org (using the subject line: Archives on the Hill).
We’ll share more information and materials beginning in early June. We hope you’ll join us in taking a great step forward in advocating for archives and archivists!
With best regards –
Dennis Riley and Kathleen Roe
Archives on the Hill Joint Task Force