JANUARY 25, 2019

Shutdown Could be Coming to a Close. House Passes New FY19 Appropriations Bill With Significant Increases for HPF

The longest partial government shutdown in history could be coming to a close. Today President Trump announced a deal has been reached on a shot term continuing resolution that would continue current funding levels for 3 weeks, reopening the government. While details on this agreement remain to be seen, the House has continued to pass a series of longer term appropriations bills. Last week, the House introduced H.R 648, which included funding for most of the remaining FY19 appropriations, including Interior appropriations. 

The Interior Appropriations portion of H.R 648 funded the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) at $102.66 million, a $5.75 million increase over FY18's historic level of funding. The funding levels included in the bill were the result of the negotiations between last year's House and Senate versions of the bill, and were not previously known. Thank you to everyone that reached out to your members of Congress last year, urging robust funding for the HPF. The full breakdown is below.

State Historic Preservation Offices: $49.675M, $750,000 over FY18 levels
Tribal Historic Preservation Offices: $11.735M, $250,000 over FY18 levels
Civil Rights Competitive Grants: $14.5M, $1.5M over FY18 levels
Underrepresented Communities Grants: $750,000, $250,000 over FY18 levels
Save America's Treasures Grants: $13M, equal to FY18 enacted levels
Historic Revitalization Significance Grants: $5M, equal to FY18 enacted levels
HBCU Preservation Grants: $8M, $3M above FY18 levels

Currently we're unsure if H.R 468 will advance in the Senate, as lawmakers are working on a short term CR to reopen government and negotiating on President Trump's proposed border wall. The effects of the shutdown are being felt across the country. In addition to limited access and reports of damage to National Parks and historic sites, stalled federal reviews of Historic Tax Credit projects and National Register nominations are causing backlogs at State Historic Preservation Offices.
President Trump Renominates Aimee Jorjani to Chair the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation

President Trump has renominated Aimee Jorjani to be the new Chair of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, sending the nomination to the Senate for consideration. Her nomination was previously approved by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee by voice vote, but was not considered by the full Senate before the end of the 115th Congress, sending the nomination back to President Trump. If approved, Ms. Jorjani would become the first full time Chair of the Advisory Council for Historic Preservation, replacing current ACHP Chairman, Milford Wayne Donaldson, FAIA.

Aimee Jorjani has a strong background in historic preservation.  She held several positions at the Department of the Interior (DOI), including serving as the Deputy Secretary's Special Assistant for Historic Preservation and as DOI's first Department-wide Historic Preservation Officer. She has a masters in historic preservation from Goucher College.
National Park Service Acquires Martin Luther King Jr. Home

The National Park Service announced they had taken over ownership of the Atlanta house where Martin Luther King Jr. lived for much of his adult life. The home was donated to the National Park Service after the home was purchased by the National Park Foundation with philanthropic help, and will now be opened to the general public for the first time. This news comes at a time when most of the National Park Service employees are furloughed from the partial government shutdown

Martin Luther King Jr.'s home will become part of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park. The park also includes the Ebenezer Baptist Church, Martin Luther King Jr.'s grave site and memorial, and the home where he was born, which was acquired just last year.

"The addition of the homes where Dr. King was born and where he raised his family with Coretta Scott King provides the National Park Service sacred spaces to more fully tell the story of Dr. King's life and legacy," P. Daniel Smith, the National Park Service's deputy director said in a statement. 
Registration Now Open for National Historic Preservation Advocacy Week!

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) speaking at last year's National Preservation Advocacy Week.
Registration for National Historic Preservation Advocacy Week 2019 is now open! Register before February 15th to lock in the best rates.

Preservation Action along with the National Conference of Historic Preservation Officers (NCSHPO) is excited to host National Historic Preservation Advocacy Week 2019 from March 12-14 at the Kimpton Hotel Palomar in Washington, DC. 

Advocacy Week registration includes in-depth training, policy briefings, meetings with elected officials and white papers from an array of preservation and policy professionals. Ticketed events offer additional meetings with elected officials, their staff, and a national network of preservation advocates.  Check out our  Advocacy Week  page for more information.

We Need Your Voice!

One of the most effective ways of sharing information with Congress is through direct meetings, and Advocacy Week is our annual opportunity to have a mass impact on opinion leaders and policy makers. This is especially important as a new Congress will be sworn-in in January. With more than 100 new members of Congress coming to Washington, educating members on historic preservation issues will be critical.  Together with a cohesive message in support of preservation-positive legislation we can ensure a strong future for the federal historic preservation program.

Advocacy Scholars Program

Do you know of any students or recent graduates who are exceptional preservation advocates? Urge them to apply for Preservation Action Foundation's Advocacy Scholars program. The program highlights the importance of training and educating the next generation of preservation advocates. We are pleased to offer a limited number of competitive scholarships that invites scholars to attend and fully participate in Historic Preservation Advocacy Week. Submissions are due by February 8th. Learn more and apply today!

Preservation Action
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Preservation Action is the only national  non-profit dedicated exclusively to lobbying for the best preservation policies at the federal level. We seek to make historic preservation a national priority by advocating to all branches of government through a grassroots constituency empowered with information and training.