Resources and Contacts
We as a profession need to develop an ongoing relationship with our elected representatives at all levels of government – city, state, and federal – since they are the ones who enact legislation, set policy, and appropriate money that impacts archives and the communities we serve.
It is not good enough to simply engage them during annual budget battles over funding for the humanities or when a specific policy issue flares. How can we be taken seriously if we reach out only during times of archival crises? Rather we encourage members to begin a dialogue early and often, long before we need to influence legislation. Tell your elected representatives how your archive impacts their constituents and communities – how your archive makes a concrete difference in the lives of real people.
We encourage you to contact the officials that represent the district your repository is in, as well as those who represent you as a private individual. And let the ART Advocacy Committee know of your efforts as well so we can continue to shape and grow our advocacy agenda.
Below are ways to contact your representatives as all levels of government, as well as important legislators who sit on appropriations and oversight committees that impact archives.
Some ideas for contacting elected officials:
Invite elected officials to your archives, programs, and events -- not only for big events, but to see a program in action, such as a school group visiting your archive. Give them a photo op in your archive with their constituents.
Ask to be included on the “about the district” page of their website.
Provide copies of brochures, publications, and printed materials to city council members, state legislators, and members of Congress.
Share testimonials with your elected officials. If teachers or students provide thank you notes or pictures after a school group visit, share them.
Serve as the location for a legislative briefing or town hall meeting.
Take a picture showing how your archive is serving constituents and send the picture with a handwritten note to your elected officials.
Share positive news stories and other media coverage with elected officials.
When you get government grants (NHPRC, NEH, IMLS, NY State DHP, LGRMIF), let elected officials know, and share the tangible results of the projects.
Share with elected representatives your celebration points and achievements such as anniversaries, significant projects or programs, important grants, and significant donations.
Congressional History Caucus
Contact your Representative in the House and urge them to join the Congressional History Caucus. More information is on the website of the National Coalition for History.
New York City Council
Committee on Governmental Operations
(Public Information Commission, DORIS)
Ben Kallos, Chair
Upper East Side, Yorkville, Roosevelt Island
Morningside Heights, Hamilton Heights, West Harlem, Upper West Side
Central Bronx, Fordham, West Farms, Belmont, Bathgate, East Tremont, Crotona
Mid-Staten Island, including Bulls Head, Castleton Corners, Dongan Hills, Fort Wadsorth, Midland Beach, New Dorp, Richmondtown, Todt Hill, South Beach
Committee on Cultural Affairs
Jimmy Van Bramer, Chair
Sunnyside, Woodside, Long Island City, Astoria and Maspeth
Glendale, Ridgewood, Maspeth, Middle Village, Woodhaven
Elmhurst, East Elmhurst, Corona, and Jackson Heights
Flushing, Queensboro Hill, Mitchell Gardens, Kissena Park, Harding Heights, Auburndale, Whitestone
Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO, Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Boerum Hill, Vinegar Hill, Downtown Brooklyn, and Bedford–Stuyvesant
Edenwald, Co-op City, Wakefield, Baychester, Williamsbridge
Woodside, East Elmhurst, and Jackson Heights
Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Crown Heights, Prospect Heights, Bed-Stuy
Upper West Side
Committee on Finance