Tuesday, March 13, 2012

NHPRC Action Alert

I just received the following alert via email and thought I should pass it along. The National Historical Records and Publications Commission is a vital federal agency that funds the identification, description and above all the preservation of historic documents in the United States. The agency has absorbed deep cuts in recent years, and President Obama's proposed 2013 budget cuts then another 40%! Please take a moment to contact some of the people listed below, and defend American history. The Society of American Archivists has more information here.

Action Alert:

Stop the Impending Fiscal Disaster for Historical Records in the United States!
Tell the House Appropriations Subcommittee to Fund NHPRC at $5 million!

In a year in which natural disasters have rocked many parts of the United States, a fiscal disaster is brewing in Washington, D.C., for archives, manuscripts, and records organizations nationwide and for historical editing projects. The President’s FY13 appropriations budget proposes just $3 million in funding for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission grants program – a $2 million (40%) reduction from the current $5 million appropriation. This is the third year of substantial reductions for a program that is authorized at a very modest $10 million.

While most other federal agencies have been weathering hits of around 9% annually, NHPRC’s cuts have been much heftier. The result is a severe crippling of NHPRC’s ability to carry out its legal mandate – which in turn seriously impedes the capacity of states and organizations nationwide to care for our nation’s heritage and make it available for use by our citizens.

What can you do to help avert this crisis?

Submit testimony in support of restoring NHPRC funding to $ 5million. The House Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee (of the House Appropriations Committee) will hold a hearing on the NARA budget on March 20, 2012. The Subcommittee will accept testimony submitted for the record, but it must be submitted by COB on Thursday, March 15, 2012, to go into the record prior to the hearing. We encourage archives, libraries, and other historical organizations to submit testimony on behalf of their organization and users. Send testimony that speaks directly to the positive benefits of NHPRC funding for your state or organization. Specific instructions on testimony are at the end of this action alert.

Email your written testimony to: FS.Approp@mail.house.gov

House Appropriations Committee, Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee

Fax or email the chair of the Subcommittee to express your support for restoration of NHPRC funding (at $5 million) as part of the National Archives budget. If your representative is a member of the Subcommittee, fax, email, or call him/her and ask for support of funding restoration for NHPRC. In your letter or call, speak to the specific benefits of NHPRC for your state/organization/users. The more your Congressperson understands that his/her constituents are affected directly, the more convincing your message will be.

JoAnn Emerson (Chair, MO)
Rodney Alexander (LA)
Jo Bonner (AL)
Mario Diaz-Balart (FL)
Tom Graves (GA)
Kevin Yoder (KS)
Steve Womak (AR)

Jose Serrano (NY, Ranking Minority)
Barbara Lee (CA)
Peter Visclosky (IN)
Ed Pastor (AZ)

Guidelines for written testimony:
  • Do not exceed 5 pages, double-spaced, single-sided, 12 point font, at least one inch margins
  • State in the first paragraph the agency, program, amount of money involved in the request (i.e. National Archives, National Historical Publications and Records Commission, $5 million)
  • Name title, institutional affiliation at the top of the page
  • Submit as a single pdf document
  • Email to: FS.Approp@mail.house.gov

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