Preservation Action has interviewed preservation leaders in Congress about current legislation, ideas for the future, and tips for advocates.
Representative Tom Cole (R-OK)

Rep. Cole is the only registered Native American in Congress, and an avid history fan. In this interview, Representative Cole talks about the role of the Historic Preservation Caucus; how preservation revitalizes local economies and tribal culture, and why grassroots advocacy is essential to public policy – and his work. Read the interview →

Senator Harry Reid (D-NV)

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is solidly grounded by the history of his hometown, Searchlight, NV. Throughout his political career, his roots and connection to Nevada’s rich history have helped make Senator Reid one of the most highly respected members of Congress.

In this interview, conducted on March 19, 2008 in Las Vegas, Reid talks about local history and its advocates, and provides much practical advice. This is the first interview in our leadership series conducted as a part of Preservation Action’s In District Lobby Days program — references are made to specific historic places in the Las Vegas area, and the people who helped save them. Read the interview →

Interview with Representative Betty McCollum (D-MN)

Always among the first to cosponsor preservation legislation, Representative Betty McCollum’s (D-MN) experience as a high school social science teacher and her deep underlying interest in history have directed her leadership. She sits on the House Appropriations Committee, the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environmental, and Related Agencies, and the Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies. McCollum also serves on the Committee on the Budget.

In this  interview, Representative McCollum talks about her connection to history, preservation’s role in the Iraq war, and provides advice on how all of us might strengthen our connection with Congress by telling our unique stories. Read the interview →

Interview with Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS)

Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) has been a longtime preservation supporter. In early 2006, his conviction helped Mississippi attain $26,000,000 in supplemental funding for preservation projects to be distributed as grants through the State Historic Preservation Office. These grants have, in turn, helped ground Gulf Coast rebuilding efforts with rehabilitations of character-defining places. In this January 29, 2008 interview, Cochran shares his thoughts about the value of historic preservation; local, state and federal cooperation; and grassroots outreach to his local offices. Read the interview →

Interview with Historic Preservation Caucus Co-Chair Michael Turner (R-OH)

In this 2006 conversation, Representative Turner talks about his commitment to the cause, and the value of grassroots action. Before becoming Ohio’s Third District Representative, Congressman Michael Turner was the two-term Mayor of Dayton, Ohio. As an activist in Dayton, he supported non-profit efforts focused on neighborhood revitalization, housing code enforcement and historic preservation. Read the interview →

Interviews with Former Representatives

Interview with former Representative Brad Miller (D-NC)

Interview with former Representative Brad Miller (D-NC) co-founded the Historic Preservation Caucus. A native North Carolinian, Congressman Miller represented the state’s 13th District, which includes parts of Raleigh, Greensboro, and counties bordering Virginia in between the two cities. Read the interview →

Interview with former Representative Russ Carnahan (D-MO)

Earlier this spring, Congressman Russ Carnahan (D-MO-3) introduced the Preserve Historic America Act (HR610), a preservation opus of sorts that addresses a wide variety of incentives for community building utilizing our historic structures and infrastructure. On July 7, 2006, Congressman Carnahan was kind enough to grant an interview to discuss HR 5420 (now HR610), the Preserve Historic America Act. Read the interview

Interview with former Senator Wayne Allard (R-CO)

Senator Wayne Allard (R-CO), Ranking Member (head Republican) of the Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, has been a long-time supporter of historic preservation. He has helped secure Save America’s Treasures and Preserve America grants for Colorado communities. He’s also one of few Senators who have signed onto the Senate version of the Community Restoration and Revitalization Act, S. 584 (improvements to the federal rehabilitation tax credit). In 1990, while in the Colorado state legislature, he sponsored the state historic rehab tax credit. In this January 30, 2008 interview, Senator Allard provides insights and practical advice for advocates seeking more funding for historic preservation. Read the interview →

Interview with Representative Todd Tiahrt (R-KS)

At the beginning of the 110th Congress, Representative Todd Tiahrt (R-KS) became the lead minority member (Ranking Member) of the House Appropriations Interior Subcommittee. Shortly after assuming his new post, Tiahrt spoke up for preservation funding. At the Subcommittee mark up for Interior programs last year, Tiahrt advocated $10 million for Preserve America. Between fiscal years 2006 and 2007, the program awarded $5 million to 140 projects in 40 states. In FY2008, thanks in part of Tiahrt’s leadership, $7.5 million is available for Preserve America grants in 2008. Preservation Action conducted this interview on January 29th, 2008. Read the interview →

Interview with Representative Jim McCrery (R-LA)

On September 27, Preservation Action interviewed Representative Jim McCrery (R-LA) the lead Republican member of the House Ways and Means Committee – whose job it is to consider changes in the tax law. A tax bill improving the Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit (H.R.1043/S.584) is among many, many other issues currently on the committee’s extensive plate. Immediately prior to this interview, Preservation Action learned about consideration of a few of our bills’ provisions as a part of a large affordable housing bill. The impact to H.R.1043 was unknown.

In this interview, Representative McCrery provides insights into our bill’s potential timing, how his committee prioritizes tax legislation in general, the grassroots in this effort and the way the Louisiana delegation and Congress responded to Hurricane Katrina. Read the interview →

Interview with Representative Ben Chandler

On May 24, 2007, at a subcommittee mark up, Representative Ben Chandler upped an already-increased appropriation for the Historic Preservation Fund by $5 million for State Historic Preservation Offices. His successful amendment included language the grassroots has been using for several years in our Hill requests.

In this interview with Preservation Action’s former President Heather MacIntosh, Representative Chandler talks about why he cares so much. Read the interview →

Interview with Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison

Senator Hutchison is one of preservation’s biggest supporters in Congress. She is an early cosponsor of the Community Restoration and Revitalization Act (S.584) which, if passed, would substantially improve the Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit. She sits on the Senate Appropriations Committee. In a May 24 interview with Preservation Action, Senator Hutchison shared her views on the value of history and local preservation efforts, and the critical role of grassroots federal-level advocacy. Read the interview →

Interview with Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR)

Senator Blanche Lincoln’s interest in preservation grew from a deep connection to the history and architecture of the small riverboat town where she and generations of her family lived and accumulated stories. Lincoln (D-AR) introduced the Senate version of the Community Restoration and Revitalization Act (S.584) on February 14, 2007, and in so doing, moved chances of improving the Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit one step further. In an April 19 interview with Preservation Action, Lincoln shared her thoughts about the value of historic preservation and a simple way to move our cause forward in Congress. Read the interview →

Interview with Phil English (R-PA)

Member of the Historic Preservation Caucus and the Ways and Means Committee, and sponsor of H.R.1043, a bill including many great amendments to the rehabilitation tax credit, Representative Phil English (R-PA) is one of historic preservation’s best friends in Congress. In this February 8, 2006 interview, English provides his view on the value of preservation, and his thoughts about the potential success of HR 3159 (now H.R.1043), the need for grassroots advocacy and what we need to do to win the fight for a historic homeowners tax credit. Read the interview →