This post is authored by Shawn Patch, Principal Investigator, Sr. Archaeologist, and Sr. Geophysical Specialist at New South Associates.
Like many ACRA members, I have participated in CRM Day on Capitol Hill several times. During my visits I was only able to meet with staffers, never the legislators. In August of this year, I reached out to Congressman Ted Budd’s office (NC-13) requesting that he visit our office in Greensboro, NC. Imagine my surprise when I received a response from his scheduler with an offer for September 3 for an hour-long visit! Finally, a chance to meet in person with our representative.
Representative Ted Budd with members of the New South Associates staff in Greensboro, NC
Mr. Budd brought his Chief of Staff and a legislative aide. We gave him a tour of our historic building and he met with all the staff, asking questions about their work and backgrounds. Sarah Lowry, Brittany Hyder, and I then had an opportunity to meet and talk with him for about 30 minutes. We had several topics on our agenda that began local and worked toward the national level.
I introduced New South Associates as small, women-owned business specializing in historic preservation. We emphasized our growth in North Carolina, the number of staff with advanced degrees, and our impact on the local economy. We reviewed several projects from his district, including a Civil War fort and artifacts (he loved those), two cemeteries, and an historic African American church. We used those as a spring board to thank Mr. Budd for co-sponsoring with Rep. Alma Adams (NC-12) the African American Burial Grounds Network Bill. Mr. Budd listened attentively, took notes (especially about the Civil War site), and asked good questions.
We talked at length about the value and importance of historic preservation to local communities and stressed that it’s not necessarily “red” or “blue”, but certainly “purple.” Mr. Budd said he would research and consider joining the Historic Preservation Caucus. We also discussed the Veterans Curation Program (VCP), requested his support for the Historic Preservation Fund, and gave him and overview of ACRA (along with handouts). Although he would not commit to any specifics, he said they would research the issues we raised. The best part of our meeting was when he told us that he was not previously aware of historic preservation and that he enjoyed learning about our field and work.
After the meeting I thanked his scheduler and Chief of Staff for arranging the meeting. His scheduler asked me to contact her directly for my next Hill visit. This week I received a thank you note from Mr. Budd.
Thank you note from Congressman Budd
Our meeting was a success and I genuinely believe Mr. Budd walked away with a better understanding of CRM and why it’s important. We have also laid the groundwork for working relationships with his staff and I look forward to future meetings with them.
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