Advocacy Alert: Jan. 18, 2009

Tell Congress Today: Zoos and Aquariums are Living Museums!

As you may know, Congress is now considering an $825 billion economic recovery package to create or save jobs and strengthen our nation's infrastructure.

We have reviewed the bill proposed in the House Appropriations Committee and have drafted a letter both pointing out areas where the bill could be strengthened and specific provisions that we support.

Specifically, we are very concerned about a provision to prohibit any funds in the bill from going to zoos or aquariums! This is the language currently in the bill: "None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available in this Act may be used for any casino or other gambling establishment, aquarium, zoo, golf course, or swimming pool."

It is hard to understand how zoos and aquariums have been lumped together with casinos and golf courses, but we believe this is a complete misunderstanding of the vital role that zoos and aquariums—and other museums and historic sites—play in our society, and the role they will play in the economic recovery of states and localities.

Read the letter that AAM's President Ford Bell has sent to Capitol Hill, and send one to your own representatives in Congress.

Many thanks for your help in communicating the value of museums as a critical part of our nation's educational infrastructure.