Advocacy Alert: July 2, 2009

25 Members of Congress Sign Museum Letter 

On June 19 we shared the news that Representatives Paul Tonko (N.Y.-21) and Louise Slaughter (N.Y.-28) had taken the lead on circulating a "Dear Colleague" letter in the House of Representatives encouraging members of Congress to join their letter to the House Appropriations Committee urging $50 million for the Office of Museum Services (OMS) at the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The Tonko/Slaughter letter highlighted the many educational and other vital services museums provide.

Members of Congress had until June 30 to sign on to this important letter and show support for the museums they represent. We are pleased to report that the following Members of Congress joined this effort:

Paul D. Tonko (N.Y.-21-D) 
Louise M. Slaughter (N.Y.-28-D) 
John Boccieri (Ohio-16-D) 
Yvette D. Clarke (N.Y.-11-D) 
Steve Cohen (Tenn.-9-D) 
Joe Courtney (Conn.-2-D) 
Susan Davis (Calif.-53-D) 
Charles Gonzalez (Tex.-20-D) 
Raúl M. Grijalva (Ariz.-7-D) 
Philip G. Hare (Ill.-17-D) 
Rush Holt (N.J.-12-D) 
Dennis J. Kucinich (Ohio-10-D) 
Leonard Lance (N.J.-7-R)
Dave Loebsack (Iowa-2-D) 
Zoe Lofgren (Calif.-16-D) 
Carolyn Maloney (N.Y.-14-D) 
James P. McGovern (Mass.-3-D) 
John McHugh (N.Y.-23-R) 
Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.-8-D) 
Pedro R. Pierluisi (P.R.-D) 
Todd Platts (Penn.-19-R) 
Charles B. Rangel (N.Y.-15 -D) 
Robert C. "Bobby" Scott (Va.-3-D) 
Vic Snyder (Ark.-2-D) 
Dina Titus (Nev.-3-D)

"Twenty-five signatures on this important letter is 25 more than we ever had before," said AAM President Ford W. Bell. "Next year during Museums Advocacy Day, we will aim for all 435 Representatives on the letter in support of the Office of Museum Services, and that's how we will begin to see a real increase in funding. We are fortunate to have found two museum champions in Congress, and I applaud Reps. Paul Tonko and Louise Slaughter for their tremendous leadership on this issue."

THANK YOU to all of the advocates around the country who took a few minutes in the last several days to email or call your Representatives. The fact that 25 members of Congress signed on to this letter the first time it was circulated in Congress shows how effective you can be when you communicate directly with your legislators. This type of advocate response will be critical throughout the year as funding for IMLS and other important issues affecting museums are considered by Congress.