An important advocacy role for all of us is to let our government know what we want from it—either personally or as members of the archival community. Here is the opportunity to do that by contacting your senators to support an issue for which SAA has a clear position as described in the Advocacy Agenda and issue briefs developed by the Committee on Advocacy and Public Policy. Check out the action alert on the SAA website at
and then CONTACT YOUR SENATORS. You can accomplish this in 15 minutes or less—the action alert gives you the background, links you to the SAA Advocacy Agenda, and explains the improvements provided in the Leahy-Cornyn revisions to the FOIA and provides a link to the contact information for your senators. Do this by December 1, before this Congressional session closes down.
One of the people from whom I learned a lot about federal advocacy is Anne Georges, the legislative director for the recently retired NY Representative Maurice Hinchey. Something she regularly emphasized was: “Tell your colleagues they need to contact us on issues that matter to them. We work for them, and we want to hear from them.” Well, here is an opportunity for you to do just that—please take the time to contact your senators and let us know when you have (email firstname.lastname@example.org) so we can track the amount of “traffic” in each state. It is important not only on this issue, but to provide a continuing, persistent, authoritative voice from the archival community.
One of my favorite quotes is from the hockey player, Wayne Gretsky: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” So please, take a shot—make that call or send email on behalf of archives.