Since 2003 SAA has periodically written letters or submitted testimony on behalf of the District of Columbia Archives. Another round of budget hearings are beginning in the D.C. Council, so we have taken the opportunity to reach out again to submit testimony in support of that very rich and important archival collection. The testimony submitted can be found at: http://www2.archivists.org/news/2015/roe-submits-testimony-on-district-of-columbia-archives
One of my Council colleagues, Tim Pyatt, puckishly suggested that perhaps instead of calling this the “Year of Living Dangerously for Archives” we ought to instead call it the “Year of Making Statements about Archives.” There are indeed a lot of things going on that raise archival issues of concern and challenge us as an organization, and those of us in leadership positions, to try and determine what we can say that draws attention to concerns and options or solutions in a productive but compelling, way.
Many of us in the membership have different views or different concerns that we feel SAA should be addressing. When you do, I encourage you to contact me, our executive director, Nancy Beaumont, or a member of Council to raise those concerns. Please help us to be better informed on issues you’d like considered by using the suggested format for sharing information on the issue located on the web at http://www2.archivists.org/groups/committee-on-advocacy-and-public-policy/procedures-for-suggesting-saa-advocacy-action
Will we always develop statements that make everyone satisfied/happy? Not likely given the diversity of opinion in our profession, but I can honestly assure you that we will give all requests serious consideration, and as elected leadership, will do our best to indeed be representative of SAA. (and here’s another good reason you need to vote by April 13 for SAA leadership–these will be the people to make future such decisions!)
The extent of “issues” in the past year are more evidence that we need to take a strong role in demonstrating the importance and value of archives and archivists. Archivists have much to offer, and we continue to seeks ways to effectively make contributions to national, state or even local discussions and debates.
Please contact me anytime you have issues to raise at: firstname.lastname@example.org