President’s Budget proposal abolishes Save America’s Treasures
Shockingly, President Obama’s budget proposal, released yesterday, eliminates entirely the Save America’s Treasures (SAT) and Preserve America grant programs and cuts the National Heritage Areas funding by 50%. These proven job-creating, economy-stimulating programs have leveraged hundreds of millions of private investment dollars and played a large part in saving more than 700 of the nation’s most important historic places. In New Jersey, Ellis Island, Stickley’s Craftsman Farms, Thomas Edison’s Invention Factory, the Hackensack Water Works and the Abel Nicholson Study House are a few of the SAT-funded projects that have jump-started the state’s heritage tourism economy, and created skilled construction and permanent jobs.
Most oddly, the Administration’s blog states that the programs were, “… started to mark the millennium and (were) supposed to last for two years. Both programs lack rigorous performance metrics and evaluation efforts so the benefits are unclear.” The thousands of people from all over the world who visit Ellis Island each year can certainly attest to the benefits they derive from being able to visit that important historic place! And the hundreds of construction, architectural, planning and other related professionals who worked on all the SAT-funded projects in New Jersey and spent their hard earned dollars in the New Jersey economy could speak pretty eloquently about the benefits gained from the statistically insignificant (in the federal budget) but nevertheless important economic benefits of the SAT program.
Posts comments here with stories about SAT-funded projects in New Jersey, and about critical preservation projects that are planned and need funding.
It’s time to send a strong message to our Congressional delegation that this is not the time to dismantle proven economic generators like Save America’s Treasures, which protect cherished historic places that tell the nation who we are and where we came from, especially in this time of job losses and economic crisis. Join PNJ and friends in Washington D.C. for Preservation Lobby Day on March 3. E-mail email@example.com for information about how you can help lobby Congress.
More information from the National Trust for Historic Preservation