Author Archive

A (Lobby) Day in Photos: From the Rayburn to the Willard

Posted on: March 10th, 2009 by Jason Clement

 

First and foremost, let me say that nothing you've read on this blog about Preservation Lobby Day has been an exaggeration. Just ask my feet.

From the moment it all started some twelve hours ago, it has been a no-time-to-stop sprint to the finish, which I'll admit was well worth it...the Willard Hotel (the legendary birthplace of D.C. lobbying where we finally ended our race, err, I mean day) has some killer mint juleps.

Yes, though I might not be able to walk tomorrow, my time with Team Way Outside the Beltwayers was an inspiring and action-packed experience. And, since pictures are worth a thousand words (which is about 999 more than my tired brain can conjure right now), I'll simply point you to our freshly updated Flickr photostream for the time being. You can find pictures from our advocacy training and strategy session held yesterday, as well as shots from our meetings on the Hill today.

And of course, stay tuned tomorrow and over the coming days as we continue to add content - both from me and from the team members themselves - from our day in D.C.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Jason Clement

Jason Clement

Jason Lloyd Clement is the director of community outreach at the National Trust, which is really just a fancy way of saying he’s a professional place lover. For him, any day that involves a bike, a camera, and a gritty historic neighborhood is basically the best day ever.

Way Outside the Beltway TV: Exit Interview with Jennifer Meisner

Posted on: March 10th, 2009 by Jason Clement

 

Way Outside the Beltway TV is back with Washington State's czarina of Lobby Day, the fabulous Jennifer Meisner. Hear all about her meeting with Mark Rupp, the D.C. chief of staff for Governor Chris Gregoire.

Want to see more? Check out additional exit interviews from Team Way Outside the Beltwayers, and stay tuned as we add others over the coming days.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Jason Clement

Jason Clement

Jason Lloyd Clement is the director of community outreach at the National Trust, which is really just a fancy way of saying he’s a professional place lover. For him, any day that involves a bike, a camera, and a gritty historic neighborhood is basically the best day ever.

A Power Lunch with Team Way Outside the Beltwayers

Posted on: March 10th, 2009 by Jason Clement

 

Team Way Outside the Beltwayers does lunch at the Longworth.

I’ve only been on the Hill for a few hours, and already I’ve learned several important lessons.

Number One: Heavily starched white shirts and grayscale suits comprise the unspoken dress code for gentlemen on the Hill. Apparently, no one got the memo (as I did) that purple is the new black this season. Geez, folks.

Number Two: The vending machines in the congressional building hallways should be nominated as Wonders of the World, as they accept all major credit cards, dispense both hot and cold food items, and sell household items and DVDs.

Number Three: All the stories you hear about the “Hill buzz” are absolutely true. This is, after all, the natural habitat of our lawmakers and their overworked, bleary–eyed staff. So, to join in the fun, I asked my lunch crew of Team Way Outside the Beltwayers to chime in with some of the interesting things they’ve seen, heard and said in their meetings so far today.

Mary Rossi: “I was pleased with Rep. Larsen’s staffer and his level of engagement with my team. And, we learned that the Omnibus Bill will be the same in the Senate as it is in the House. Surprise!”

Flo Lentz: “I was pleased to hear that Preserve America funding may be secure this year after all!”

Joan Murray Simpson: “In my meeting with Rep. Baird’s staffers, I emphasized the fact that there is a dedicated historic preservation fund with $2.7 billion in funds.”

Sonya A. Quitslund: “I was encouraged that the Community Restoration and Revitalization Act will be reintroduced next month. It will extend the 20% tax credit to smaller projects. That will further promote housing and economic development.”

Chris Moore: “I met with Rep. Baird’s staff and the legislation side for Rep. McDermott. It always amazes me how sympathetic and engaged the staffers are to our issues, even if they are not that familiar with them. After my first two meetings, I am hopeful the House mark-ups for the Save America’s Treasures and Preserve America grant programs will be retained.”

And with that, I would like to share my favorite moment so far (the blogger gets a voice too!). Joan (quoted above) was telling me and a few newbie team members about her former career as a small town mayor. After explaining how rewarding and challenging that time in her life was, she looked down at her near-empty iced coffee and said with a sigh, “Yeah, I’ve really been trying to get out of politics.”

As hundreds of hardcore lobbyists and frenzied Hill staffers literally scarfed down their made-to-go salads and sandwiches around us, I couldn’t help but playfully say with a smile, “Yeah, not sure that is ever going to happen.”

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Jason Clement

Jason Clement

Jason Lloyd Clement is the director of community outreach at the National Trust, which is really just a fancy way of saying he’s a professional place lover. For him, any day that involves a bike, a camera, and a gritty historic neighborhood is basically the best day ever.

Way Outside the Beltway TV: Exit Interview with Mary Rossi

Posted on: March 10th, 2009 by Jason Clement

 

 

Literally minutes after the door swung open from her first Hill meeting ever (and she was also the lead!), I snagged Mary Rossi for a quick one-on-one next to one of the only sources of natural light that we could find.

Stay tuned today and tomorrow as I post more exit interviews from Team Way Outside the Beltwayers.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Jason Clement

Jason Clement

Jason Lloyd Clement is the director of community outreach at the National Trust, which is really just a fancy way of saying he’s a professional place lover. For him, any day that involves a bike, a camera, and a gritty historic neighborhood is basically the best day ever.

 

From left to right, Suzy Staffer, Sherry SHPO, Preservation Pete and Connie Constituent.

And Suzy Staffer and Congressman Stuffington, too.

No, I haven't gone crazy and these aren't my imaginary friends. They're all characters from an advocacy 101 skit that I had the privilege of taking in yesterday as the training portion of Preservation Lobby Day 2009 kicked off in grand style. Today, I'll be following Team Way Outside the Beltwayers as they complete an all-day, twelve-meeting marathon on what will be my first real trip to Capitol Hill. Here are just some of the notes I scribbled down as I tried to figure out what to expect:

  • Wear comfy shoes, as some of the buildings on Capitol Hill are far apart and downright cavernous by design.
  • Be a big time early bird. Remember that you'll have to be screened by security in every building you enter, and those lines can be up to 20-30 minutes long sometimes. Also, build in time to get lost. The office numbers/locations are unpredictable at best, especially for first-timers.
  • Because many Hill staffers are fresh out of their college poly sci classes, you might find yourself in a meeting with someone who looks like they aren't a day over 21. It's not a bad thing, especially if it puts you in the role of educator. Just be mentally prepared for what can be an initial curveball.
  • Do your homework. Things to pay close attention to are voting records, congressional committee memberships and personal interests. If you forget or don't have time, ask a few quick questions while all the hands are still shaking.
  • Don't expect that you'll get a full hour. In truth, fifteen or so minutes is average (and sufficient if you play your cards right).
  • For staffers, if you're wavering between first name only and Mr. or Ms. X, just ask. It's totally okay to do so.

    ... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Jason Clement

Jason Clement

Jason Lloyd Clement is the director of community outreach at the National Trust, which is really just a fancy way of saying he’s a professional place lover. For him, any day that involves a bike, a camera, and a gritty historic neighborhood is basically the best day ever.