House Passes Sewell Amendments to Fund Historic Preservation
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Tuesday, the House passed two amendments introduced by Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D-AL) increasing funding for civil rights movement historic preservation funding in Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19). Rep. Sewell’s amendments to the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act increased historic preservation funding in the bill by $4.5 million.
“I am beyond thrilled to see Republicans and Democrats coming together to protect our nation’s historic voting rights and civil rights sites,” said Rep. Terri Sewell. “National treasures like Brown Chapel AME Church and the A.G. Gaston Motel tell the story of our nation’s fight for freedom and equality in the face of injustice. By investing in these historic sites, we ensure their stories are preserved for future generations and that the foot soldiers who fought, bled, and died for our rights are not forgotten. In Alabama’s 7th Congressional District, our historic sites are also a source of sustainable economic growth that have brought jobs and investment to local communities. While our work to preserve the history of our civil rights and voting rights movements is far from over, today’s bill takes an important step forward.”
One of Rep. Sewell’s amendments would provide an additional $2.5 million for competitive grants to preserve the sites and stories of the civil rights movement. The second amendment would increase funding for the rehabilitation and preservation of historic properties on HBCU campuses by $2 million. Both amendments passed by voice vote.
The National Park Service estimates that every public dollar invested in parks and preservation generates another $10 in economic activity. In March of 2018, the Department of the Interior and National Park Service announced preservation grants for nine sites in Alabama and 51 projects across the country.
Rep. Terri A. Sewell (D-AL) is serving her fourth term representing Alabama’s 7th Congressional district. She sits on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and was recently appointed to the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. Sewell is a Chief Deputy Whip and serves on the prestigious Steering and Policy Committee of the Democratic Caucus. She is also a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, and serves as Vice Chair of the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus, and Vice Chair of Outreach for the New Democrat Coalition.