Take Action: Speak Up for History!
You can be an advocate for history in a few easy clicks. Contact your state legislators through our Legislative Action Center. It can help you find out who your legislators are, and directly connect you with them by email, phone, or even Twitter.
Or, if you prefer to make a phone call or write a letter, find out who your legislators are.
2016 Legislative Session: The History Agenda
As the second year of Minnesota’s biennial legislative cycle, the 2016 legislative session will be short, with a focus on capital investments and changes to state policies. The session will not officially start until March 8, although committee hearings are expected in January and February.
MNHS' top Capital Budget priority is revitalizing Historic Fort Snelling in time for its bicentennial in 2020. MNHS has requested funding for improvements to the Fort Snelling visitor experience, including
- renovation of a historic cavalry barracks building to create a new visitor center and updated exhibits
- demolition of current deteriorating visitor center and landscape the vacant space
- site improvements such as wayfinding and creating spaces for experiencing the Mississippi River.
In the 2015 legislative special session, the legislature and Governor Dayton approved $500,000 in predesign funds for the project. The 2016 request for Historic Fort Snelling is $34 million for design and construction.
The other MNHS 2016 capital budget requests are $5.8 million for Historic Sites Asset Preservation and $1.5 million for County and Local Historic Preservation Grants.
- The asset preservation request includes building preservation projects at locations in the statewide Historic Sites Network, including Mill City Museum, Historic Forestville, Grand Mound, Lindbergh House, Fort Snelling and Marine Mill.
- The county and local preservation grants funding would be a matching resource to help counties and cities preserve their most significant historic structures. Typical projects include roofs, windows and masonry repair on publicly-owned historic structures.
History Matters Day at the Capitol
To accommodate the later start to session, the 2016 History Matters Day at the Capitol is Tuesday, March 22. We’ll meet at 10 am at the History Center for an orientation session. Coffee and rolls will be provided. State legislators best understand how history matters in Minnesota when they hear directly from constituents like you. As such, the top priority for the day will be individual meetings with your state legislators, scheduled in advance.
Additional activities for the day:
- Free admission for participants to the Minnesota History Center
- Special behind-the-scenes afternoon tour of MNHS collections.
- History Lounge presentation, the First Women of Mayo Clinic, 7 pm
Why You Should Speak Up for Minnesota History
State funding helps MNHS preserve and share history statewide, through sites and museums, educational programming and our website.
Regardless of the state's economic situation, it's important not to lose sight of MNHS' value to all Minnesotans. Legislators and the governor need to hear from voters that funding MNHS educational and preservation program is a good use of tax dollars.
Whenever you speak up for history, you're making a difference. Effective ways to speak up:
- Send a message to your representative
- Visit your representative in person
- Write a personal letter to your representative
- Call your representative
- Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper
- Tell your friends and colleagues
- Use social media to spread the word about the importance of history