In 2013, the National Coalition for History (NCH) worked with the offices of Congressmen John Larson (D-CT) and Tom Cole (R-OK) on the creation of a Congressional History Caucus. Congressmen Ander Crenshaw (R-FL) and Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) are serving as co-chairs with Representatives Larson and Cole.
The purpose of the caucus is to provide a forum for members of Congress to share their interest in history and to promote an awareness of the subject on Capitol Hill. NCH leadership felt it was important for the historical community to be perceived as a resource by Congress instead of just another constituent seeking funding. This effort includes establishing relationships between Members of Congress and historians at institutions in their district.
In February, the co-chairs announced the creation of the caucus by circulating a “Dear Colleague” letter soliciting members of Congress to join them. We anticipate a major inaugural event on Capitol Hill sometime in the summer.
The coalition and its member organizations are asking you to encourage your representatives to join the caucus and actively participate in its activities. The “Dear Colleague” letter can serve as talking points to explain what the caucus is about and why they should join.
Please call or write your House member’s office and urge them to contact Congressman Larson’s office at (202)225-2265 to join the caucus. To do that, you can use one of these three options. No matter which means of communication you choose, please personalize your message as to your background or interest in history. If you are employed in the field, mention the institution where you work in your congressional district.
1. NCH has created a pre-written e-mail that allows you to send a message directly to your member of the House of Representatives. When you click on the link below, it will take you to an information page with background about the Congressional History Caucus. The National Humanities Alliance is allowing NCH to use their electronic advocacy system which is why you will see their logo on the page.
You will then need to fill out a short form with your contact information to allow the advocacy software to match your address information to your Members of Congress. Note that Congress requires all of this information be filled out for each advocacy message submitted by an electronic service. Once the form has been completed, you will be taken to a template message crafted by NCH. However, as noted above, please personalize the message if possible.
Please click on this link to send the message: http://cqrcengage.com/nhalliance/app/write-a-letter?14&engagementId=49313
2. You can find your representative by going to the House website at http://www.house.gov/. The system allows you to search for them using your zip code which will take you directly to a link to their website and contact information. Congressional offices allow you to send them an email through their homepage if you are from their district.
3. In addition, all Members of Congress can be reached through the U.S. Capitol switchboard at (202)224-3121. If you feel comfortable doing so, a personal phone call is preferable to an email. During your conversation, offer to send the staff person you speak to an e-mail link to the Dear Colleague letter at http://historycoalition.org/?p=5977
Here is a list of current Congressional History Caucus members (with links to their offices). If one of these representatives is from your district, it would be nice for you to call or email their office and thank them for their support of history. If you click on their name you will be taken directly to their homepage.
- Rep. Mike Capuano (D-MA)
- Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT)
- Rep. Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH)
- Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ)
- Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI)
- Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA)
- Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX)
Please note that NCH is currently working to create a similar history caucus in the US Senate. However, it has not yet been formed. That is why you are only being asked to contact your Representatives and not your Senators.