Davis Advocates for COVID-19 Relief for Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area
U.S. Representative Rodney Davis (IL-13) today signed onto a bipartisan letter to House leadership urging them to include COVID-19 relief for National Heritage Areas, including the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area, in a future recovery bill. This action followed a request from Looking for Lincoln, the non-profit dedicated to supporting the heritage area.
The letter requests that, "language be included in any stimulus or recovery package to allow the National Park Service (NPS) to temporarily waive the matching requirements for all National Heritage Areas in Fiscal Year 2020 and Fiscal Year 2021." This waiver would come at no cost to taxpayers and would enable National Heritage Areas to access already appropriated federal funds in order to better support their communities working to weather the COVID-19 crisis.
Click here to read the full letter.
“Unfortunately, both the tourism revenue and local government bodies that help support our National Historic Areas have been financially impacted by the coronavirus. I'm calling on House leadership to support legislation that would waive local match requirements for federal funds during the recovery period," said Davis. "I'm proud to represent President Abraham Lincoln's home, presidential library, and final resting place. The Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area and it's non-profit partner Looking for Lincoln are key to promoting Lincoln's legacy of leadership and unity."
“Helping our local heritage areas better manage themselves through the current crisis will help put the surrounding community on a stronger footing," said U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY). "My thanks to Rep. Davis for his leadership in our call to sustain America’s heritage areas."
"Thank you to Congressman Davis and all members of Congress for considering this action. In a typical year, Looking for Lincoln leverages the Federal funds we receive three to one in local support, to a great extent through in-kind donations from our partners," said Sarah Watson, Executive Director, Looking for Lincoln and the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area. "Due to COVID-19, we have cancelled all live programming and will thus be unable to generate the local support. We are shifting our programming to a digital platform and look forward to continue to telling the story of the life and times of Abraham Lincoln."
The letter is also supported by the Alliance of National Heritage Areas (ANHA) and the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA).