Public Policy

The Washington Trust is your voice for preservation in Washington State.


The Washington Trust is dedicated to saving the places that matter in Washington State and promoting sustainable and economically viable communities through historic preservation. The Trust helps make local preservation work by serving as your voice for historic preservation and building a statewide ethic that preserves Washington’s historic places through advocacy, education, collaboration and stewardship.

We work to be an effective problem-solver when local preservationists need our help on issues that threaten historic buildings. We play a critical role in helping save these landmarks by using tools such as our Most Endangered Places program and the Valerie Sivinski Fund to provide media attention, lend technical help, and provide financial assistance to help insure that they are saved. The Washington Trust is committed to providing advice and support to local preservation efforts across the state and build the capacity of grassroots preservation efforts.

Advocating for laws and policies that promote historic preservation

The Washington Trust advocates for laws and public policies which preserve our historic resources. As your advocates on a statewide level, we strive to:

  • assist Washington lawmakers in drafting preservation-related legislation.
  • advocate for passage of preservation-related state and federal bills.
  • maintain a presence, testify before legislative committees, and track legislation in Olympia during each session of the state legislature.
  • provide Washington Trust members with information about state and national preservation and policy issues.
  • coordinate and provide travel scholarship assistance for Washington preservationists to participate in National Lobby Day sponsored annually by Preservation Action.

Statewide efforts: Olympia

Among the Washington Trust’s most significant advocacy successes was the passage of the bill establishing the Special Valuation program which provides a ten-year property tax abatement for the rehabilitation of historic properties, and the bill establishing the Washington’s Main Street Program. More recently, we helped pass legislation creating the Historic County Courthouse Rehabilitation Grant Program and the Heritage Barn Preservation Program. We are preservationists’ voice in Olympia for preservation-related legislation.

  • Washington’s State Legislature meets annually and convenes for the 2010 session in January. This will be a short session because it is not a budget year. Watch this site for information on the upcoming 2011 session on bills we’re tracking and how to get involved.
  • Heritage Caucus – you are encouraged to participate in Washington’s Heritage Caucus, a group of legislators, advocates, and citizens interested in historical and cultural legislation. The caucus meets each week during the session on Wednesdays, 7:00 – 8:00 a.m. in the first floor conference room, Cherberg Building, Washington State Capitol Campus, Olympia.

National efforts: Washington, DC

The national preservation community rallied recently to protect the Federal Historic Tax Credit that has created more than 2.4 million jobs and leveraged over $131 billion in private investment. Read more about our efforts here.

Track Federal preservation-related legislation by visiting Preservation Action or the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Action Center.

The Washington Trust participates annually in National Preservation Lobby Day. Join the Washington Trust and grassroots activists from around the state in participating in Preservation Action‘s Lobby Day in Washington DC each year.

  • Lobby Day, also known as National Historic Preservation Advocacy Week, will be held this year March 12-14, 2018. For information on how participate with us and the availability of travel scholarships, email us.
  • To join the Washington State legislative advocacy network, email us at

Interested in contacting your congressperson? Use these links to find information for your House Representative and your Senators.

For more information on how to get started in advocacy, see Preservation Action’s 1-2-3 Guide to Lobbying on Capitol Hill and at home.