Fun_People Archive
21 May
HR 3491: Attack on American Folklife Center

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Tue, 21 May 96 17:18:50 -0700
To: Fun_People
Subject: HR 3491: Attack on American Folklife Center

    Spurred by the news of the recent house bill that seeks to repeal the  
American Folklife Preservation Act, a number of people have asked how to find  
e-mail addresses for members of congress.  There are many sites on the World  
Wide Web that provide this information, among them:

  + U.S. House Of Representatives - Home Page
  + The Senate gopher server
	<URL: gopher://>
  + An overview of congressional information
  + An overview of government information overviews
  + A congress search tool based on Zip Codes
  + White House
  + White House archives

In particular, there has been interest in finding an e-mail address for the  
sponsor of the bill, William M. Thomas (R-CA).  Unfortunately, Thomas does  
not appear to have a publicly-available e-mail address.  But following a  
short chain starting at the House Of Representatives Home Page (first URL  
above) can lead to: <URL:> which says:

	Representative William M. Thomas (R)
		California, 21st District

	Office Information:

	    Washington Office
		2208 Rayburn
		(202) 225-2915

	    E-Mail Address:

	Service History:

	    Service Start Date: 01-03-79
	    Congress(es): 96th - 104th     [A term limit proponent?]


	    Committee on House Oversight (Chairman)
	    Joint Committee on Taxation (Party Rank - 4)
	    Joint Committee of Congress on the Library (Party Rank - 2)
	    Committee on Ways and Means (Party Rank - 3)
		Subcommittee on Health (Chairman)
		Subcommittee on Trade (Party Rank - 2)

	Legislation Sponsorship and Cosponsorship:

	    _Legislation Sponsored_ <link>
	    _Legislation Cosponsored_ <link>

    So it becomes apparent that the committee to which HR 3491 was referred  
is chaired by William M. Thomas, the bill's sponsor, who also happens to be  
on the Congressional library committee!  Not a good sign...

    I'll end this little discourse on Congressional addresses with a copy of  
an e-mail message (although it could just as easily have been a snail-mail  
letter) from one of the contributors to the Old-Time Music on the Radio  
mailing list to his Congressional representative:
Date: Tue, 21 May 1996 07:47:58 -0700
From: (Steve Goldfield)
Subject:  HR 3491: Attack on American Folklife Center

Dear Congressman Miller,

I was very disturbed at your response to my message last year when
a bill passed the house to cut the funding for the American Folklife
Center of the Library of Congress and transfer its $1.2 million budget
to a study of unfunded mandates. You supported that bill in a letter
to me, stating that the budget did have to be cut and unfunded mandates
did have to be studied. Fortunately, better sense prevailed and the bill,
one of whose own sponsors, a Republican from rural Virginia, realized
what he had done and withdrew support, did not become law.

On May 16, Rep. William M. Thomas (R-CA) introduced HR 3491, "A Bill to
Repeal the American Folklife Preservation Act." The bill has been referred
to the House Committee on Oversight.

Once again, I most strongly urge you to work to expose this pernicious
bill to the light of day and to do what you can to oppose its passage.
The American Folklife Center was created twenty years ago to study and
preserve documentation of all forms of American culture. Shortly thereafter,
the Archive of Folk Song, which dates back about sixty years, was merged into
the center. The permanent harm that would be done to our cultural heritage
and our ability to pass it on to future generations must be valued at far
more than $1.2 million.

Once again, I point out that your district is home to at least three very
important centers of cultural preservation and dissemination: Down Home
Music, Arhoolie Records, and Flower Films, all in El Cerrito. Traditional
dancing is held every other week at a hall, also in El Cerrito. At a time
when the military budget has become bloated to the point of obscenity,
to paraphrase your colleague, Rep. Ron Dellums, compounding the obscenity
by slashing funds that help us remember who we are and where we came from
makes no sense whatsoever.


Steve Goldfield, Ph.D.

    If we all wrote something like this...


Peter Langston - - Seattle, WA -

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