Recent Advocacy Work of Restore Oregon - Federal and State

Although there is a direct connection between policy and what happens on the ground, it‘s often difficult to make that connection. In the very big picture, if Oregon had more tools and financial incentives for historic preservation, existing historic properties would be less threatened with demolition. This is why part of Restore Oregon’s core mission is to advocate for better policy and funding at all levels of government and to advance the ability to preserve and reuse our state’s existing resources to build a vibrant future for our community.

We tried, but could not prevent the demolition of Portland’s Yamaguchi Hotel, a gateway building to the only National Register-listed historic district designated for both cultural heritage and architecture in Oregon. In 2022, we were, however, able to make an important local code change to demolition criteria in the future.


So what’s the latest news on the policy front? 

We are working on both the federal and state levels. And, we need your help and ongoing support to continue to do this important work.

We are working on both the federal and state levels.  Here’s where you can help.  Ask your members of Congress to support federal legislation to strengthen the program.
Of course, you can always donate to keep our effort going too!


Federal Legislation

Restore Oregon works with partners at the national level including the National Trust’s policy team and members of Preservation Action, a national lobbying group.


Historic Tax Credit Program

On March 2, Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced the Historic Tax Credit Growth and Opportunity Act (HTC-GO) (S. 639). Similar legislation was introduced in the House (H.R. 1785) by Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Brian Higgins (D-NY), Mike Kelly (R-PA), Darin LaHood (R-IL), Terri Sewell (D-AL), and Mike Turner (R-OH) on March 24.

Both bills include four permanent provisions that will add value to the federal historic tax credit (HTC) program, improve access to the credit, and increase investment in smaller rehabilitation projects. In addition, the House version includes a temporary tax provision to address recent challenges facing rehabilitation projects.

Restore Oregon thanks Representative Blumenauer for his continued leadership on this issue and for serving as the co-chair of the House Historic Preservation Caucus. We are now briefing Oregon’s congressional delegation, especially our new House members, and asking them to co-sponsor these bills!

Here’s where you can help.  Ask your members of Congress to support the HTC-GO legislation to strengthen the program.


African American Burial Grounds Preservation Act

President Biden’s budget provides $3M for the National Park Service to launch the African American Burial Grounds Preservation Act. This recently created program would identify, restore and support African American burial grounds. Restore Oregon was part of the coalition that helped push this legislation into law last year, and now we are asking for the funding to invest in these important resources.


State Legislation

With our Policy & Advocacy Committee, staff has presented both in-person and written testimony and worked to advance over ten active bills during this session already. Broken into three general categories of preservation-related incentives, funding for cultural and historic resources and land use/regulatory bills (including those relating to housing). Restore Oregon is in support of most of these bills. We are making a concerted effort to further discussions around prioritizing the utilization of existing resources to create new housing through reuse, conversion and/or appropriate additions like ADUs.

Restore Oregon will participate in Lobby Day as a member of the Cultural Advocacy Coalition of Oregon on April 19th in Salem. Funding is a very important push this year including our strong support for the $20M in the Governor’s Budget for Main Street Revitalization grants as well as three funding bills affecting our partners and grantor – the Oregon Cultural Trust.

More calls to action to get these bills passed by both chambers will likely be forthcoming.  We hope you will join us in this important work.