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Please join me in thanking The Salem News and Newburyport Daily News for their editorial support (reprinted below) today.  We greatly appreciate that our regional newspapers recognize Essex Heritage's work and find our mission so valuable to the region. 
 
As the editorial states, we are concerned about the President's proposed budget cuts, but we intend to fight to restore them - as we have every year for the past eight years. If you want to help us, let Senators Kerry and Brown and Representatives Tierney and Tsongas know of your support for Essex Heritage. 
 
Be assured that Essex Heritage will continue to work on behalf of cultural heritage development for many more years to come.

"Over the past decade the Essex National Heritage Area has played a critical role in publicizing and preserving the many resources - natural, cultural and historic - that make the northeastern corner of Massachusetts one of the most livable places in the country.

But budget cuts proposed by the Obama administration threaten this agency's ability to maintain its mission, which ranges from helping with revitalization efforts in the region's cities to teaching children throughout the North Shore and Merrimack Valley about their region's important role in the history of the United States.

The FY 2011 budget submitted by the White House would cut funding for national heritage areas nationwide by half and eliminate entirely two programs - Preserve America and Save America's Treasures - that have been the source of funds for preservation projects here and elsewhere.
According to Annie Harris, who has served as the Essex National Heritage Area's executive director since its inception, the proposed funding cuts are an annual rite in Washington. And while each area is authorized to receive up to $1 million annually, hers has averaged $671,000 in recent years - not extravagant, but enough to sustain its many activities including the very popular "Trails & Sails" weekends held in the fall, which offer residents an opportunity to visit attractions throughout the region at no cost.

Of more concern are the proposed wholesale cuts in funding for preservation projects that can be key to rehabilitating a key downtown building or saving a local treasure in danger of collapse. Not only are these projects important in and of themselves, Harris points out, but they can have significant economic benefit by creating new construction jobs, stimulating downtown renewal and attracting more visitors to the region.

These particular economic stimulus programs have been in existence since before Barack Obama became president and certainly should not be allowed to fold on his watch."

Thank you,

Annie C. Harris
Executive Director, Essex National Heritage Commission