Society of Georgia ArchivistsPreserving the past and present for the future...


Advocacy

Society of Georgia Archivists Procedures for Addressing Advocacy Issues

Society of Georgia Archivists works to preserve the past and the present of Georgia archives for the future. We do so through helping our membership stay current on the latest developments in the archives profession. We strive to promote diversity and inclusion for archives and archivists. With that in mind, we work to advocate on behalf of our members and their institutions to various audiences, including policy makers and the general public. 

We call on our members to join us in our efforts to advocate for Georgia archives professionals and institutions. To this end, we want to direct our advocacy efforts to specific audiences.

Policymakers - to share messages on archives and records-related public policy

General public - to raise awareness on the work of archives and archivists and highlight the importance of this work

Resources - provide resources that you can use to advocate for your work and the work of your colleagues

The SGA Outreach team leads the advocacy work of the organization. As a team, we work to ensure that members, the general public, and policymakers are made aware of significant issues happening in archives. On the Legislative Advocacy page you will find links to various resources that can be used to advocate to policymakers. We have also provided a page on Professional Advocacy that give tips and resources on how to advocate for yourself in the workplace.

On this page, we want to provide procedures for submitting advocacy issues to the SGA Outreach Team.

As an organization, we want to focus on advocating for issues that affect Georgia archives. Included are a list of priorities for advocating for Georgia archivists and institutions.

Advocacy Priorities:

  • Raising awareness of public policy issues that affect archivists and their ability to do their work in accordance with SGA’s Code of Conduct, Statement on Diversity and Inclusion, and SAA’s Code of Ethics

  • Advancing the diversity of the archival record;

  • Protecting privacy and individual rights of archival subjects and users;

  • Promoting the public’s right to access information held or created by public and publicly funded bodies;

  • Ensuring adequate funding for government archives in the state of Georgia.

  • Ensuring adequate funding for state programs that support archives and archival projects, including, but not limited to, the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)

How to Suggest an Issue SGA Take Action on:

  • Review the priorities list that we have provided to see if the issue fits within them

  • Review SGA’s Strategic Plan, Code of Conduct, and Statement on Diversity and Inclusion to determine how your issue aligns with SGA’s missions and goals.

  • Review the “Recent SGA actions” list to see if the issue is already being advocated

  • If possible, check email and social media to see if any statements have been sent out on the issue

  • Gather as much information as you can on the issue

  • Submit an Advocacy Issue form for review by the SGA Outreach team

Using the SGA Advocacy Issue Form prepare a brief (1- to 3-page) written overview of the issue that includes:

  • Overview of the Issue: What is the issue? Have SGA or allied professions taken action on this or a similar issue in the past? If so, what was that action?

  • Discussion: Why is this issue important to archives and/or archivists? Does the issue fit within the priorities outlined in SGA’s Strategic Plan, Code of Conduct, and Statement on Diversity and Inclusion? If so, where? If not, why should it be considered as a high priority outside of the list of priorities? What are the implications of SGA taking a position or action (or not taking a position or action) on this issue?

  • Recommendation(s): What do you recommend that SGA do? Should SGA act alone in this, or should it seek support from one or more other organizations?

Complete the SGA Advocacy Issue Form and send any questions or urgent matters to the SGA Outreach Team (outreach@soga.org).

  • If the matter is urgent, please tell the SGA Outreach team in your email, so that immediate action can be taken if the organization decides to do so.

After Your Submission:

After you have submitted the form, the Society of Georgia Archivists Outreach team and board members may ask for additional information. They may discuss it as a board to determine next steps. 

The SGA Board will determine if SGA should respond as an organization.

If the decision is made to issue a statement and/or take action: The SGA Outreach Team will create a statement to send out via the listserv, post on the website, and share on social media. The Outreach team will work with the Communications team to ensure that the statement is shared across various platforms. 

If the decision is made not to issue a statement and/or take action: The SGA Outreach team will inform you and/or your group of the decision.

Recent SGA actions:

  • 2014: The Society of Georgia Archivists launched an #EverydayDigitalArchives outreach campaign and partnered with the Atlanta chapter of ARMA International and the Georgia Library Association to create personal digital archiving workshop materials that you can reuse to teach a workshop at your own workplace.

  • March-April 2013: ADVOCACY WORKS!! Both the Georgia House of Representatives and Senate voted unanimously to transfer the Georgia Archives to the University System of Georgia. The General Assembly also voted to add $300,000 to the Archives budget which will enable the Archives to re-hire some of the staff positions lost during the fall.

  • January-March 2013: SGA members reached out to their state senators and representatives to encourage them to support the Georgia Archives by voting for Governor Nathan Deal's bill to transfer responsibility for the Archives to the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. Supporter also encouraged their legislators to support and increased budget for the Archives that would allow the Archives to open more days a week and reinstate some of the staff terminated in October 2012.

  • November-December 2012: Joe Tanner and Associates, a governmental consulting firm hired by the Friends of Georgia Archives and History to assist with the campaign to save the Georgia Archives, offered legislative advocacy training at the SGA annual meeting in November. They also offered training sessions online.

  • September-November 2012: In collaboration with the Coalition to Save the Georgia Archives, SGA contacted state legislators and Governor Nathan Deal to protest the budget cuts that would have closed the Georgia Archives to the public. The Outreach Managers created letter templates for use by SGA membership, invited every Georgia legislator to a rally held at the Capitol, invited press to both the Georgia Archives Month proclamation signing and the rally, started a Twitter feed to publicize actions, and a video campaign to capture the impact that the Archives has on Georgia's citizens.

  • January 2012: In collaboration with the Coalition to Save the Georgia Archives, SGA contacted state legislators to restore the Georgia Archives budget. SGA created an "emergency deck" to share with legislators, and invited legislators and press to a breakfast held at the Capitol by the Friends of Georgia Archives.

If you want to get more involved with SGA's outreach and advocacy activities, or need assistance on an advocacy issue, contact the Outreach Managers at outreach@soga.org

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