Building Official Interest
Now that you've found that long lost and neglected cemetery, one of the questions that you first have is "What can I do to get my elected officials interested in the restoration and preservation of this cemetery?" One of the keys to this is educating them. Well-informed officials are crucial to the future efforts of cemetery preservation! Make sure your town and state officials are up to date on the current state of your cemetery. There are several ways that you can accomplish this:
- Take your mayor, council member, state legislator, U.S. Representative or Senator on a tour of a first a neglected cemetery followed by a visit to a restored cemetery if possible and urge their support for national and local pro-cemetery preservation policies and laws. Explain to them how the restored cemetery benefits the community where as the neglected cemetery casts a shadow on it.
- Include them in a re-dedication, ribbon cutting, open house or other cemetery related event. If possible attempt to get them involved. Offer to let them say a few words.
- Present and publicize awards for elected officials who have done the most during the past year to promote cemetery preservation.
- Hold a letter-writing campaign. Encourage your supporters to contact their elected officials and newspaper columns to state their views and call for action on cemetery preservation issues. Let them know that the voters feel strongly about this and it will get their attention.
- Attend a town meeting or public hearing and speak up for policies that benefit your cemetery and preservation in general.