Jayapal Applauds OMB Decision to Halt Sale of Seattle Archives Facility
“Last month, I called on OMB to take immediate action to reverse their misguided decision to approve the sale of our community’s NARA facility. Today, they are doing exactly that.“
SEATTLE — U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) issued the following statement applauding the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) decision to formally withdraw its approval of the sale of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) facility in Seattle:
“Last month, I called on OMB to take immediate action to reverse their misguided decision to approve the sale of our community’s NARA facility. Today, they are doing exactly that. This is not only a hard-fought victory for the tribal members, researchers, universities, and other advocates across the Pacific Northwest who have organized to stop this foolish sale and save our irreplaceable records, it’s also a victory for our entire region. We have tirelessly fought to achieve this justice, and I will continue working with tribal and state leaders, researchers, community members, my delegation partners in Congress, the Biden Administration, and anyone necessary to find a permanent solution so our archives, history, and culture never leave our region.
“I have long shared our community’s frustration that the insulting decision to close this facility was made without consulting, listening to, or working with the tribal members, researchers, local stakeholders, and other individuals who regularly access the archives. To make matters worse, there was no plan developed to ensure these individuals could maintain access to the archives once the facility closed.
“That’s why I have spent more than a year fighting to end this injustice and ensure no community has to experience something like it again. Last month, I urged the Acting Director of OMB to immediately reverse their Office’s approval of the sale after failing to consult tribal members and other stakeholders. Earlier, I passed language into law urging the Public Buildings Reform Board to increase transparency of the process for stakeholders and invite further input from them before making a decision on a facility’s status. Additionally, the language urged the Board to work with stakeholders associated with our Seattle facility to establish the necessary steps to maintain access to these irreplaceable records. While the sale of our facility is finally halted, my work on this important issue will continue until we find a permanent solution so our archives, history, and culture remain where they belong — right here at home.”