Report from FOGAH Advocacy Training

As you may know, the Friends of Georgia Archives and History (FOGAH) has hired Joe Tanner & Associates, a governmental affairs firm, to advise the group on their interactions with legislators and executive officials as FOGAH continues to push for a restoration of the budget and staff of the Georgia Archives.

At the Society of Georgia Archivists (SGA) annual meeting, held November 7-9 on St. Simon’s Island, Joe Tanner & Associates held a FOGAH sponsored advocacy training. Approximately 60 SGA members and FOGAH supporters attended the training.

The purpose of the session was twofold:

  1. Communicate to attendees the language and focus of FOGAH’s current message;
  2. Teach attendees how to approach their legislators to spread the message

A major priority for FOGAH and Tanner was to create simple, clear message that will be effective. What is known right now is that the Georgia Archives will move to the University System of Georgia. This will likely require a budget item in main budget (aka, the proposed budget for 2013-2014) for the State of Georgia.

The message developed by FOGAH can be boiled down to three basic points:

  1. We support the Governor’s recommendation to move the administration of the Georgia Archives to the University System;
  2. The Secretary of State has shown his support for this recommendation;
  3. The University System and the Governor will determine the needed level of funding to restore the Georgia Archives and offer a recommendation for the State budget. We would like a minimum of 1.15 million in new money in the budget. Even though there is a minimum wanted by FOGAH, we want State legislators to support the true assessment of need from the University System.

Attendees were asked to stick to this message when approaching their legislators.

Another major initiative for FOGAH is to find supporters in each House and Senate district who are willing to speak directly to their legislators. Joe Tanner stressed that these officials (who are elected every 2 years) are most likely to be responsive to their own constituents, and that they should hear a repeating, unified message about the issue.

Tanner’s advice included:

  1. Arrange a face to face meeting with your Senator and Representative;
  2. If they will not meet, try to get them on a short call;
  3. If possible, take 1-2 other constituents with you to meet them;
  4. Tell them up front that you are their constituent contacting them about a statewide issue;
  5. Tell them that you are interested in the issue because you are a member of a specific group;
  6. Leave behind the handout created by the SGA President (these were made available to attendees, and can be sent to interested parties by contacting;
  7. If you can’t answer a question they have, tell them you will get back with them, contact FOGAH or SGA for and answer, then follow up;
  8. Follow up your call or meeting with a thank you/reminder.

Tanner & Associates encouraged members to look at letters and/or emails as a path of last resort. These are much less reliable avenues of contact when you are trying to communicate a specific message. If you must resort to one of these, make sure to personalize your letter of email. Any kind of form message should be avoided.

These contacts should start in January, after the holidays, and while the new legislative session is still slow and officials have more time to meet with constituents.

FOGAH still needs volunteers to meet their goal of one per Senate and House district. Further training sessions, including web based sessions, will be given in the future.

If you are interested in getting involved, please contact the SGA Outreach Co-Managers at

Be an annual meeting correspondent!

Are you attending the annual meeting this week? We’d like to hear from you!

The SGA Newsletter would like to get the widest possible coverage of this year’s annual meeting. To that end, we’re soliciting volunteers to act as correspondents for the meeting.

Your report of a session or event should be between 1-2 paragraphs. Ideally, no more than 3 people should cover the same session or event, although multiple points of view will add interest.

Please use the session sign-up sheet to volunteer and to select a session or event. You may select more than one. You can view the annual meeting schedule (PDF) for session descriptions and participants. View the response summary in advance to determine which sessions and events are already covered.

If you use Google Drive, you can access a shared folder to create and save your report. Or, you can email them to anne (dot) m (dot) graham (at) gmail (dot) com. Also email if you have any questions or need additional information.

Thanks and I look forward to seeing you this week!

More things to do on St. Simons

Fort Frederica
Fort Frederica, courtesy of the Atlanta History Center

Are you still searching for something to do before the annual meeting? Do you need an excuse to linger in the Golden Isles before heading back to work? Here are some attractions and activities to enjoy around the annual meeting.

Ghost tours: It’s Halloween, so celebrate the season with a tour of St. Simons’ haunted sites!

Enjoy the outdoors: St. Simons Island and the rest of the Golden Isles offer a variety of outdoor activities, so get moving!

Day trips: The Golden Isles and coastal cities of Georgia offer lots of attractions and activities to enjoy. Check out Brunswick, Sea Island, Little St. Simons Island, and Jekyll Island.

Pamper yourself: The Golden Isles have several day spas and health clubs, so pump some iron or get your facial on.

Rise & shine: It’s a conference, so you might need some caffeine to get you started.

Don’t forget the weather:  In light of Frankenstorm, check the weather before you start packing.

We’ll see you in a week!

Advocacy workshop at annual meeting

Sign up now to take part in the advocacy workshop sponsored by Friends of the Georgia Archives (FOGAH) at the SGA Annual Meeting. Training will be conducted by Joe Tanner of Tanner and Associates and will cover how to contact your representative so that your voice will be heard!

The training is free and is open to both members of SGA and anyone in the SE Georgia area who wants to participate. It will be on Thursday, November 8 from 3:00 to 4:30 PM at the conference venue, Sea Palms Resort on St. Simons Island, Georgia.

Registration is required because of the limited space. Please visit to register. 

Questions about the training? Contact Dianne Cannestra at
Questions about registration? Contact Renna Tuten at

Annual Meeting Registration deadline

Online registration for the 2012 SGA Annual Meeting will end on Monday, October 29. For those who do not register online by this date, you may register onsite at the conference on November 8 by check only. We will not be able to take registration by credit card at the conference site. If you plan on registering by mail before the conference, please make sure the Administrative Assistant receives your check by Friday, November 2 at the latest. Send any checks to the following address:
Society of Georgia Archivists
c/o Rebecca Landel-Hernandez
P.O. Box 688
Decatur, Georgia 30031-0688
For questions, please contact Local Arrangments Chair Paul Crater at

Who wants to trolley?

Opening of Coastal Highway, St. Simon's Island, Ga. 1928. Foltz Photography Studio Photographs, MS 1360. Courtesy of the Georgia Historical Society
Opening of Coastal Highway, Motorcade, St. Simon’s Island, Ga.,
1928. Foltz Photography Studio Photographs, MS 1360.
Courtesy of the Georgia Historical Society.

Are you interested in taking a trolley tour of St. Simons as part of your annual meeting experience? If so, the Local Arrangements Committee wants to hear from you!

We have the opportunity to schedule a group tour of the island by St. Simons Island Trolley Company, but we need a minimum number of people to sign up. So, please take a minute (seriously) to take our Trolley poll and indicate your preferred date and time. If we have sufficient interest by the end of this week (10/28), we’ll offer a sign-up sheet.

The trolley tour is $23/adult and $10/child and includes the Lighthouse, Bloody Marsh, Fort Frederica, Retreat Plantation, and Christ Church.

Get Ready for St. Simons!

Hi everyone! If you’re looking forward to this year’s annual meeting in St. Simons as much as we (the local arrangements committee) are, you’ll want to know in advance what the island has to offer outside of our excellent roster of speakers. Below you’ll find links about dining, shopping, and tourism on the island. If you happen to be a St. Simons insider, please leave additional recommendations in the comments section!

New Georgia Encyclopedia entry on St. Simons Island
(This entry provides links to related articles and information about the island.)

Urban Spoon’s list of St. Simons restaurants, rated
Ditto for Trip Advisor

List of local shops

Winn-Dixie (220 Retreat Vlg)
Harris Teeter (600 Sea Island Rd, #23)

St Simons Drug Co (209 Longview Plaza Driveway)
CVS (1650 Frederica Road and 30 Market Street)

St. Simons Lighthouse

Arthur J. Moore Methodist Museum

Wheel Fun Rentals (bike rentals)

Left Bank Art Gallery

St. Simons Island Trolley Tours

Fort Frederica National Monument

Salt Marsh Nature Tours

 Shrimping Excursions aboard the Lady Jane

Calendar of events, November 5-11

Explore St. Simons Island and Visit St. Simons Island both have lots of suggestions for visitors, too.

Image courtesy of the Georgia Historical Society.

Georgia Literary Festival at the Annual Meeting!

Something fun and exciting to do after the SGA Annual Meeting…
If you plan to stay in the area after SGA, you might want to attend the 2012 Georgia Literary Festival at the Golden Isles, Nov 9-11 at the Jekyll Island Convention Center.  The Festival is hosted by College of Coastal Georgia, Jekyll Island Authority, and Golden Isles Convention and Visitors Bureau.  There will be over 33 featured authors, including Natasha Trethewey, Mark Kay Andrews, Steve Berry, Natalie Dupree, June McCash, Jack McDevitt, Pamela Bauer Mueller, William Rawlings, and others. 
There will be new fiction and favorite beach reads, Southern cuisine cookbooks, coastal history, nature and the environment, popular children’s literature, and contributors to The Georgia Review literary magazine.  The festival is sponsored by the Georgia Center for the Book with funding from the Georgia Humanities Council and local sponsors.
For a full schedule of events, visit

Annual meeting trolley tour

The Local Arrangements Committee is pleased to offer a trolley tour of beautiful St. Simons Island during the annual meeting. To get a sense if people are interested in signing up, please let us know if you would like to take a 1.5-hour trolley tour of the island. We have a few options for tour date and time:
– Wednesday (11/7) at 3:00 pm or 4:00 pm
– Friday (11/9) at at 1:00 pm or 2:00 pm
Rates are $23.00 for adults, children 4-12 are $10.00 and under 4 are free. If there is enough interest, we will offer the tour on both Wednesday and Friday. Please take our poll to indicate your preference.
See you in St. Simons!