by Michael R. Allen
Preservation organizations can be afraid of engaging electoral politics, but avoidance is not the best action. Leadership is needed on preservation policy, and it need not involve endorsement or direct participation in an election cycle.
Landmarks Illinois shows us the way with its just-released Chicago Mayoral Preservation Survey. The state-wide advocacy group posed direct questions on historic preservation, the Chicago landmark ordinance, recent past preservation, church landmark designation and sustainability to all candidates for mayor. Landmarks Illinois collected the results and published them, without comment, for all voters to see.