Arabia Alliance Goes to D.C.

A photo blog of the annual NHA Meeting in our nation’s capital.

Every year, team members from across the nation’s National Heritage Areas converge in Washington D.C. for an important annual conference to talk business and also meet and greet new members. Arabia Mountain’s Executive Director Revonda Cosby and Communications Manager Jeff Dingler hit the ground running with a 2.5-hour business meeting starting early in the AM. NHA team members from across the country celebrated the recent passage of the NHA Act; Jeff Dingler was named co-chair to the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee; and our own Revonda Cosby spoke as chair of the Fundraising Committee.

Work hard, play hard. After a fruitful business meeting, NHA workers adjourned for a luncheon at the Hawk N’ Dove. There were National Park Service presentations and kind words from reps and staffers including New York State Representative Paul Tonko (in the video below), who was a huge advocate of the NHA Act.

The next morning, Revonda, Jeff and the newest intern Diane Cosby were all up early and getting lost among the many beautiful buildings on Capitol Hill to thank senators and congresspeople for their support. Senator Warnock’s staff was especially helpful with suggestions for more funding options for projects in Lithonia.

Some complimentary Coke products from the office of Mike Collins, a brand-new congressman representing Georgia’s 10th District, which includes some of Arabia Mountain. Revonda, Jeff and Diane also met with Representative Hank Johnson, but were too distracted by his kindness and sonorous radio voice to snap a pic!

Revonda and Diane had to take a selfie in between visits to congressional offices.

Diane also discovered that she has a calling for working with DC’s Capitol Hill cabbies. The video says it all.

After grabbing a quick lunch from some food trucks, the Arabia Mountain trio was back on Capitol Hill, hanging out at Senator Jon Ossoff’s office. The Senator’s staff was very receptive and expressed enthusiasm for visiting Arabia Mountain!

After a frenetic morning of important meetings, Revonda, Jeff and Diane went back to their hotel, changed into more comfortable clothes, and had just enough time for one monument before they had to catch their flight back to Atlanta. They chose the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in West Potomac Park next to the National Mall. With the blue of dusk illuming the massive granite sculpture of Dr. King, it was a contemplative way to end the annual DC meeting. Mesmerized by the statue’s eyes, Revonda asked a Park Ranger in what direction Dr. King was staring. The Ranger replied that Dr. King’s gaze was purposely not aimed at any particular monument or direction, but rather at an unspecific spot on the horizon because his work was left unfinished. The three Arabia Mountain team members could understand that sentiment. A lot of work had gone into securing the funding and future of heritage areas through the NHA Act. But there’s still more work ahead.