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Highlights of This Edition

  • Forum’s Sector Letter in Support of the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act Coming Soon
  • Registration Opens Next Week for the 2024 Foundations on the Hill
  • Resource Spotlight: 2023 Philanthropy + Policy Institute Blog

Key News + Announcements

House GOP Finally Elects Speaker

On Wednesday, Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) was elected speaker of the House after three weeks of uncertainty following the ousting of former speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). During the vote, all 220 House Republicans supported Johnson, and all 209 Democrats voted for Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY).

Speaker Johnson now faces multiple issues delayed by the drawn-out leadership vacancy in the House, including working with his party and the White House to avert a government shutdown before November 17th, considering aid packages for Ukraine and Israel, the 2023 Farm Bill, and more. 

 Learn more from NBC News.

Forum Preparing Sector Letter in Support of the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act

Representative Terri Sewell (D-AL) reintroduced the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act last month. The bill would restore and modernize the full protections of the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act.

United Philanthropy Forum endorsed this bill last Congress and is doing the same during the 118th Congress. In the spirit of Congressman Lewis’ lifelong commitment to advocating for systemic change, the Forum is releasing a new sign-on letter aimed at garnering broad nonprofit and philanthropic sector support for the legislation.

Starting next month, you will be able to add your organization’s name to the letter in support of the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act before close of business on Friday, November 24th.

When released, the Forum encourages our PSO members, their foundation members, and the broader philanthropic and nonprofit sectors to add your organization’s name to the letter and join the call for Congress to support this bill.

If you have questions about the letter and/or the Forum’s focus on voting rights, please contact Matthew L. Evans, Senior Director of Public Policy.

Sen. Booker and Rep. Pressley Reintroduce MOMMIES Act to Improve Maternal Health Outcomes

On October 19th, Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) reintroduced the Maximizing Outcomes for Moms through Medicaid Improvement and Enhancement of Services (MOMMIES) Act, legislation that would seek to improve maternal health outcomes, reverse the trend of rising maternal mortality rates, and close disparities that put Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color and their kids at greater risk.

Maternal health is one of the Forum’s priority issues for the 118th Congress, and we recently published a public policy brief on the topic. Be sure to check it out and share it with foundation members, as needed.

See Sen. Booker’s announcement for additional details.

House Speaker Vacancy and Potential Shutdown Spur Sens. to Call for Farm Bill Extension

Last week, Bloomberg Government reported that senior Senate Agriculture Committee Republicans say it’s time to focus on a one-year Farm Bill extension due to the House speaker vacancy and potential government shutdown in November. Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) said that an extension is “on the table,” but her priority is passing the full five-year Farm Bill by the end of the year.

Yesterday, House Agriculture Chair Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) announced he plans to deliver a five-year Farm Bill this year and that newly elected House Speaker Mike Johnson committed to the same goal.

The last Farm Bill expired on September 30th.

Changes to Key Senate Committees Overseeing Census Bureau

The recent passing of Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) – the longest-serving woman in the Senate and a high-ranking member of the Appropriations Committee and its Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee – necessitated changes to key committees that fund and oversee the Census Bureau.

To fill Senator Feinstein’s seat on the Appropriations Committee, Senate leadership appointed Senator Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ).

Read details on The Census Project’s blog.

PSO Resources + Updates

Registration Opens Next Week for the 2024 Foundations on the Hill

Registration for the 2024 Foundations on the Hill – the largest public policy and advocacy conference dedicated solely to the philanthropic sector – opens next week. Keep an eye out to save your delegation’s seats at #FOTH2024 in Washington, D.C., February 25-28.

Don’t miss the registration launch and, if you haven’t already done so, begin making your travel plans to join sector advocates and leaders for an insightful and impactful public policy conference experience. #FOTH2024 will build on the success of this year's Foundations on the Hill, providing multiple days of engaging pre-conference sessions (new this year!), speaker panels, opportunities to advocate together, and the chance to continue to build relationships with Members of Congress on Capitol Hill.

We look forward to seeing our PSO members, their foundation members, and sector colleagues in Washington, D.C.!

Resource Spotlight: 2023 Philanthropy + Policy Institute Blog

During the first week of October, more than 60 sector leaders and advocates from foundations and regional and national philanthropy-serving organizations (PSOs) gathered virtually for the Forum’s 2023 Philanthropy + Policy Institute. Esteemed guest speakers and attendees convened to discuss and develop ways to position PSOs as the catalysts for sector advocacy efforts and foundations's role as both advocates and in supporting year-round public policy work.

An integral component of the Forum’s annual public policy and advocacy programming, the Philanthropy + Policy Institute strengthens the capacity of our network and their foundation partners to collaboratively advocate for a strong sector and vibrant, healthy, and equitable communities.

The 2023 Institute’s throughline – PSOs leading advocacy efforts and foundations advocating and supporting nonprofit capacity – was coupled with a consistent emphasis on advocacy work as a means to advance solutions.

Read the full blog to learn how #PPI2023 underscored the importance of active PSO engagement.

Join the Next PSO Advocacy Check-In on Tuesday, October 31st

Don’t miss the Forum’s next PSO Advocacy Check-In on Tuesday, October 31st, at 1:00 pm ET. Join your PSO peers to learn the latest insights about the impact of the Philanthropy Day of Action, the 2024 Foundations on the Hill, the new speaker of the House, the looming government funding deadline, and what it all means for the sector and the communities we work with and in.

Advocacy Check-Ins feature comprehensive updates and analysis on legislative issues impacting the sector at the federal and state levels, as well as an open discussion on current policy hot topics, and timely tips on public policy best practices for PSOs and their members.

Register today for the next PSO Advocacy Check-In.

State Public Policy News

Judge Orders Georgia to Redraw District Maps for 2024 Election

Yesterday, a federal judge ruled that Georgia’s congressional and state legislative districts must be redrawn before the 2024 election. The order states that Georgia’s current maps drawn by Republicans after the last census violate the federal Voting Rights Act by diluting the power of Black voters. The new maps in Georgia, along with those in several other states, could impact control of the House in 2024.

Congressional districts are still being determined in Florida, New York, North Carolina, Utah, and more states. Depending on the outcomes of ongoing redistricting and litigation, roughly 14 to 18 seats in the House could be impacted.

Learn more about the lawsuit in Georgia from WABE and ongoing redistricting fights in other states from CNN.

Bill Cutting Nonprofit Wait Time for Funding Signed by CA Gov. Newsom

This month, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 590, which is intended to help reduce cash flow burdens for nonprofits. AB 590 allows state agencies to provide up-front payments to nonprofits, prioritizing organizations that serve disadvantaged communities.

The bill ensures nonprofits receive 25 percent of contracted state funds in advance, aiming to reduce cash flow challenges and use loans to offset delayed payments from state agencies.

To find out more, read the Santa Barbara Independent’s article.

Pennsylvania State Reps. Launch Black Maternal Health Caucus

On October 17th, Pennsylvania State Reps. Morgan Cephas (D-Philadelphia), Gina H. Curry (D-Delaware), and La’Tasha D. Mayes (D-Allegheny) launched the Pennsylvania Black Maternal Health Caucus. The Caucus seeks to address disturbing trends of Black maternal mortality and morbidity and pass the Pennsylvania MOMNIBUS, a legislative package modeled after the federal MOMNIBUS legislation.

The Forum supports the federal Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act and will keep members informed about legislation seeking to address this issue at the state and federal levels.

See the announcement from the Pennsylvania Black Maternal Health Caucus for details.

Michigan Lawmakers Considering State Voting Rights Act

This week, Michigan lawmakers are considering a new Voting Rights Act for the state. Senate Bills 401, 402, 403, and 404 aim to counter voter suppression, safeguard voting rights, and ensure future access to the ballot.

Supporters of the legislation say it would help to offset the reduced influence of the national Voting Rights Act.

For more information, see the Public News Service’s article.

Sen. Schmitt Hosts Farm Bill Roundtable with Missouri Agricultural Stakeholders

Last week, Sen. Eric Schmitt (R-MO) hosted a Farm Bill roundtable with agricultural stakeholders in Missouri to receive input ahead of the reauthorization of the legislation. Schmitt expressed concerns about the potential for the House speaker vacancy to delay the passage of the 2023 Farm Bill further. Despite the fears, Schmitt said he hopes the Farm Bill will be passed by the end of the year.

Read the article from KRCG 13 for more. 

Advocacy Across the Forum Network

National PSOs Partner on Report and Webinar: Building Public Support for a Robust and Equitable Care Infrastructure

Several PSOs released a new report yesterday day on building public support for the care economy. The report was supported by the Care for All with Respect and Equity (CARE) Fund and developed by the Asset Funders Network, Economic Opportunity Funders, Early Childhood Funders Collaborative, Grantmakers In Aging, Grantmakers In Health, and Disability & Philanthropy Forum.

Coming together for the first time across issues and constituencies represented by this diverse range of PSOs, the partners will discuss evolving narrative change efforts across the care economy, lessons learned, and potential opportunities for further learning and action.

To find details or view a post-webinar recording, see the event page.

Minnesota Council on Foundations Hosting Discussion with MN Pollution Control Agency Climate Director

The Minnesota Council on Foundations (MCF) is hosting a member discussion focused on climate, disaster, and community resilience. Scheduled for November 6th, the event will feature Kate Knuth, Climate Director for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).

Participants will learn more about the state’s work on climate action and community resilience and how that work is currently being structured and implemented. They’ll also discuss the roles philanthropy can play with government and nonprofit partners working in this arena.

For additional details, see MCF’s event page.

Council of Michigan Foundations’ Conference Features Session on Creating a Health Democracy

The Council of Michigan Foundations’ (CMF) annual conference will include a main-stage conversation with Eric Liu, civic scholar and CEO and co-founder of Citizen University. Taking place on Election Day, Tuesday, November 7th, Liu will share how we can rehumanize our political landscape and lead with a commitment to each other to show up as engaged citizens.

In examining the institutional realities of racism and injustice, participants will discuss what it takes to build a healthy democracy and the agency they have to affect systemic and transformative change.

View CMF’s main stage agenda for more information.

Grantmakers In Health Climate Survey Finds Advocacy, Power Building, and Policy Change Among Top Funder Strategies

This month, Grantmakers In Health (GIH) released an infographic summarizing the responses to a funder survey on how philanthropy is addressing climate change. The survey provides timely data and insights on current funding trends, challenges, and opportunities to advance climate and health justice.

Among respondents who fund climate change initiatives, the top four strategies pursued were advocacy and civic engagement, capacity building, community partnership and power building, and policy change.

Check out the GIH infographic to learn more.

Legislative Calendars

House of Representatives

The House of Representatives is out of session.
View the House of Representatives calendar.

United States Senate

The United States Senate is in session.
View the United States Senate calendar.

2023 State Legislative Session

For State Legislative Calendars:
View the National Conference of State Legislatures' 2023 State Legislative Session Calendar.

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