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Your Voice Counts – No COVID-19 Economic Relief Legislation?

Category: Advocacy Alert
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Advocacy Alert – September 14, 2020

In this Alliance Advocacy Alert

  • Legislative Update – No COVID-19 Economic Relief Legislation?
  • National Voter Registration Day is Sept. 22
  • #Census2020

Legislative Update – No COVID-19 Economic Relief Legislation?

With negotiations broken down between the White House and both chambers of Congress, what once seemed unthinkable is looking increasingly possible: Congress could recess until after the November elections without passing a new round of desperately needed COVID-19 economic relief legislation. The American Alliance of Museums joined 29 national nonprofit organizations representing diverse interests in this September 10 statement with a unified message: “It is imperative that Congress enact significant bipartisan coronavirus relief legislation as soon as possible.”

We must continue to underscore the urgent need for economic relief. We need ALL museum advocates, including museum directors, trustees, staff, volunteers, museum members, and supporters across the country to keep communicating with Congress. Even if you have done so previously, please use AAM’s updated letter to contact your legislators again urging them to take action now on COVID-19 economic relief, including measures that would help fund and support museums. AAM’s recently released survey data shows that one out of every three museums may shutter permanently without near-term assistance. Tell your story about how COVID-19 has impacted your museum, your workforce, and your museum’s ability to serve your community.

More ways to connect with legislators and speak up for museums:

  • Call, tweet, and connect with your legislators across platforms – use the social media and contact information, including district office information, in our online directory.
  • Follow your legislators’ websites, newsletters, and social media accounts so you know of opportunities to participate in virtual town halls or events they are holding where you can represent museums.
  • Follow your state association of nonprofits for updated information and opportunities they are providing to hear from and speak with legislators.

(Appropriations: With Fiscal Year 2021 beginning October 1 and no appropriations bills expected to be completed by this deadline, Congress is expected to pass a Continuing Resolution, or “CR,” temporarily extending current funding levels until later this year after the elections or early next year. While always a possibility, a government shutdown currently appears unlikely.)

National Voter Registration Day is Sept. 22

Did you know that AAM is a proud Community Partner of National Voter Registration Day? This important initiative works to help ensure that no one misses the chance to vote because of lack of information about their voting or registration status, their polling place, or how to register to vote. Museums and nonprofits can engage in a wide variety of non-partisan voter activities, and participating in National Voter Registration Day (NVRD) is an excellent opportunity to join fellow participating museums in doing so.

If your museum is thinking about getting involved with non-partisan election activities, check out the information in our free nonprofit voter resources and download our new AAM Nonprofit Voter Resources Guide today! For more tools to get involved leading up to September 22, check out these 2020 resources, including the NVRD communications toolkit and ready-made social media content.


Census counting efforts could stop September 30, but there’s still time to get involved this year. We are proud to have joined 900+ organizations calling for extending the current Census 2020 deadline.

This once-a-decade process of counting the country’s population informs key decisions about political representation, funding for vital community resources, and the development of businesses and organizations. An accurate count helps communities across the country get the funding they need and the representation they deserve. Learn more and see how some museums are participating this year, including the National Civil Rights Museum, Museum of the City of New York’s #WhoWeAre initiative, the Lancaster Museum of Art & History’s #CountMeIn campaign, and the International Museum of Art and Science. For more information and additional ideas, see Nonprofit VOTE’s A Nonprofit Checklist of 2020 Census Activities and this Census Counts Get Out the Count Toolkit.

Please let us know what your museum has been doing to support the Census.

Want to go even deeper with your advocacy skills and efforts? Looking for an in-depth advocacy resource you can share with your staff and board? Support AAM’s year-round advocacy efforts and your museum’s advocacy work by purchasing the Alliance’s Speaking Up: Museum Advocacy in Action toolkit today, now available on the Alliance’s website.

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