Advocacy Alert – March 31, 2023
In this Alliance Advocacy Alert:
- Contact Congress: Urge Your Senators to Support OMS Funding Now!
- Ask Your Legislators: Co-sponsor Charitable Giving Act
- Connect with Congress: April State and District Work Periods
Contact Congress: Urge Your Senators to Support OMS Funding Now!
Senator Gillibrand (D-NY) is circulating a letter to her Senate colleagues calling for robust funding for the Office of Museum Services (OMS) at the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
It just takes a couple of minutes to use our template and ask your Senators to sign on. The letter is a key measure of legislators’ support for federal funding for museums, and it is especially important now to build on our momentum from Museums Advocacy Day. We also urge museum advocates who participated in congressional meetings during Museums Advocacy Day to follow up with their congressional contacts and encourage their Senators to sign on. Note that multiple touches may be required to secure a sign-on.
Legislators need to hear from you–the people they represent–about how their decisions affect museums and museum people. Thanks to advocates who contacted their Representative to sign on to the House OMS funding support letter that was previously circulating.
AAM Witness Testifies before Congress on IMLS-OMS Funding: AAM recently secured a witness for the Public Witness Day on March 23 before the House Labor-HHS-Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee. The witness testifying on behalf of AAM was Amy Templeton, President and CEO of the McWane Science Center in Birmingham, Alabama. She testified in support of IMLS-OMS funding. Watch her testimony here at the 1:15 mark, written testimony is here. McWane Science Center is the recipient of several recent OMS grants and serves the Congressional district of the new Subcommittee Chairman Robert Aderholt (R-AL).
Ask Your Legislators: Co-sponsor Charitable Giving Act
On March 1, a bipartisan group of Senators introduced The Charitable Act (S.566) that would create a non-itemizer, universal charitable deduction – one of our priority “asks” on Museums Advocacy Day. Specifically, the bill would enable taxpayers who take the standard deduction (about 88% of taxpayers) to deduct charitable donations of up to one-third of the standard deduction, about $4,600 for individuals and $9,200 for married couples based on the current standard deduction. The bill was introduced with 10 bipartisan cosponsors, including lead sponsors and AAM Museums Advocacy Day Congressional Honorees Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and James Lankford (R-OK). A House version of the measure is expected to be introduced in the coming weeks. Please contact your Senators and urge them to co-sponsor the Charitable Act and ask your Representative to do so once the House bill is introduced.
Connect with Congress: April State and District Work Periods
Representatives and Senators will be home for state and district work weeks April 3-April 14. This is a timely opportunity to connect with your legislators to show them the powerful ways museums serve their communities and share your story about the work you do in the field. It’s also an ideal time to reach out to ask your Senators in-person to sign on to the OMS funding support letter and co-sponsor the Charitable Act (see above).
- Find the elected officials who represent you.
- Use our step-by-step How To Guide to request and prepare for meetings with your legislators.
- See recent Alliance Advocacy Alerts and our Policy Issues for information on key issues and asks.
- Bookmark the House Calendar and Senate Schedule so that you are aware of state and district work periods throughout the year.
Use our advocacy templates, tools, and resources to make your voice heard today and stay tuned for continued updates from AAM about important and timely opportunities to advocate for museums.
Your steadfast advocacy efforts make a huge difference in building needed support for museums and museum professionals.
Now is a great time to make a plan to advocate for museums throughout 2023. Use our year-round advocacy ideas to get started today.
Visit http://www.aam-us.org/advocacy to access all of AAM’s advocacy resources.