Advocacy Alert – June 9, 2023
In this Alliance Advocacy Alert:
- Appropriations Update: Act Now to Speak Up for Museums!
- Ask Your Legislators: Co-sponsor the Charitable Act (H.R. 3435 / S. 566)
- Energy Efficiency Funding Opportunity: New Information for Museums and Nonprofits
- Funding Opportunity: U.S. Department of Education American History and Civics Education
- America250: Encourage Your Representative to Join the America250 Caucus
- Start Today: Plan to Participate in #InviteCongress 2023
Appropriations Update – Speak Up for Museum Funding!
With the debt ceiling crisis averted, the Congressional appropriations process is about to kick in to high gear. While the bipartisan deal essentially locks in an overall level for non-defense discretionary spending, individual programs could face potentially drastic funding cuts, including to programs that benefit museums, especially in the House of Representatives. It’s now more important than ever to reach out to your legislators to urge their support for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Office of Museum Services (OMS).
It’s especially important to reach out if they are a member of the House Labor-HHS-Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, which funds OMS, listed below. It takes just a few clicks to personalize and send your message.
Robert Aderholt (R-AL-04), Chairman
Mike Simpson (R-ID-02)
Andy Harris (R-MD-01)
Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN-03)
John Moolenaar (R-MI-04)
Julia Letlow (R-LA-05)
Andrew Clyde (R-GA-09)
Jake LaTurner (R-KS-02)
Jake Ellzey (R-TX-06)
Juan Ciscomani (R-AZ-06)
Rosa L. DeLauro (D-CT-03), Ranking Member
Steny Hoyer (D-MD-05)
Barbara Lee (D-CA-13)
Mark Pocan (D-WI-02)
Lois Frankel (D-FL-21)
Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ-12)
Josh Harder (D-CA-10)
Legislators need to hear from you–the people they represent–about how their decisions affect museums and museum people. Thanks to the hundreds of advocates who contacted their Representative and Senators to sign on to the House and Senate FY 2024 OMS funding support letters. Earlier this year, Amy Templeton, President and CEO of the McWane Science Center in Birmingham, Alabama, testified on behalf of AAM before the House Labor-HHS-Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee in support of FY 2024 IMLS-OMS funding. Watch her testimony here at the 1:15:05 mark and see written testimony here.
Ask Your Legislators: Co-sponsor the Charitable Act
On May 17, Reps. Blake Moore (R-UT), Danny Davis (D-IL), Michelle Steel (R-CA) and Chris Pappas (D-NH) introduced the Charitable Act (H.R. 3435) which would restore and expand the charitable deduction for non-itemizing taxpayers, also known as the universal charitable deduction, that expired at the end of 2021 – 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. In March, the Senate version (S.566) 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). Please contact your Representative and Senators and urge them to co-sponsor the Charitable Act. More information, including a letter to the House leads (signed by AAM) and a statement is available on the Charitable Giving Coalition (CGC) website. AAM is an active member of the CGC.
Energy Efficiency Funding Opportunity – New Information for Museums and Nonprofits
Applications are now open through the U.S. Department of Energy for the Renew America’s Nonprofits grant program, which supports projects that reduce energy use in buildings owned and operated by 501(c)(3) nonprofits, including museums. Grants are available until the $50 million in funds are expended. Learn more.
U.S. Department of Education American History and Civics Education Funding Opportunity
The American History and Civics Education–National Activities Program (AHC-NA) promotes new and existing evidence-based strategies to encourage innovative American history, civics and government, and geography instruction, learning strategies, and professional development activities and programs for teachers, principals, or other school leaders, particularly such instruction, strategies, activities, and programs that benefit low-income students and underserved populations. The Notice Inviting Applications (NIA) closes on July 12, 2023. Learn more.
Encourage Your Representative to Join the America250 Caucus
Lawmakers who join the caucus agree to work together to commemorate America’s 250th anniversary in 2026 and promote national unity and civic engagement. This Congressional caucus also provides a forum for members to support the work of museums and history organizations and highlight the importance of our shared history. Please encourage your Representative to join this important caucus.
Start Today: Plan to Participate in #InviteCongress 2023
Invite Congress to Visit Your Museum week is August 14-18! Since 2012, #InviteCongress has empowered museums of all types and sizes to invite their federal, state, and local legislators and stakeholders in to the museum for a firsthand look at the meaningful work of museums and museum professionals. Inviting legislators to the museum, or otherwise connecting with legislators and their staff during state and district work periods, is a uniquely powerful way to make the case for federal, state, and local support for museums.
Legislators are planning their state and district visits now. You can get started today with our full How-To Guide, which includes these resources to help you:
- Find your legislators and their offices’ local contact information
- Determine the Who, What, When, and Where and Get to Know Your Legislators
- Send an invitation to your legislators’ offices using our template
- Learn about 6 Reasons to Invite Congress to Visit Your Museum (2.5 min. video)
Your steadfast advocacy efforts make a huge difference in building needed support for museums and museum professionals.
Visit http://www.aam-us.org/advocacy to access all of AAM’s advocacy resources.