Congratulations! Your advocacy efforts over the last two years have worked. Throughout the pandemic, Ys across the state built a strong foundation by regularly communicating with Members of Congress. Millions of dollars have been sent (and spent!) to New York State YMCAs through federal legislation such as: the CARES Act, which established SBA paycheck protection loans, eliminated self-insured nonprofit bills, and provided substantial child care stabilization funding. In addition, New York State YMCAs were provided more funding than any other state through congressional directed community project funding, otherwise known as “earmarks.” As such, we must build upon this foundation and continue to advocate during the upcoming Congressional recess (in August/September). For those of you that are new to advocacy, this is when Members of Congress are home in their districts to spend time with their constituents. This is particularly important now, as it is an election year! Take advantage of these district recess work periods to invite your Member of Congress to visit your Y, so they can experience firsthand the impact that your Y has on the lives of people in your community.
Remember the purpose of the summer meetings is not only to connect your Y in-person with public officials, but to showcase YMCA programming and community impact. This will help ensure that your public officials remember your Y, and the corresponding needs of your community. In addition, it is extremely important to thank your Member of Congress for their help in securing funds, and addressing the operational challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic imposed on your YMCA. This continued advocacy and relationship-building will help to influence decisionmakers in our favor. As a reminder, the Alliance will be scheduling Zoom meetings with your Member of Congress on your behalf, to start initial summer advocacy conversations.
Summer Advocacy Liaison Webinar
Are you interested in advocacy? Or perhaps have staff interested in exploring becoming an Advocacy Liaison for your YMCA? If so, please join me on Tuesday, July 26th at 1pm for a conversation on the benefits of advocacy and how it can help your YMCA reach its goals. Please reach out to Belinda Heckler, Director of Public Policy, Alliance of NYS YMCAs to sign up for the webinar, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shared Google Calendar
The Alliance will utilize a shared Google Calendar to track all Summer Advocacy Meetings. The purpose of this calendar link is for your YMCA to post general information regarding your advocacy visits within the next few weeks. This will help us keep track of the date and times of meetings, tours or Zooms that have already been scheduled and will help avoid duplicate efforts.
Important Resources Summer 2022
- Template Invitation Letter for Public Officials
- Media Resources (Sample Media Alert, Press Release, Social Media)
- New York YMCA Public Officials Contact List
- Community Project Funding Tracker “Earmarks”
- State & Local Fiscal Recovery Fund
- YMCA Legislative Federal Priorities 2022