What You Can Do Right Now

We woke this morning to the confirmation that President Trump’s budget proposal calls for the elimination of a number of programs and agencies, including the National Endowment for the Arts.

While disappointing, this is not a surprise, and many of our advocacy friends are prepared with actions we can take starting today. 

Also, now that we know we are fighting to save and protect the endowments, it is important to remember that today is the beginning of a much longer appropriations process, and Arts for LA is committed to keeping you informed with updates and actions to take as they happen.


Actions You Can Take Today

Americans for the Arts is leading the national response to #SaveTheNEA, starting with a customizable letter to your representatives.
SavetheNEA.jpg

1) Go to Americans for the Arts's Action Center and send a customizable message to your elected representatives in Congress and urge them to oppose the Administration's attempt to eliminate funding to the NEA.

2) CA Delegates are hand delivering a letter of support with signatures from our state advocates on Tuesday, March 21. We have 270 signatures so far. If you have not already signed, please consider adding your name today.

3) If you lead an arts organization, join Ovation’s #StandfortheArts, a national campaign to raise awareness, protect access and encourage action on behalf of the arts and culture.

4) This is a national movement, so with every action you take, please share on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media. Include any of the following hashtags: #ArtsVote, #SaveTheNEA, #StandfortheArts and tag your elected officials.

Finally, the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies provides this reminder about fiscal years: "Recall that state Partnership Agreement funds from the NEA are typically committed in March and used in the following state fiscal year. So today's proposal to eliminate the NEA in federal FY2018 would affect most states' FY2019 activities."


As always, do not hesitate to contact us at info@artsforla.org if you have any questions.

LOCALLY

Elections – Arts & Culture Candidate Surveys

There are many local elections for city council, mayor, and school board coming up in the next few weeks. This is a great opportunity to reach out to your local candidates to complete the Spring 2017 Arts & Culture Candidate Survey if they have not done so already.

FEBRUARY 28 

Burbank City Council and Burbank Unified School District

MARCH 7

33 elections, including:
Los Angeles City Council (8 seats), Mayor, and LAUSD (3 seats)

APRIL 4

Glendale and Glendale Unified School District
Inglewood and Inglewood Unified School District

APRIL 11

Monrovia
Vernon 

APRIL 18

Arcadia Unified School District
Compton Mayor and City Council

A full list of upcoming 2017 elections can be found here

ArtsDayLA – Friday, April 7, Los Angeles City Hall

During ArtsWeek 2017, Arts for LA will be organizing delegate visits with LA City Councilmembers. To serve as a delegate, a person must agree to attend a 3 hour evening training prior to ArtsDay LA, as well as a four hour period (12 pm to 4 pm) on Friday, April 7. A person may nominate themselves.  Submit your nomination online by Friday, February 17. To determine your City Council district, visit here.

Consider Running for Office or Public Service as a Commissioner

If you've ever considered public service, there are resources to help guide you. NationBuilder offers a free 2 hour course, "How To Run For Office." In addition, you can identify potential seats to run for here: https://www.runforoffice.org.

You’ve heard of the Police Commission and the Fire Commission, but as Liberty Hill‘s researchers discovered when planning their "Train to be a Commissioner" course at the Wally Marks Leadership Institute, not even the wonkiest policy wonks can name all of Los Angeles's 52 boards and commissions, never mind the many dozens of County and State boards and commissions. Find out more

Setting a Policy Agenda

Arts for LA is committed to the following policy areas – the Arts, specifically advocating for equity and access for all people in LA; Arts Education for all students; a strong Creative Economy with opportunities for everyone; Civic Engagement through our ArtsVote work; and Social Justice including human rights, freedom of expression, immigrant rights, affordable housing.

This spring, Arts for LA will convene the community to identify policy goals in each of these areas. If you are interested in being a part of this process, send us an email at info@artsforla.org.

Advocacy Guidelines for Nonprofits 

Many nonprofits believe that they cannot participate in advocacy without risking the loss of their 501c3 status. But this is not true. Arts for LA and organizations like Alliance for Justice (AFJ) work to educate nonprofits on the differences between advocacy and lobbying and how they can safely exercise their right to advocate on issues of concern. The California Association of Nonprofits also lists Advocacy Guidelines. From AFJ's Bolder Advocacy website:

Influencing officials in the executive branch of federal, state or local government is a powerful tool. Executive or Administrative Advocacy can take several forms, including:

  • Commenting on regulations;
  • Requesting enforcement of existing laws;
  • Advocating for or against executive orders; and
  • Trying to influence administrative decisions on policy and program implementation.

Executive or Administrative Advocacy can be directed at administrative agencies (e.g., Environmental Protection Agency), executive officials (e.g., Governor, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, County Executive), and special purpose boards (e.g., housing authority, school board, park and planning board).

Under federal tax law, nonprofits and foundations can do as much advocacy on regulations and other administrative actions as they’d like. As long as the purpose of these communications is not to influence legislation, the activity is not considered lobbying.

The Role of Nonprofits in Elections 

A 20 minute presentation by Shyaam Subramanian, Southern California Counsel, Alliance for Justice

November 3, 2016 / LA Convergence 2016

Ongoing Activism

Join a group of like minded people who are meeting across LA to develop creative responses to our most pressing issues, such as Task Force Artivist Collective.  Let us know of other community gatherings at info@artsforla.org.

STATE

 

Legislation Tracking

Arts for LA is developing and tracking two state bills: 

  • Enforcing the education code so that schools deliver arts to all students (as part of the California Alliance for Arts Education); and
  • Safe and affordable housing for artists (led by Assemblymember Bloom)

NATIONALLY 

Join Sofia in DC – March 20-21

Arts for LA's executive director Sofia Klatzker has the honor of leading the California Delegation with Brad Erickson, and we are arranging delegate visits with our CA representatives now. If you are able to get to DC, these meetings are a powerful way to connect and advocate for what we hold most dear. We will also be developing delegate briefing materials and basic training on how to be a delegate for first timers. We will be specifically advocating for protecting and sustaining the NEA, defending the charitable tax code, ensuring arts education for all students, and protecting immigrant and refugee rights.

Register here: http://www.americansforthearts.org/events/arts-advocacy-day  

Call Your Representatives and Tell Them to Protect and Sustain the NEA

We woke this morning to the confirmation that President Trump’s budget proposal calls for the elimination of a number of programs and agencies, including the National Endowment for the Arts.

While disappointing, this is not a surprise, and many of our advocacy friends are prepared with actions we can take starting today. 

Also, now that we know we are fighting to save and protect the endowments, it is important to remember that today is the beginning of a much longer appropriations process, and Arts for LA is committed to keeping you informed with updates and actions to take as they happen.

Americans for the Arts is leading the national response to #SaveTheNEA, starting with a customizable letter to your representatives.

1) Go to Americans for the Arts's Action Center and send a customizable message to your elected representatives in Congress and urge them to oppose the Administration's attempt to eliminate funding to the NEA.

2) CA Delegates are hand delivering a letter of support with signatures from our state advocates on Tuesday, March 21. We have 270 signatures so far. If you have not already signed, please consider adding your name today.

3) If you lead an arts organization, join Ovation’s #StandfortheArts, a national campaign to raise awareness, protect access and encourage action on behalf of the arts and culture.

4) This is a national movement, so with every action you take, please share on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media. Include any of the following hashtags: #ArtsVote, #SaveTheNEA, #StandfortheArts and tag your elected officials.

Finally, the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies provides this reminder about fiscal years: "Recall that state Partnership Agreement funds from the NEA are typically committed in March and used in the following state fiscal year. So today's proposal to eliminate the NEA in federal FY2018 would affect most states' FY2019 activities."

 

For excellent talking points from a local voice, we also recommend listening to the interview addressing this issue by Laura Zucker of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.

http://www.scpr.org/programs/airtalk/2017/01/31/54747/what-trumps-budget-cuts-could-mean-for-the-future/

Tax Reform and the Arts

While the exact schedule is still speculative, we expect the House Ways and Means Committee to markup a bill as early as March—with a quick progression of said legislation through both Houses of Congress to follow. We recommend including this issue in your talking points with your Representatives. Learn more about the issue here:

http://www.giarts.org/article/charitable-deduction

http://www.americansforthearts.org/by-program/reports-and-data/legislation-policy/legislative-issue-center/charitable-giving-tax-reform

http://www.cof.org/sites/default/files/documents/files/Charitable-Deduction--Issue%20Paper.pdf