ACTION ALERT: Nonprofit Security Grant Program, Older Americans Act & Holocaust Education and Survivor Assistance
We encourage you to contact your Senators and urge them to support funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program, the Holocaust Survivor Assistance Program and the Older Americans Act and to contact your Representatives and urge them to cosponsor the Never Again (Holocaust) Education Act.
If you have any questions about NSGP or the Holocaust Survivor Assistance Program, please contact Robert Goldberg. If you have questions about the Older Americans Act or the Never Again Education Act, please contact Stephan Kline. Thank you in advance for joining us in these multiple efforts to promote the Jewish Federations’ public policy agenda.
NONPROFIT SECURITY GRANT PROGRAM
Since its inception in 2005, the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) has been dedicated to hardening at-risk nonprofit institutions across the United States, to promoting their preparedness planning, training and exercises, and to their fostering closer and more cooperative relationships with state and local law enforcement agencies. Unfortunately, the nation’s counterterrorism experts report that domestic actors will continue to pose a lethal threat to faith-based communities in the Homeland and remain concerned about the difficulty of detecting US-based threat actors and homegrown violent extremists.
To ensure appropriate resources are made available to the NSGP program in the next fiscal year, Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Rob Portman (R-OH) and Gary Peters (D-MI) are distributing a sign-on letter directed to the Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security that seeks a 25 percent increase funding in funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program.
- Please reach out and urge your Senators to sign on to the NSGP letter by April 12, 2019.
HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
Holocaust survivors are an extremely vulnerable population, whose traumatic experiences during their childhood at the hands of the Nazis (and for many also under the former Soviet Union) complicate their ability to seek, receive, and benefit from the critical supportive services they need as older adults. Since FY 2015, the Holocaust Survivor Assistance Program responds to these challenges. The program, with the support of local care providers, is advancing the development and expansion of person-centered, trauma informed (PCTI) supportive services for Holocaust survivors living in the U.S. In addition, it is improving the nation’s overall capacity to deliver PCTI health and human services for this population and to at-risk older adults with a history of trauma, such as veterans, first-responders, and victims of domestic abuse.
To ensure appropriate resources are made available to the Survivor Assistance program in the next fiscal year, Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Kevin Cramer (R-ND) are distributing a sign-on letter directed to the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, health and Human Services, Education that seeks $5 million in funding for the program.
- Please reach out and urge your Senators to sign on to the Holocaust Survivor Assistance Program letter by Thursday, April 11, 2019.
OLDER AMERICANS ACT
For more than 50 years, the Older Americans Act (OAA) has been essential in developing, coordinating, and delivering services that help older adults age with independence and dignity in their homes and communities. Without these crucial services, many individuals served by OAA-funded programs are at significant risk of hunger, isolation, and losing their ability to live with health and independence. Jewish family agencies, Jewish vocational service agencies and Jewish community centers provide services funded through the OAA, including case management, transportation, congregate and home-delivered meals, adult day care, elder abuse prevention and intervention, family caregiver support, home care, legal conservatorship, and support groups.
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), in his role as Ranking Member on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions’ Subcommittee on Primary Health and Retirement Security, is distributing a sign-on letter directed to the Appropriations Committee that seeks a 12 percent increase in funding for the Older Americans Act. Because of continued growth in the senior population and overall inflation, OAA programs are significantly under-funded and JFNA and our major coalition partners all support a significant increase in funding for the Act.
So far, 19 Senators have signed on to the letter: Senators Baldwin (D-WI), Blumenthal (D-CT), Brown (D-OH), Gillibrand (D-NY), Hassan (D-NH), Heinrich (D-NM), Hirono (D-HI), Kaine (D-VA), King (I-ME), Manchin (D-WV), Menendez (D-NJ), Murphy (D-CT), Peters (D-MI), Sanders (I-VT), Schatz (D-HI), Shaheen (D-NH), Stabenow (D-MI), Van Hollen (D-MD), and Whitehouse (D-RI).
In addition, there were 12 Senators who signed on to a very similar letter last year with the same request for a 12% increase. Those who signed last year but have not yet signed this year’s letter are Senators Bennet (D-CO), Booker (D-NJ), Cardin (D-MD), Casey (D-PA), Feinstein (D-CA), Harris (D-CA), Klobuchar (D-MN), Markey (D-MA), Merkeley (D-OR), Reed (D-RI), Smith (D-MN), and Warren (D-MA),
- If your Senators have not signed on to the OAA letter, please reach out and urge them to sign on by April 10, 2019.
The Never Again Education Act (H.R. 943) is proposed bipartisan federal legislation that would authorize the Secretary of Education to award grants to carry out Holocaust education programs and provide technical assistance on how to most effectively teach this subject. Different than previous versions, the bill would authorize some public funding ($2 million per year) and the collection of private donations in a classic public-private partnership to teach children the important lessons of the Holocaust.
In addition to lead sponsors Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Elise Stefanik (R-NY), the bill has 62 other cosponsors: Bacon (R-NE), Banks (R-IN), Bonamici (D-OR), Boyle (D-PA), Brownley (D-CA), Budd (R-NC), Byrne (R-AL), Carbajal (D-CA), Carson (D-IN), Cartwright (D-PA), Cisneros (D-CA), Clarke (D-NY), Cohen (D-TN), Correa (D-CA), Craig (D-MN), Crenshaw (R-TX), Curtis (R-UT), Susan Davis (D-CA), DeSaulnier (D-CA), Deutch (D-FL), Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Engel (D-NY), Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Fortenberry (R-NE), Gottheimer (D-NJ), Hastings (D-FL), Jackson-Lee (D-TX), Katko (R-NY), Kim (D-NJ), Kind (D-WI), Peter King (R-NY), Lipinski (D-IL), Lofgren (D-CA), Lowenthal (D-CA), McBath (D-GA), McCaul (R-TX), McGovern (D-MA), McNerney (D-CA), Meng (D-NY), Nadler (D-NY), Norcross (D-NJ), Norton (D-DC), Pallone (D-NJ), Pappas (D-NH), Raskin (D-MD), Rice (D-NY), Rose (D-NY), Schakowsky (D-IL), Schneider (D-IL), Schweikert (R-AZ), Shalala (D-FL), Adrian Smith (R-NE), Stevens (D-MI), Suozzi (D-NY), Trone (D-MD), Vela (D-TX), Wasserman Schultz 9D-FL), Weber (R-TX), Wexton (D-VA), Frederica Wilson (D-FL), Yarmuth (D-KY), and Zeldin (R-NY).
- If they have not already co-sponsored this bill, please reach out to your Representatives and encourage them to cosponsor H.R. 943 and urge House leadership to expeditiously bring the bill to the House floor. Here is a draft sponsor letter that you can use as part of your advocacy.
EMERGENCY FOOD & SHELTER PROGRAM
After the significant economic downturn of the 1982 Recession, Congress established the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) program in 1983 with the strong support of JFNA and other leading charitable organizations. The program is the first federal response to assist the newly unemployed and working poor from falling into chronic homelessness and food insecurity. EFSP funds nonprofit and public shelters and other service organizations for items such as food, consumable supplies for shelters, and rental and utility assistance to households in dire need of emergency economic assistance. In this capacity, EFSP serves over 10,000 human service agencies in more than 2,500 counties and cities across the country, through a collaborative effort between the private and public sectors. According to government oversight reports, “EFSP has a proven track record for efficient and rapid funds delivery, and its funds reach all corners of our nation.”
Unfortunately, the program has been subjected to significant funding cuts since FY 2011, when the program’s annual appropriation was reduced from $200 million to $120 million. To protect the program from potential further cuts and to possibly increase funding in FY 20 to the pre-2007 Recession level of more than $150 million, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is expected to circulate an EFSP funding letter early next week.
- Once the letter has been released by the Senate, we will update this Action Alert to include a copy of the letter, and ask that you please reach out to and urge your Senators to sign on to the EFSP letter as well.