Advocacy Alert: Jan. 21

Our Take on President Obama’s State of the Union;
Museums Advocacy Day Needs You

Last night, President Obama delivered his State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol. In his 65-minute speech, the president outlined his priorities and proposals for 2015. Congress will now begin its work to set federal funding levels, develop tax policy and determine next steps for our nation’s education system. 

Will museums be part of the equation?
 
“Museums have a golden opportunity to influence the Congressional agenda this year,” said Alliance President Ford W. Bell. “From job creation, education and public diplomacy to disaster relief, human rights and honoring our veterans, the issues raised last night are very much in line with what museums are doing every day. I invite everyone to join us in Washington, D.C. Feb. 23-24 to make the case for museums as part of Museums Advocacy Day.” 

Highlights

The Alliance government relations and advocacy team shares a few excerpts from the president’s speech that offer an opportunity for museums to be part of the debate:
“It’s all about building the most competitive economy anywhere…21st century businesses will rely on American science and technology, research and development.”
Museums are inspiring innovation, creativity and problem-solving, which form the framework for a competitive economy. Congress needs to know our tremendous economic impact.
“For far too long, lobbyists have rigged the tax code with loopholes [and] giveaways that the super-rich don’t need.”
Hopefully this wasn’t a reference to the charitable deduction, which is neither a loophole nor a giveaway but a vital lifeline accounting for one-third of museums’ operating budgets. (And we won’t take it personally that he knocked lobbyists.) 
“We are demonstrating the power of American strength and diplomacy.”
We'll make the case that museums are making a valuable contribution to public diplomacy through traveling exhibitions, international exchange programs and the Museums Connect program. 
Finally, the President said, “It’s up to us to choose who we want to be and who we want to become.” 
Similarly, it’s up to us to choose whether we want to be at the table as museum advocates, or risk museums being on the table.
 
Will you join us for Museums Advocacy Day this year?
 
Registration closes this Friday, Jan. 23!
 
P.S. If you are already registered for Museums Advocacy Day, thank you and we look forward to seeing you in Washington in February. And, new this year, you can directly connect with other Museums Advocacy Day attendees looking to share a hotel room. Visit the Museums Advocacy Day Roommates Forum if you have a room to share or are looking for a roommate, and get e-mails when potential roommates respond.