Federation Travels to Washington, D.C. for Eighth Annual Advocacy Mission
Earlier this month, 27 members of our Jewish community joined Federation’s Major Gifts Division and Jewish Community Relations Council on the 8th Annual Washington, D.C. Advocacy Mission, chaired by Steven J. Brodie. The bipartisan group met with elected officials and their senior advisors in the legislative and executive branches to discuss a number of issues important to the Jewish community. Federation Board Chair Amy N. Dean, who attended the Mission, said, “At a time when it is more than obvious that funding for social services and educational programs are going to be cut to some degree, it’s tremendously important for us to show up as a community with our congressmen and senators.”
Mission participants met with both Florida Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio and Miami-Dade Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Mario Diaz-Balart, as well as with six others members of Congress in leadership positions and several key congressional staffers. There was a great deal of discussion on Anti-Semitism and security, both from the operations and funding perspectives.
Because Washington decision-makers are addressing so many public policy crossroads, the Mission itinerary and specific policy “asks” were particularly timely. These requests included increasing Homeland Security funding, preserving Medicaid and discretionary spending for the most vulnerable, protecting charitable contribution incentives in the tax code, and combatting anti-semitism and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. During the Mission, two members of Congress joined the bipartisan Congressional Task Force on Anti-Semitism, and Senator Nelson signed a congressional letter requesting a significant increase in Homeland Security funding.
Another highlight of the Mission included an “insiders’ tour” of the Control Center at FBI Headquarters, where the group received a high-level briefing on the FBI’s efforts to prioritize the safety and security of Jewish institutions. Mission Chair Brodie said, “Whether by obtaining support for the bi-partisan Task Force on Anti-Semitism, speaking out against the BDS movement or thanking the FBI for their efforts to secure our Jewish Institutions, I know our Eighth Advocacy Mission to D.C. made a difference.”