Y Advocates Visit Lawmakers in Raleigh

More than 40 YMCA staff and volunteers representing 17 or our 26 Associations attended State Advocacy Days, filling the halls of the NC General Assembly with a buzz about the great work being done in communities served by the Y statewide. The one and a half-day event started Tuesday, March 21st with speakers outlining the Y legislaitve agenda. John Davis of the John Davis Report, shared an update on the state's political history and its current status as a truly balanced and "purple" state. Joel Larson, Senior Manager of State Advocacy, Government Relations and Policy, YMCA of the USA, updated us on the federal YMCA legislative agenda. DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen spoke to us about her administration’s priorities, including the opiod addiction epidemic. She also talked about the need for expanded access to YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program. Finally, NC Center for Nonprofits VP of Public Policy and Advocacy David Heinen talked to us about tax challenges at the state and federal levels that could potentially impact all nonprofits, including the Y.

Tuesday evening was rounded out by a reception held at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, where lawmakers and Y leaders were able to mix and mingle in a casual environment.     

On Wednesday, March 22, the legislative visits kickoff breakfast featured speakers Julie Lisella, Director Boards & Commissions and Nelson Freeman, Policy Advisor, both with the Office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Both of these professionals have personal ties to the YMCA.  After breakfast, Y advocates visited with nearly 50 House and Senate members throughout the course of the day. The NC Alliance of YMCAs was recognized on the House floor by Speaker Tim Moore of Cleveland County.

To keep the momemtum going, all Y Advocates are encouraged to join the YMCA Advocates Action Network. Joining the Network will ensure you know how and when to contact your legislator to speak about issues affecting the Y for child safety, after school and YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program.