ACTION-Housing and their coalition partners worked to expand a crucial Pennsylvania tax credit known as the Neighborhood Assistance Program. The NAP credit empowers companies to be good neighbors by donating directly to projects helmed by local charities in the communities where they live and work. When NAP became a target for cuts under the state budget, ACTION-Housing successfully mobilized to help prevent cuts to this vital program.
Amachi Pittsburgh Executive Director Anna Hollis worked tirelessly this year on behalf of children with an incarcerated parent. On June 21st, her work alongside Pennsylvania Corrections Secretary John Wetzel paid off in a huge way, when a bipartisan group of state senators unveiled legislation to establish a public charitable trust to help these children and reverse the direction of prison-bound youth in Pennsylvania. With its passage as part of the state budget in October, the “First Chance Trust Fund” will create scholarships, provide grants, and offer hope to some of Pennsylvania’s most at-risk youth.
Catalyst Connection launched a dynamic, exciting new effort called the Making Your Future (MYF) campaign. In October, Secretary of Community and Economic Development Dennis Davin and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald helped kick off the MYF campaign at a packed event at HackPGH during PA Manufacturing Week. The campaign is designed to help connect the next generation of manufacturers – especially those in the rapidly growing Maker Movement – in our region to great, well-paying careers.
The Center for Victims is the largest and most comprehensive provider of victim services, education and advocacy in Pennsylvania. The Center’s rapid growth has resulted in a need to relocate to a new, larger, and more conveniently located facility on Pittsburgh’s South Side. In addition to the high-quality programming that the Center is already known for, the new facility will also house the one-of-a-kind Healing Rivers Project. To help make this move possible, the Center was thrilled to have an RACP Project approved in the itemization bill that was just signed into law. Meanwhile, president and CEO Laurie MacDonald, has been working with city, county, and state officials to ensure continued support for the Center’s move and expansion.
In July, the Chuck Noll Foundation for Brain Injury Research served as the beneficiary of the inaugural Steelers Charity Walk. Joined by co-chairs Joe Greene and Garrett Webster – son of Hall of Fame center Mike Webster – hundreds braved the heavy summer rain to participate and enjoy the picturesque trails of Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Then, in October, the Foundation issued its inaugural call for concept papers, generating 18 research proposals in the first round. The Foundation will announce its final grant awards in the new year.
The Center for Responsible Shale Development re-certified Shell and CONSOL Energy’s Appalachian operations for successfully meeting CRSD’s 15 performance standards for responsible stewardship of air and water resources. They continue to not only strengthen their environmental standards, but have also gained increased media attention for their work.
The #FamilyFirstPA Campaign, spearheaded by The Pittsburgh Foundation and United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, urged legislators from across the Commonwealth to put families first by protecting Human Services funding in the state budget. Families and nonprofit leaders from across the state shared compelling personal stories about how vital human services programs keep their families whole and thriving. The effort played a key role in raising awareness that ultimately led to the protection of essential services in the FY 2017-18 budget.
The Greater Pittsburgh Nonprofit Partnership (GPNP) strengthens our region by improving the viability, impact and effectiveness of nonprofits. Their biennial regional summit brought together hundreds of civic-minded individuals for two days of professional development, engaging dialogues on critical community issues, and networking.
The highly publicized events in Flint, Michigan have led many Pittsburgh residents to demand action when it comes to lead poisoning and protecting our children. The Heinz Endowments is helping lead this call to action by working on lead poisoning research to reliably inform policy development around prevention.
In addition to being an active and vital member of the #StrongMomStrongBaby coalition, Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Greater Philadelphia was one of thefirst organizations to participate in our customized Advocacy Boot Camp in November. We have been working with their incredible board to identify current policy opportunities and develop a workable advocacy strategy to turn those opportunities into reality during their two-session Boot Camp.
Three Rivers Mothers’ Milk Bank has expanded its footprint so far beyond the Pittsburgh region that a name change was in order. The newly-branded Mid-Atlantic Mothers’ Milk Bank (MAMMB) has now distributed more than 180,000 ounces of donated breast milk – from nearly 550 individual donors throughout PA, WV, NJ and MD – to 20 hospitals and numerous outpatients since opening its doors in 2016. To provide an additional convenient option to donors outside of the Pittsburgh area, MAMMB has now opened two milk depots – one at the Lehigh Valley Breastfeeding Center in Allentown, PA and the other at Excela Health in Irwin, PA.
Delilah Rumburg, CEO of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, joined Governor Wolf, legislators, advocates and college students to announce a series of legislative efforts to address sexual violence on college campuses and in K-12 schools. The legislation is a part of the “It’s On Us PA” initiative to combat sexual assaults, offer better protections for students, and improve reporting and response protocols. With the tidal wave of sexual harassment allegations flooding the media daily, PCAR has also launcheda new training program that takes a comprehensive approach to workplace sexual harassment.
The #StrongMomStrongBaby campaign is continuing its tireless work to advance SB 200 and HB 200 through the PA General Assembly. These bills are designed to automatically qualify infants whose mothers screen at high risk for postpartum depression for Early Intervention tracking and screening. In November, #SMSB earned national recognition for Innovation in Advocacy by the 2020 Mom Project at theNational Perinatal Mental Health Conference in Chicago.
United for Caregivers, an initiative of United Way of SWPA, has been working to raise the visibility of issues that impact family caregiving. In order to develop a strong policy agenda to advocate for policies that (a) recognize the value of caregiving and (b) provide relief to caregivers, research was conducted earlier this year to generate recommendations for moving the initiative forward across the state.