FROM OUR LAY LEADERS
Allan Baumgarten of Minneapolis, MN, is Chair of the Public Policy &
Advocacy Committee of the Domestic Affairs Pillar.
At its January 2006 meeting, the UJC Board of Trustees amended the by-laws to rename the Human Services Social Policy Pillar as the Domestic Affairs Pillar. The new name concisely conveys our mission: advocating on behalf of the federation system on matters of domestic policy and planning.
Our work is carried out through a series of interlocking partnerships that maximize input from local communities, through the support of a small but very skillful staff. I have the privilege of chairing the Public Policy and Advocacy Committee of the Pillar, assisted by vice-chairs Elaine Bloom of Miami and Gary Polland of Houston. The committee brings together lay and professional leaders from dozens of communities to help identify the legislative and policy priorities of the federation system. It works closely with Vice-President for Public Policy William Daroff and the staff of the UJC Washington office to promote the interests of the federations and their agencies.
The committee and the Washington office focus on important issues for federations, and the Washington office is uniquely situated to effectively represent those interests. Key achievements and current priorities include protecting Medicaid funding that supports nursing homes and other local agencies; securing federal support for initiatives in the area of senior transportation and housing; and special federal grants to communities to strengthen the security of vulnerable institutions, including Jewish community centers and schools.
The UJC Washington Office has formed and led coalitions of other associations on those issues, and also partners with Jewish organizations such as the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA). An effective collaboration with the UJC’s Endowment Department has brought together a committee of lay and professional taxation experts to review Congressional proposals for oversight of non-profit organizations and to support measures that will improve public accountability without reducing the effectiveness of those organizations.
For more information on UJC's legislative priorities, please click here.