Leverage Nonprofit Voices on Election Day and Beyond

I know everyone is busily assembling their Halloween costumes for the DANA Halloween Costume Contest, but I wanted to provide a few public policy updates and how they impact our Delaware nonprofit sector.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 6th!
While we can all agree its important to take the time to vote, this will also determine the policymakers we will work with in the General Assembly in January.  Its critical that regardless of party we have elected officials that support the interest of Delaware nonprofit organizations.  For more information on the candidates on the ballot please consider checking out (DANA Member) The League of Women Voters’ Vote 411 site at www.VOTE411.org.

Several candidates did not have opponents in the general election and we are excited to welcome them to the 150th General Assembly:

  • Senator-Elect Darius Brown (Senate District 2)
  • Senator-Elect Elizabeth Lockman (Senate District 3)
  • Representative-Elect Nnamdi Chukwuocha (House District 1)
  • Representative-Elect Sherry Dorsey Walker (House District 3)
  • Representative-Elect Kendra Johnson (House District 5)
  • Representative-Elect Melissa Minor-Brown (House District 17)
  • Representative-Elect Jesse Vanderwende (House District 35)

For answers to common question relating to voting, or to locate your polling place, please go here.

The Legislature comes back into session on January 8, 2019, but those who win in their elections will already be working in their districts.  Given the 20% turn over in the General Assembly, the time between Election Day and the beginning of session presents a great opportunity to schedule a meeting to talk about the value of our state’s nonprofit sector as a part of economic development in Delaware, and how each individual nonprofit serves their individual districts.  Each organization’s goal should be to meet with their legislators both in the district, or a site visit to the nonprofit organization AND a meeting in Dover at their legislative offices.  DANA subsector advocacy days would be a great opportunity for a meeting in Legislative Hall with your nonprofit peers.  Please stay tuned to our events calendar for these advocacy opportunities.

Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Development Underway
In June, the advocacy efforts of the Delaware nonprofit sector resulted in a reinstatement of funds to Grant-in-Aid to 2017 levels.  While this was a huge win for the nonprofit sector for fiscal year 2019, the budget development process is starting for FY 2020.  As a sector, we need to be diligent in our efforts to promote state investment into nonprofits and our role in a robust economy.  Given competing budget interests within the state and the potential for decreased funds coming from the federal government due to the growth in the federal deficit and a desire to cut federal spending.

In November, the Office of Management and Budget will hold public hearings with each state agency to learn their budget requests for fiscal year 2020.  These meetings will provide an overview of each state agency’s funding priorities for the coming year.  In each hearing members of the public will have an opportunity to comment on the agency’s proposed budget.   This is an excellent advocacy opportunity to share how your organization is partnering with these state agencies, and how you are supporting their work in the community. To find the complete schedule of all Budget Development meetings please consult the state public meeting calendar here.

Agency budget presentations, along with the December DEFAC projection will inform the priorities for the Governor’s Recommended Budget for Fiscal Year 2020.   The Delaware Economic Financial Advisory Committee (DEFAC) will meet on December 19th to review the budget forecast and assess revenue projections for fiscal year 2020.

This is an exciting time as we welcome new legislators and share with them the impact of our nonprofits statewide.  We need to continue to be persistent in our advocacy message regarding investment in our services, promoting the economic and social value to our communities.  In the coming weeks DANA will be working on our policy priorities for the coming year to ensure our mutual success and will share in a future update.