Changed Circumstances on Capitol Hill Call for
a Fresh Approach to Advocacy
A 50 year anniversary is a great opportunity for any
association to do some self-reflection. As we review our advocacy strategies,
leading up to NRPA’s 50th birthday, we think it’s time for some
improvements to our advocacy approach that meets the challenges of 2015 and beyond,
while still maintaining our critical advocacy leadership role.
To improve the effectiveness of NRPA’s
federal public policy advocacy efforts, we will make several changes in our longstanding
annual approach. These include:
- Conducting targeted legislative fly-in sessions geared
toward key members of Congress.
- Better aligning NRPA advocacy efforts and the
The above Grasstops approach and others (such
as joint advocacy letters) will replace the traditional annual Legislative Forum.
The Forum has proven to be less strategic than activities that are more geographically
targeted and well-timed to the Congressional schedule. Moreover, this improved
advocacy targeting will help NRPA to optimize precious budget funds and improve
overall return on investment for funds that are expended. In other words, we are
able to make stronger advocacy strides without implications to your bottom line
as a member. Keep Reading
Congressional Visit Toolkit for Nutrition Programs
Let your Congressional
leaders see the impact you make first-hand by inviting them to visit your summer
or afterschool feeding programs. By inviting them to visit, they can see for themselves
why it is critical to continue funding these important nutritional programs. To
help, we’ve created a toolkit that provides a step-by-step guide to hosting
your senator and local congressman or congresswoman at your Summer Food Service
Program or afterschool Child and Adult Care Food Program.
Click here to download the Congressional Site Visit Toolkit.
Click here to watch Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack
talk about the importance of the summer meals program.
Summer Meals Act Introduced
The Summer Meals Act (S. 2527/H.R.
5102) was introduced on June 25 to improve the efficiency of summer meals by Sens.
Kristin Gillibrand (D-NY) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Reps. Don Young (R-AK)
and Rick Larsen (D-WA). This legislation would help expand and support USDA summer
nutrition programs at park and recreation agencies that ensure low-income children
have access to healthy food throughout the summer. The bipartisan Summer Meals
Act proposes four goals. Keep Reading
Fit for Life Act
The Fit for Life Act (H.R. 4765) was reintroduced on May 29 by Rep. Marsha Fudge
(D-OH), with some additions that benefit parks and recreation. This legislation
is an omnibus health bill that includes multiple programs and initiatives that
are pertinent to park and recreation agencies. A highlight of provisions is listed below:
- Shared use agreement expansion pilot grant program. Creates
grants to support joint or shared use agreements, promoting physical fitness and
activity in low-income neighborhoods with high concentrations of childhood obesity.
- Expanding access to the Summer Food Service Programs for children.
Reduces the Summer Food Program's area eligibility requirement to 40
percent of residents that are at the Federal Poverty Level, instead of the current
50 percent and expands existing rural transportation pilot grants and provides
expansion grants in high poverty areas.
- Weekends and holidays
without hunger. Amends the School Lunch Act to include access to different
types of projects that offer nutritious foods on weekends and during school holidays to at-risk school children.
- Renovation of foreclosed and abandoned properties to create spaces
that encourage physical activity in American neighborhoods.
here for the full text of the Fit for Life Act of 2014.
Congressional Inaction Puts Funding for Walking and Biking Projects at Risk
Lawmakers are under pressure to replenish the Highway Trust Fund prior to departing
for their annual August break. The Department of Transportation (DOT) has warned
that allowing the Highway Trust Fund to go broke — which it is predicted to
do by the end of August — would cost the U.S. about 700,000 jobs. The Fund pays
for road, transit, walking and biking projects.Keep Reading
Community Parks Revitalization Act during Park and Recreation Month
July is Park and Recreation Month and a great opportunity to share your stories
about the benefits of urban parks with your legislators. The sponsor of the Community
Parks Revitalization Act ( H.R. 2424) Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ) is celebrating
Park and Recreation Month by highlighting the importance of this legislation.
Share your stories about the importance of your parks with us (@NRPA_News)
and with Rep. Sires (@RepSires)
on social media so we can keep telling the community parks story.
here to read Rep. Sires op-ed on the importance of community parks to our economy and health.
LWCF State Assistance Apportionment for 2014 Announced at Fort Worth Event
The National Park Service (NPS) recently announced the apportionment for the
2014 State Assistance Program which totals more than $43 million. The announcement
was made at Fort Worth’s Gateway Park – a recipient of State Assistance
funding. Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price hosted Interior Secretary Sally Jewell in
an effort to highlight the bipartisan “Mayors for Parks” coalition. NRPA President
and CEO Barbara Tulipane also attended the event and shares what
you need to know on Open Space.
here for the state-by-state breakdown of the LWCF apportionment.
Free Webinar Available on LWCF State Assistance Competitive Grant Program
On July 16, NRPA hosted a webinar on this year’s competitive grant program,
formally known as the State Assistance Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership.
The webinar, moderated by Joel Lynch and Elisabeth Fondriest of the National Park
Service (NPS), included valuable insights into the program and the basics of the
application process, including eligibility.
here to view the webinar and learn more about the grant program.
Click here to access the application. The deadline
to apply is August 15, 2014.