Outlook Unclear for Policy Priorities as Congress Adjourns | Tell Congress to #MoveOnZika
NRPA Advocacy Insider
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Congress is adjourned until September, leaving the legislative outlook in Washington, D.C. unclear. The House and Senate are currently in the middle of a seven-week summer recess that will last until Labor Day. When Congress returns, they will only have three weeks to approve federal spending levels for FY2017 which has led to speculation that they may pass a six-month continuing resolution to keep funding levels the same through March 2017. They may also pass a shorter continuing resolution to get through the election which would be followed by negotiations for an omnibus spending package.
 
Quite a few park and recreation-related legislative items were left on the negotiating table before the recess. Among them were a comprehensive energy bill which makes LWCF permanent, several spending packages, a Zika compromise and the Phit Act. So what can you do in this time period of waiting and uncertainty? Host a Park Champion event and invite your members of Congress to experience a REAL recess break by seeing your summer parks and recreation offerings in person.  It's the best way to show your federal elected officials the value and impact parks and recreation has on your community especially while they are in their home districts. Hosting an event is easy and our team is always here to help.
 
Invite Your Officials to a REAL Recess
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Outlook Unclear for Policy Priorities as Congress Adjourns Until September
We're in the heart (or perhaps I should say, HEAT) of another hot and humid summer in Washington, DC. If you're from the area, you know that these oppressive conditions are sure to produce one thing each year Congress leaving for its extended summer break.
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Tell Congress to #MoveOnZika So Parks and Rec Can Do Their Part
Congress has failed to come to a compromise and pass legislation for Zika funding which would aid in mosquito control, vaccine development, public education efforts, health official training and more. Parks and recreation will play a large role in the fight against Zika, so tell you're your elected officials now to #MoveOnZika when they return to Capitol Hill.
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The city of Gaithersburg, MD, recently named America's most diverse by the U.S. Census Bureau, took an innovative approach to their Park Champion event. By combining two previously planned activities, a citizen naturalization ceremony and the celebration of Gaithersburg's rich history, they achieved two important goals of celebrating diversity and social equity, AND advocating how important park and recreation agencies are to their elected leaders.  
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The next Park Champion webinar is scheduled for Thursday, August 18 at 2 p.m. ET. NRPA's Public Policy team will explain how you can mobilize your passionate network of volunteers to engage in advocacy by sharing their stories and passion for parks and recreation. You may also listen to any one of the many training and policy webinars you may have missed by visiting our library of upcoming and recorded webinars.
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Welcome Justin!
The NRPA Public Policy Team is thrilled to welcome our Advocacy and Government Affairs intern Justin Hurdle. Justin grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and worked in his town's park and recreation department where he was first exposed to the importance of public parks and green spaces to strengthen communities. Justin previously interned at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law where he worked on criminal justice reform issues. After completing his undergraduate studies at Hofstra University, he will be completing his Masters in Political Science in 2016. Justin hopes to continue on a career path focused on advocacy. 
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Park Champions across the country are hosting events highlighting their park and recreation department and programs to their U.S. representative or senators and/or their staff. Check out our Facebook photo album of past Park Champion events and get inspired to host your own!
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