PCCF represented - virtually - on Capitol Hill this week

Wednesday, March 24, 2021
Brandon Wells

In Frank Capra’s classic film “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” newly appointed senator Jefferson Smith makes the most of his time on the Senate floor by engaging in a passionate, rousing speech in defense of the everyman.

While not getting precisely the same opportunity as Mr. Smith, I am excited to represent the Putnam County Community Foundation and our stakeholders this week as I visit Congress members for Foundations on the Hill, which, like most everything else these days, will be held virtually.

Despite the disappointment of not walking the hallowed grounds of our nation’s capital, I will excitedly arrive at my laptop with a carefully curated Zoom background and every intent of making a lasting impression.

Now, more so than ever, Indiana’s community foundations, private foundations and philanthropic organizations are rising to the occasion to fulfill significant needs in our communities. Our visits to Capitol Hill this week provide an excellent opportunity to meet with Congress members to ensure that our laws and tax code remain conducive to charitable giving at all levels.

Representing our friends and neighbors, foundation leaders from every corner of Indiana will do what we always do — advocate for our donors, grantees and community members diligently.

One of the stalwarts of our democracy, and frankly, something that most of us usually take for granted, is access to our elected officials. In the United States, if we encounter a problem and seek a solution, or disagree with the solution provided by our elected officials, our means of outreach is a convenient phone call, email, tweet or Facebook post away.

This week your Community Foundation will take the lead in making that outreach and advocating for policies that continue to work on your behalf.

I have always thought that civic engagement is vital, because it is not just a way to create more effective policies, but also reinvigorate our faith in our government and our democratic processes. So, I am proud and eager to participate in what is sure to be many worthwhile discussions this week.

I also appreciate the representatives and senators making time in their demanding schedules to hear our thoughts about how philanthropy continues to impact communities in Indiana positively.

In the Woody Guthrie song “This Land is Your Land,” which was coincidentally written less than a year after the premiere of “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” Guthrie concludes every verse by assuring “This land was made for you and me.” I agree. This land was made for all of us. And it is up to all of us to make it better for all of us. The only way to do that is together.

With the anticipation of an exciting week, I am left with one more question: I wonder how Mr. Smith’s speech advocating for fairness and equity at the highest levels of our government would be received over Zoom?

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  • Have a great week!

    -- Posted by Jenni Artis on Thu, Mar 25, 2021, at 6:19 AM
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