The Pedalshift Project 222: Filling in the Blanks C&O Tour – Part 2

My three day weekend tour was about to be washed out by the remnants of yet another hurricane rolling through the area. And since the C&O isn’t exactly the best trail in a soaker, it was a good idea to reverse course and head back to my cabin. But would the tropical gusher wipe me out or would my “special” river crossing be impossible to traverse?


The Pedalshift Project 222: Filling in the Blanks C&O Tour - Part 2
 

Hey it’s the direct download link for  The Pedalshift Project 222: Filling in the Blanks C&O Tour – Part 2 (mp3).

Subscribe/Follow The Pedalshift Project:
RSSiTunes – Overcast – Android – Google Podcasts – StitcherTuneIn – IHeartRadio – Spotify

Reach out to the show via email, Twitter and Instagram. Don’t forget to join the newsletter too.

Have some bike touring or overnight stories to share? Send your pics, audio or a quick tweet – all welcome. Email the show at pedalshift@pedalshift.net or call the lightly-used Pedalshift voicemail line at (202) 930-1109

Filling in the Blanks on the C&O

That sure is a nice looking bridge. Wish I could remember where it was…

Filling the Blanks C&O Tour: Part 2 - Beat the Rain

Photos

Check out Pedalshift on Instagram!

Statistics

YOLOs 1
Miles biked 50
Bridges crossed 1
Bridges legally crossed LOOK! BEHIND YOU!
Burritos eaten 1
Hurricane remnants beat 1
Flats 0

As always we like to close out the show with a special shoutout to the Pedalshift Society! Because of support from listeners like you, Pedalshift is a weekly bicycle touring podcast with a global community, expanding into live shows and covering new tours like this spring’s DC to Cincinnatti bike tour! If you like what you hear, you can support the show for 5 bucks, 2 bucks or even a buck a month. And there’s one-shot and annual options if you’re not into the small monthly thing. Check it all out at pedalshift.net/society.

Kimberly Wilson
Caleb Jenkinson
Cameron Lien
Andrew MacGregor
Michael Hart
Keith Nagel
Brock Dittus
Thomas Skadow
Marco Lo
Terrance Manson
Harry Telgadas
Chris Barron
Mark Van Raam
Brad Hipwell
Stuart Buchan
Mr. T
Nathan Poulton
Stephen Dickerson
Vince LoGreco
Cody Floerchinger
Tom Benenati
Greg Braithwaite
Sandy Pizzio
Jeff Muster
Seth Pollack
Joseph Quinn
Drue Porter
Byron Paterson
Joachim Raber
Ray Jackson
Jeff Frey
Kenny Mikey
Lisa Hart
John Denkler
Steve Hankel
Miguel Quinones
Alejandro Avilés-Reyes
Keith Spangler
Greg Towner
Dan Gebhart
Jody Dzuranin
Lucas Barwick
Michael Baker
Brian Bechtol
Reinhart Bigl
Greg Middlemis
Connie Moore
William Gothmann
Brian Benton
Joan Churchill
Mike Bender
Rick Weinberg
Billy Crafton
Gary Matushak
Greg L’Etoile-Lopes
James Sloan
Jonathan Dillard
John Funk
Tom Bilcze
Ronald Piroli
Dave Roll
Brian Hafner
Misha LeBlanc
Ari Messinger
David Gratke
Todd Groesbeck
Wally Estrella
Sue Reinert
John Leko
Stephen Granata
Phillip Mueller
Robert Lackey
Dominic Carol
Jacqi McCulloch
John Hickman
Carl Presseault
David Neves
Patty Louise
Terry Fitzgerald
Peter Steinmetz
Timothy Fitzpatrick
Michael Liszewski
Hank O’Donnell
David Zanoni

Music

You’ve been hearing about Jason Kent and his music for many fine episodes. Sunfields is back in the studio AND Jason’s first solo album is now streaming on Spotify, including America, the Pedalshift theme. Go listen!

The post The Pedalshift Project 222: Filling in the Blanks C&O Tour – Part 2 appeared first on Pedalshift.

Election Series Part 2: Election Days Advocacy 

 

On this episode, we look at how nonprofits can continue to advocate for a fair and safe election during election days. We intentionally say “days” because many states are offering vote-by-mail (“VBM”, also known as “absentee voting”) or offer early in-person voting well before Nov 3rd, 2020. States took these measures to mitigate some of the challenges presented by the COVID pandemic that we talked about in Part 1 of this series.  

 

Our attorneys for this episode 

 Leslie Barnes 

Tim Mooney 

Quyen Tu 

 

Shownotes 

Because voting doesn’t just happen one day this year, here are things that 501(c)(3)s, as trusted messengers, can do during the voting days to support a free and fair election. 

 

  • Educate your community and constituents about their different voting options. It is important to note that these rules will vary by states and sometimes even by counties! 
    • Preparing for in-person voting 
    • Vote-by-mail rules and deadlines 
    • Provisional ballots and what that means 

 

  • Facilitate voting by offering rides to polls, childcare services, translation services, pay off fines. 
  • Promote election protection: be a poll monitor or staff voter protection hotline. 
  • Have a game plan to address voter intimidation. 
  • Help people understand that we likely won’t have definitive elections results the night of Nov. 3rd, especially in close races. 
  • Litigation 
  • Mobilize public support for safe and fair election (including protests) when anything happens that will prevent voting or the administration of voting. 

 A special note for private foundations: 

It’s not too late, you can fund all nonpartisan efforts except for voter registration drives. This is the rainy day that you’ve been saving for! 

 A special note for 501(c)(4)s: 

501(c)(4)s can do everything we’ve covered in this episode and you could do one of these activities in a partisan manner as long as it is your secondary activity. 

  

Resources 

   

 Non-Bolder Advocacy Resources: 

 

The Pedalshift Project 221: Filling in the Blanks C&O Tour – Part 1

They say you only live once and some people shorten that up to YOLO, turn that into a verb and make questionable decisions. Sometimes that’s a pathway to adventure. And sometimes, it’s a convenient excuse to do things you aren’t supposed to. On my first day to complete a full ride of the C&O this year, I YOLO’d more than I typically YOLO.


The Pedalshift Project 221: Filling in the Blanks C&O Tour - Part 1 

Hey it’s the direct download link for  The Pedalshift Project 221: Filling in the Blanks C&O Tour – Part 1 (mp3).

Subscribe/Follow The Pedalshift Project:
RSSiTunes – Overcast – Android – Google Podcasts – StitcherTuneIn – IHeartRadio – Spotify

Reach out to the show via email, Twitter and Instagram. Don’t forget to join the newsletter too.

Have some bike touring or overnight stories to share? Send your pics, audio or a quick tweet – all welcome. Email the show at pedalshift@pedalshift.net or call the lightly-used Pedalshift voicemail line at (202) 930-1109

Filling in the Blanks on the C&O

A very nice view of the Potomac River from 2011. One could say it’s relevant to this episode:

Photos

Check out Pedalshift on Instagram!

Statistics

YOLOs 2
Miles biked 52
Feet climbed 721 (really?)
Bridges crossed 2
Bridges legally crossed Look, what really is a bridge? I mean technically a bridge is a state of mind, isn’t it?
Burritos purchased 3
Burritos eaten 1

As always we like to close out the show with a special shoutout to the Pedalshift Society! Because of support from listeners like you, Pedalshift is a weekly bicycle touring podcast with a global community, expanding into live shows and covering new tours like this spring’s DC to Cincinnatti bike tour! If you like what you hear, you can support the show for 5 bucks, 2 bucks or even a buck a month. And there’s one-shot and annual options if you’re not into the small monthly thing. Check it all out at pedalshift.net/society.

Kimberly Wilson
Caleb Jenkinson
Cameron Lien
Andrew MacGregor
Michael Hart
Keith Nagel
Brock Dittus
Thomas Skadow
Marco Lo
Terrance Manson
Harry Telgadas
Chris Barron
Mark Van Raam
Brad Hipwell
Stuart Buchan
Mr. T
Nathan Poulton
Stephen Dickerson
Vince LoGreco
Cody Floerchinger
Tom Benenati
Greg Braithwaite
Sandy Pizzio
Jeff Muster
Seth Pollack
Joseph Quinn
Drue Porter
Byron Paterson
Joachim Raber
Ray Jackson
Jeff Frey
Kenny Mikey
Lisa Hart
John Denkler
Steve Hankel
Miguel Quinones
Alejandro Avilés-Reyes
Keith Spangler
Greg Towner
Dan Gebhart
Jody Dzuranin
Lucas Barwick
Michael Baker
Brian Bechtol
Reinhart Bigl
Greg Middlemis
Connie Moore
William Gothmann
Brian Benton
Joan Churchill
Mike Bender
Rick Weinberg
Billy Crafton
Gary Matushak
Greg L’Etoile-Lopes
James Sloan
Jonathan Dillard
John Funk
Tom Bilcze
Ronald Piroli
Dave Roll
Brian Hafner
Misha LeBlanc
Ari Messinger
David Gratke
Todd Groesbeck
Wally Estrella
Sue Reinert
John Leko
Stephen Granata
Phillip Mueller
Robert Lackey
Dominic Carol
Jacqi McCulloch
John Hickman
Carl Presseault
David Neves
Patty Louise
Terry Fitzgerald
Peter Steinmetz
Timothy Fitzpatrick
Michael Liszewski
Hank O’Donnell
David Zanoni

Music

You’ve been hearing about Jason Kent and his music for many fine episodes. Sunfields is back in the studio AND Jason’s first solo album is now streaming on Spotify, including America, the Pedalshift theme. Go listen!

The post The Pedalshift Project 221: Filling in the Blanks C&O Tour – Part 1 appeared first on Pedalshift.

Best of Pedalshift 115: Women Who Dare with Kerry Gross

Kerry Gross wanted more stories of inspiring women. So, she decided to ride her bike from California to Maine in search of women who inspire others. Now she brings those stories to us via the Women Who Dare podcast, the story of Kerry’s 5,700-mile bike ride and the interviews with these remarkable women. Originally podcast April 26, 2018.

Best of Pedalshift 115: Women Who Dare

The post Best of Pedalshift 115: Women Who Dare with Kerry Gross appeared first on Pedalshift.

Election Series Part 1: Pre-Election Advocacy 

On this episode, we discuss the unprecedented election-year challenges we face and the ways all nonprofits can help ensure a safe election. As trusted messengers, nonprofits can explain voting options and deadlines; encourage absentee voting and a new generation of poll workers; conduct election protection programs; support and join litigation and even facilitate voting and promote increased voter turnout. 

This is the first of a three-part series. Part 2 on Election Day(s) Advocacy. Part 3 on Post-Election Advocacy. 

Our attorneys for this episode    

Leslie Barnes  

Tim Mooney  

Quyen Tu  

 

Shownotes 

  • Election-year challenges 
  • Dangers for in-person voting 
  • Massive poll worker shortage 
  • Monumental increase in voting by mail 
  • Predictions for contested elections/delayed results 
  • Defunding the United States Postal Service 
  • Interference in the election by foreign and domestic actors 
  • Reminder – 501(c)(3) organizations must remain nonpartisan  
  • When We All Vote Video – Voter Registration Drives 
  • https://youtu.be/XNt-9v3HY30s 
  • Created by a c3, When We all Vote 
  • Shared by a c3, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund 
  • Nonpartisan – no support or opposition for any candidate for elected office 
  • Explains how schools can create and promote a voter registration drive  
  • Explains how volunteers can share news of newly registered voters on social media 
  • Safe for community foundations and c4s too! 
  • Special rules exist for private foundations  
  • Can’t buy votes. Don’t exchange anything of value for someone completing a voter registration form or voting. 
  • Can spend money to facilitate voting – Examples  
  • Must also follow state law regarding voter registration and drives 
  • IRS permits targeting voter outreach for nonpartisan reasons  
  • Fair Fight Action Video – Vote By Mail/Voter Education 
  • Encourages Georgians to vote by mail to shorten lines for those who must vote in person and reduce risk for all 
  •  
  • Fair Fight Action is a 501(c)(4) and could engage in partisan activity as secondary activity 
  • This video is a nonpartisan example of voter outreach/education – primary activity 
  • Safe for c3s to share as well! 

 

  • Houston Justice Coalition Post 
  • Safe for c3s and c4s to share government messages 
  • Nonprofits can volunteer their space for voting/polling centers 
  • Best practices for 501(c)(3)s 
  • Nothing can support or oppose candidates 
  • Avoid mixing issue advocacy with voter registration/GOTV/voter education 
  • No candidate pledges 
  • Any interaction with candidates? Offer the same info to others running 
  • Best practices for 501(c)(4)s 
  • Can support or oppose candidates – track efforts – secondary activity 
  • Be aware of state laws 
  • Don’t coordinate efforts with federal (and usually) state candidates 
  • Report independent efforts under campaign finance laws 

 

Resources 

Bolder Advocacy Election Activities Page 

Want to Conduct or Fund a Voter Registration Drive 

Election Protection Efforts Factsheet  

Election Year Activities for 501(c)(4)s 

How 501(c)(4)s Can Hold Elected Officials Accountable  

Partisan Electoral Activity: What is it and What Can You Do? 

 

Non Bolder Advocacy resources 

Guide on how to do a school or community voter registration drive: https://www.headcount.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Booklet_Final-1.pdf 

For college student looking for information on voting? Check: https://andrewgoodman.org/myvoteeverywhere/ 

 

 

Convening and Commenting on Debates

With national attention on the Presidential and Vice-Presidential debates, it’s a good time to cover the rules for how nonprofits can convene and comment on debates. 

 Our attorneys for this episode 

Tim Mooney 

Jen Powis 

Quyen Tu 

 

Shownotes 

 Public charity 501(c)(3)s can educate candidates and voters. 

  • Many debates are run by 501(c)(3)s. 
  • Example: Commission on Presidential Debates is a 501(c)(3) public charity 
  • Remember 501(c)(3)s cannot support or oppose candidates. 

 

  • Nonprofits can host debates as an opportunity to educate voters 
  • Candidate education 
  • Host a debate with a coalition 
  • Example from The Coalition for Environment, Equity & Resilience (CEER), a program of Healthy Gulf (c3) & BakerRipley (c3) in Houston 

 

  • Invite all viable candidates (what is viable) 
  • Prepare questions prior, and ensure an adequate moderator 
  • No candidate pledges 
  • Nonprofits can respond to things said in debates 
  • Fact checking is ok, but not support/opposition to candidates 
  • Be consistent in your language. 
  • Example: Sierra Club, c4? 

 

  • Consistency and a track record are key. 
  • Best practices: 
  • Think through why responding now helps its advocacy program, 
  • Determine who is permitted to “speak on behalf of the organization,” 
  • Focus on what is said (the issue) and not the candidates themselves, and 
  • Ensure that the facts provided meet the above objectives. 
  • Example: Southern Poverty Law Center (c3) responding to President Trump’s comment about the “Proud Boys” 

 

Resources 

Hosting Candidate Debates: Public Charities Can Educate the Community Through Candidate Debates 

Commenting on Candidates and Campaigns: How 501(c)(3)s Can Respond During an Election Year 

Responding During Election Season and Debates 

Sample 501(c)(3) Organizational Policy for Election Season 

The Pedalshift Project 220: Stealth Camp Scouting on the Delmarva Peninsula

A few weeks ago I set out to do some on-the-bike stealth camp scouting for a future tour of the Delmarva Peninsula. Is the eastern shore a good bet for some sneaky no-impact camping?


Pedalshift Project 220 Stealth Camp Scouting on the Delmarva Peninsula

Hey it’s the direct download link for  The Pedalshift Project 220: Stealth Camp Scouting on the Delmarva Peninsula (mp3).

Subscribe/Follow The Pedalshift Project:
RSSiTunes – Overcast – Android – Google Podcasts – StitcherTuneIn – IHeartRadio – Spotify

Reach out to the show via email, Twitter and Instagram. Don’t forget to join the newsletter too.

Have some bike touring or overnight stories to share? Send your pics, audio or a quick tweet – all welcome. Email the show at pedalshift@pedalshift.net or call the lightly-used Pedalshift voicemail line at (202) 930-1109

Image credit: rebelwithoutacar.com

Upcoming Bikey Events

Follow the Underground Railroad Ride… I’m in touch with the folks behind it and trying to get them on the show, but they are just about ready to roll so we might be checking in down the line. Do follow them on instagram for this ride of activism, adventure, protest, resistance and hope… We load a lot of things into that hope bucket for Black Americans these days, but one of those things for me is to see more representation in adventure cycling so I want to make sure you all are aware of this.
 

Scouting The Delmarva Peninsula

  • plenty of opportunities, not all of them great
  • further north may have more limited opportunity as a lot of the wooded areas are cleared for ag use
  • May be a good option for a mixed paid/stealth tour
  • Spring or fall would be best… lots of traffic and humidity in summer

As always we like to close out the show with a special shoutout to the Pedalshift Society! Because of support from listeners like you, Pedalshift is a weekly bicycle touring podcast with a global community, expanding into live shows and covering new tours like this spring’s DC to Cincinnatti bike tour! If you like what you hear, you can support the show for 5 bucks, 2 bucks or even a buck a month. And there’s one-shot and annual options if you’re not into the small monthly thing. Check it all out at pedalshift.net/society.

Kimberly Wilson
Caleb Jenkinson
Cameron Lien
Andrew MacGregor
Michael Hart
Keith Nagel
Brock Dittus
Thomas Skadow
Marco Lo
Terrance Manson
Harry Telgadas
Chris Barron
Mark Van Raam
Brad Hipwell
Stuart Buchan
Mr. T
Nathan Poulton
Stephen Dickerson
Vince LoGreco
Cody Floerchinger
Tom Benenati
Greg Braithwaite
Sandy Pizzio
Jeff Muster
Seth Pollack
Joseph Quinn
Drue Porter
Byron Paterson
Joachim Raber
Ray Jackson
Jeff Frey
Kenny Mikey
Lisa Hart
John Denkler
Steve Hankel
Miguel Quinones
Alejandro Avilés-Reyes
Keith Spangler
Greg Towner
Dan Gebhart
Jody Dzuranin
Lucas Barwick
Michael Baker
Brian Bechtol
Reinhart Bigl
Greg Middlemis
Connie Moore
William Gothmann
Brian Benton
Joan Churchill
Mike Bender
Rick Weinberg
Billy Crafton
Gary Matushak
Greg L’Etoile-Lopes
James Sloan
Jonathan Dillard
John Funk
Tom Bilcze
Ronald Piroli
Dave Roll
Brian Hafner
Misha LeBlanc
Ari Messinger
David Gratke
Todd Groesbeck
Wally Estrella
Sue Reinert
John Leko
Stephen Granata
Phillip Mueller
Robert Lackey
Dominic Carol
Jacqi McCulloch
John Hickman
Carl Presseault
David Neves
Patty Louise
Terry Fitzgerald
Peter Steinmetz
Timothy Fitzpatrick
Michael Liszewski
Hank O’Donnell

Music

You’ve been hearing about Jason Kent and his music for many fine episodes. Sunfields is back in the studio AND Jason’s first solo album is now streaming on Spotify, including America, the Pedalshift theme. Go listen!

The post The Pedalshift Project 220: Stealth Camp Scouting on the Delmarva Peninsula appeared first on Pedalshift.

Praising or Criticizing Elected Officials on the Ballot

Can 501(c)(3)s use social media to praise or criticize the policy actions of elected officials during an election year? It depends! Tim, Leslie and Quyen break down two examples of nonprofits that show you can safely and legally criticize elected officials even if they are up for re-election.

 

Our attorneys for this episode

Tim Mooney

Leslie Barnes

Quyen Tu

 

Shownotes

  • 501(c)(3)s cannot support or oppose candidates for public office – see ROTG episode 1. But they can criticize or support the policy actions of incumbents, so long as it doesn’t appear as a proxy for a stance on the re-election of that official.
  • Example 1 – Ali Noorani is President & Chief Executive Officer of the National Immigration Forum, a 501(c)(3) advocacy organization to promote the value of immigrants and immigration. Ali is responding to President Trump’s Executive Order banning certain types of visas. 
    • Green light – this does not pose a risk
    • Criticism is focused on the actions, not theindividual 
    • Track record of criticism prior to the lections
    • Timing is well before the election
    • Trigger is a non-election event (the EO)
  • Example 2 – Marisa Ordoniais a Senior Associate Attorney at Earthjustice’s regional office in Seattle. In this clip, Marissa speaks about a case against the Trump administration. 
    • Green light – this does not pose a risk
    • Track record: 115 cases against the administration
    • No references to voters or election
    • Timing is well before the election
    • Non-electoral trigger

 

Resources

The Pedalshift Project 219: Rebel Without a Car

A chat with Mary McGowan is the Rebel Without a Car. She’s a Delaware native now in South Carolina who went from a car-free bike commuter to bike tourist and has discovered a ton of adventure along the way.


The Pedalshift Project 219: Rebel Without a Car

Hey it’s the direct download link for  The Pedalshift Project 219: Rebel Without a Car (mp3).

Subscribe/Follow The Pedalshift Project:
RSSiTunes – Overcast – Android – Google Podcasts – StitcherTuneIn – IHeartRadio – Spotify

Reach out to the show via email, Twitter and Instagram. Don’t forget to join the newsletter too.

Have some bike touring or overnight stories to share? Send your pics, audio or a quick tweet – all welcome. Email the show at pedalshift@pedalshift.net or call the lightly-used Pedalshift voicemail line at (202) 930-1109

Image credit: rebelwithoutacar.com

Upcoming Bikey Events

Follow the Underground Railroad Ride… I’m in touch with the folks behind it and trying to get them on the show, but they are just about ready to roll so we might be checking in down the line. Do follow them on instagram for this ride of activism, adventure, protest, resistance and hope… We load a lot of things into that hope bucket for Black Americans these days, but one of those things for me is to see more representation in adventure cycling so I want to make sure you all are aware of this.
 

The Interview

 
Mary McGowan is the Rebel Without a Car. She’s a Delaware native now in South Carolina who went from bike commuter to bike tourist and has discovered a ton of adventure along the way. 
 
Quick sidebar… our audio gets a little garbled here and there but it’s a really fun conversation so stick with it and you’ll be rewarded like one of those long climbs that pay off with a view at the end. Check Mary out on Insta too.
 
You’re the Rebel Without a Car, which speaks to so many of us (even those of us who sheepishly have access to a vehicle). Do you feel like the Rebel Alliance is making some inroads on the Empire car culture?
 
What got you started in bike touring?
 
You’ve done some pretty great tours I’m jealous of. What was your favorite part about touring in Canada and is poutine in the top 5?
 
Your ACA North Lakes tour looked really interesting – my family on my mom’s side is from Michigan but despite that I never got to the Upper Peninsula yet. What’s it like cycling amongst the Yoopers?
 
Your most recent ride was up in Vermont, featuring our 2020 sidekick COVID. How did COVID impact your ride?

As always we like to close out the show with a special shoutout to the Pedalshift Society! Because of support from listeners like you, Pedalshift is a weekly bicycle touring podcast with a global community, expanding into live shows and covering new tours like this spring’s DC to Cincinnatti bike tour! If you like what you hear, you can support the show for 5 bucks, 2 bucks or even a buck a month. And there’s one-shot and annual options if you’re not into the small monthly thing. Check it all out at pedalshift.net/society.

Kimberly Wilson
Caleb Jenkinson
Cameron Lien
Andrew MacGregor
Michael Hart
Keith Nagel
Brock Dittus
Thomas Skadow
Marco Lo
Terrance Manson
Harry Telgadas
Chris Barron
Mark Van Raam
Brad Hipwell
Stuart Buchan
Mr. T
Nathan Poulton
Stephen Dickerson
Vince LoGreco
Cody Floerchinger
Tom Benenati
Greg Braithwaite
Sandy Pizzio
Jeff Muster
Seth Pollack
Joseph Quinn
Drue Porter
Byron Paterson
Joachim Raber
Ray Jackson
Jeff Frey
Kenny Mikey
Lisa Hart
John Denkler
Steve Hankel
Miguel Quinones
Alejandro Avilés-Reyes
Keith Spangler
Greg Towner
Dan Gebhart
Jody Dzuranin
Lucas Barwick
Michael Baker
Brian Bechtol
Reinhart Bigl
Greg Middlemis
Connie Moore
William Gothmann
Brian Benton
Joan Churchill
Mike Bender
Rick Weinberg
Billy Crafton
Gary Matushak
Greg L’Etoile-Lopes
James Sloan
Jonathan Dillard
John Funk
Tom Bilcze
Ronald Piroli
Dave Roll
Brian Hafner
Misha LeBlanc
Ari Messinger
David Gratke
Todd Groesbeck
Wally Estrella
Sue Reinert
John Leko
Stephen Granata
Phillip Mueller
Robert Lackey
Dominic Carol
Jacqi McCulloch
John Hickman
Carl Presseault
David Neves
Patty Louise
Terry Fitzgerald
Peter Steinmetz
Timothy Fitzpatrick
Michael Liszewski
Hank O’Donnell

Music

You’ve been hearing about Jason Kent and his music for many fine episodes. Sunfields is back in the studio AND Jason’s first solo album is now streaming on Spotify, including America, the Pedalshift theme. Go listen!

The post The Pedalshift Project 219: Rebel Without a Car appeared first on Pedalshift.

Advocating on Judicial Nominations

We are deeply saddened by the loss of one of the greatest jurists of our lifetime. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a champion for a just and free society, as an advocate, an attorney and a Supreme Court Justice. She is irreplaceable, but someone will be nominated to take her seat on the Court.

For over 4 decades, Alliance for Justice has been a leader on Supreme Court nominations, galvanizing a large and diverse coalition of progressive advocates. Now we are faced with the biggest fight yet. If you and your nonprofit care about the cause of equal justice, and the future of our country—now is the time. Not only can your nonprofit take a stand. It must.

Read Alliance for Justice’s full statement on the passing of Justice Ginsburg.

On this episode we’re covering what your nonprofit can do to advocate on Supreme Court or other judicial nominations. 

 

Our attorneys for this episode

Tim Mooney

Leslie Barnes

Quyen Tu

 

Shownotes

Work supporting or opposing a judicial nomination like the Supreme Court counts as lobbying.

For 501(c)(3) public charities, it’s legal to lobby but tax law limits how much you can do.

There are two ways for (c)(3)s to measure their lobbying limits. If you’re going to be active in this area of judicial nominations, you should make the 501(h) election, which we’ll cover in more detail in a future episode.

The benefits of making the 501(h) election:

  • Clear dollar based lobbying limits
  • Clear definitions of lobbying.
  • It’s retroactive to the beginning of your tax year
  • Although there is a limit, the consequence of going over the limit is an excise tax and going over in one year doesn’t jeopardize your exempt tax status.

Other 501(c)s can lobby an unlimited amount, but they can also tie their issue advocacy to electoral outcomes. For example, they can tie judicial nomination advocacy to their candidate endorsements.

 

Pre-nomination advocacy

Trying to influence the President on specific nominees is lobbying

Speaking to Senators before the nomination – unlikely to be lobbying.

Talking about the process — for instance waiting until after the election to proceed with filling the vacancy — probably not lobbying activity before or after a nomination.

 

Post-nomination advocacy

Direct lobbying – Senators and sometimes the President

Grassroots lobbying – the general public, when there’s a call to action

 

How does the election factor in?

For 501(c)(3)s that focus on the nomination itself, it is safe lobbying territory.

501(c)(3)s should not stray from the nomination process and tie their advocacy into whether the President or Senators should be reelected. That gets into partisan territory.

Listen to the first episode of Rules of the Game more on advocating in an election season.

 

Best Practices

Do’s

  • Talk about the importance of the Supreme Court and the lower courts in protecting people’s rights. Do talk about RBG’s legacy and her decisions. Do talk about the 5-4 votes and how the balance could be tipped.
  • Talk about any nominee’s record on the issues, with a particular focus on the potential impact on issues on which the organization has a record of working and speaking
  • Talk about the nominee’s experience (or lack thereof).
  • Tie a Senator’s public position on the issues to the nominee’s known record, or President’s statement on qualities he wants in nominees.
  • Engage in grassroots mobilization. If your efforts include a call to action, for example, “Tell your Senator to Vote No,” track activities as grassroots lobbying. If advocacy concerns the process, that will generally not be counted as lobbying. For example, “No vote until after inauguration day,” or “A lame duck Senate should not be voting on a lifetime Supreme Court seat,” will likely not count as lobbying.
  • Fund this work if you are a private foundation

 

Activities for 501(c)(3)s to avoid

  • Don’t say a Senator should be defeated or re-elected because of their actions on this vacancy.
  • Don’t praise or criticize statements of the people who are running against sitting Senators or the President on the nomination.
  • Don’t share social media posts from candidate accounts—check before you tweet. Sitting Senators will have a campaign account and an account for their Senate role—check to ensure you are sharing from a non-campaign account. Be careful with c4 and PAC accounts—many will be posting content a c3 should not share.

 

Resources

Bolder Advocacy’s TA hotline: 866-NP-LOBBY

Email us at Advocacy@afj.org 

Our website is bolderadvocacy.org  

Resources on judicial nominations, including the process and the potential Supreme Court nominees

501(h) Factsheet

Foundation Support for Public Charities that Influence Judicial and Executive Branch Confirmation Votes