POLICY AND PUBLIC INTEREST
Michael Bentley 24, Jan 8 mins
8 mins
The Ritz Herald
@ Craig Richer / Staff photographer
The letter highlights the role nonprofits have played to support communities during the pandemic and the challenges they have faced as a result of the economic downturn

On January 22, 75 national nonprofits sent a letter to President Biden and congressional leadership urging them to recognize the unique role of charitable nonprofits in providing pandemic relief and economic recovery by enacting solutions tailored to the needs and realities of these organizations that are devoted to serving the public good.

The letter highlights the role nonprofits have played to support communities during the pandemic and the challenges they have faced as a result of the economic downturn – growing demand for services with declining revenue, the loss of nearly one million jobs, crippling unemployment insurance bills, and more.

The undersigned nonprofits urge Congress and the Administration to:

1. Provide Nonprofit-Specific Grants, Forgivable Loans, and Refundable Tax Credits for All Nonprofits: While some nonprofits were able to participate in some of the relief programs established in 2020, many of those programs were designed primarily for for-profit businesses and excluded too many charitable organizations that are providing essential services. Nonprofits with more than 500 employees have not been eligible for PPP or other grants or forgivable loans. Restrictions based on previous employee size and gross-receipts declines in the Paycheck Protection Program and the Employee Retention Tax Credit do not make sense in the nonprofit context. Nonprofits frequently employ large numbers of part-time employees and, unlike for-profit businesses, demand for nonprofit services and the resulting costs of operating during a pandemic have far exceeded normal levels, without a similar increase in revenues to keep pace. Indeed, nonprofits are frequently asked to provide additional services without corresponding increases in resources. Further, it is a fundamental feature of nonprofit economics that nonprofit boards are averse to taking on loans to cover…

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Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Shane Miller prepares COVID-19 vaccines at the Naval Base San Diego fitness center on Jan. 8, 2020, as part of Operation Warp Speed. © MC1 Julio Rivera / Navy
The Ritz Herald
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“The Teamsters applaud President Biden’s decision to invoke the Defense Production Act to help accelerate the production of personal protective equipment and the COVID-19 vaccine.

“As shortages arise across the country, bold and decisive action must be taken to ensure every American receives the vaccine as soon as possible. We must also prioritize PPE production so that our essential workers receive the critical gear they need on the job. Our members are proud to be doing our part to distribute the vaccine and stand ready to help end this pandemic.”

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© Courtesy of Jessica Rosenworcel
The Ritz Herald
Statement from Connected Nation Chairman & CEO Thomas W. Ferree applauding the designation of Jessica Rosenworcel as Acting Chair of the FCC

Thomas W. Ferree, Chairman & CEO of Connected Nation, released the following statement on the designation of Jessica Rosenworcel as Acting Chair of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC):

“We applaud President Biden’s designation of Jessica Rosenworcel as Acting Chair of the FCC. As a commissioner at the agency, she has been a tireless champion for the expansion of broadband access to all Americans and has been a passionate voice on behalf of the most disconnected and overlooked among us. Her advocacy for the improvement and preservation of the E-rate Program has meant, as our Connect K-12 data indicate, dramatically better connectivity for our nation’s schools over the past five years.

“Beyond that, she has been a staunch advocate for policies that will help close the ‘Homework Gap’ for students that have no access at home, as well as for the long-awaited improvement of the FCC’s broadband maps, which guide where federal dollars are invested to improve access. While there is still much work left to be done, we look forward to her leadership of the agency and to working alongside her to ensure that every American has access to fast, affordable broadband service.”

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The Ritz Herald
Pennsylvania Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine speaks during a press conference in March. © Natalie Kolb
Biden picks 1st transgender person for Senate-confirmed post
By / Newsdesk Editor

The Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) applauds President-Elect Joe Biden’s nomination of Dr. Rachel Levine as Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“Dr. Levine is a longtime public health leader and fearless advocate for health equity and the rights of transgendered individuals in the U.S.,” says Janet Hamilton, Executive Director of CSTE. “Throughout her career, Dr. Levine has led with expertise, dedication, and urgency. Her leadership and knowledge will help us meet the extraordinary challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, racial and ethnic disparities, and pursuit of health for all.”

CSTE congratulates Dr. Levine on her nomination and encourages a quick confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

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Mr. Buttigieg recognizes the important role that Federal infrastructure policy plays for local businesses and communities

On behalf of the more than 2,000 member locations of NATSO, the national association representing the truckstop and travel plaza industry, urged the U.S. Senate to quickly confirm Pete Buttigieg as the U.S. Secretary of Transportation.

NATSO looks forward to partnering with Mr. Buttigieg on the Biden Administration’s infrastructure initiatives and goals.

NATSO is encouraged that the Biden Administration considers infrastructure investment as a key driver of economic and job relief and one of its top priorities.

“NATSO is ready to work with Mr. Buttigieg on an array of transportation issues, including the need for long-term, sustainable highway funding and the need to support policies that encourage off-highway businesses and communities to thrive and evolve,” said NATSO President and CEO Lisa Mullings. “Fundamental to this effort is maintaining existing policies that prohibit commercialization of Interstate rest areas and the longstanding ban on tolling existing Interstate Highways.

“NATSO is also eager to work with Mr. Buttigieg on policies that further encourage private-sector investment in alternative fueling infrastructure, such as electric vehicle charging, to more quickly bring alternative fuels to market,” Mullings said.

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