Wednesday, February 13, 2013

San Diego JCRC Director joins Community Leaders in Washington to Advocate on Behalf of Jewish Community and Vulnerable Populations

Representatives from Jewish Federations and Jewish Family Service agencies across the country convened with government professionals and other lay leaders in Washington last week to learn strategies to advocate on a range of national issues, during the Government Affairs Institute (GAI) hosted by The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), in collaboration with the Association of Jewish Family & Children’s Agencies (AJFCA).

The conference, which ran Tuesday to Thursday (Feb. 5-7, 2013), included speakers and briefings from members of the media, leaders in academia, White House officials, and members of Congress and their staffs. Participants also met with officials of government agencies such as the Administration for Community Living in the Department of Health and Human Services. Between all the participants, there were 75 meetings on Capitol Hill. Highlights of the conference included lunch in the U.S. Capitol with members of Congress and the opportunity to meet individually with Congressional representatives and staff to discuss key issues affecting the Jewish community.

Alan Krueger
Notable speakers included: Alan Krueger, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers; Jonathan Greenblatt, Special Assistant to the President and director of the Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation at the Domestic Policy Council; Racquel Russell, Deputy Assistant to the President for Urban Affairs and Economic Mobility; and Keith Fontenot, Associate Director for Health at the Office of Management and Budget.

Community leaders advocated for domestic issues such as: reauthorizing the Older Americans Act and including social service support for Holocaust Survivors; conveying the devastating effect that sequestration would have on people in need; authorizing the Behavioral Health Information Technology Act, which would enable community mental health centers to better access electronic medical records; protecting charitable giving incentives; and the Community First Choice option, which allows Medicaid beneficiaries to receive more comprehensive services at home or in their communities, improving their heath and quality of life.


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