#DANCE2VOTE CAMPAIGN - NOVEMBER 2020 ELECTIONS
Dance/USA, as a nonpartisan organization, remains focused and committed to ensuring that its members, the dance community, and the arts sector overall, not only survives the current pandemic, but thrives beyond the pandemic to continue to provide highly-valued performances, educational events, and cultural programs. Dance/USA champions an inclusive and equitable dance field by leading, convening, advocating, and supporting individuals and organizations. The November 2020 elections at all levels are consequential elections – like all elections – for the future viability of the dance industry and the arts sector. It is essential for all dance artists and dance professionals to do their civic responsibility as American citizens and ambassadors of the arts sector to vote to protect the arts. The intent of this election toolkit and this get-out-to-vote campaign - #Dance2Vote - is to ensure dance artists, dance professionals, supporters of the arts, and the general public have accurate information about voting during the November 3, 2020 elections and know the relevant issues impacting the dance industry and the arts sector. Click on the following link to access Dance/USA's November 2020 Elections Toolkit as a document. The elections toolkit is also laid out below for review and action by voters.
UPDATE: Below are #Dance2Vote Campaign logos to share.
NOVEMBER 2020 ELECTIONS TOOLKIT - QUICK LINKS
What a 501(c)3 Organization Cannot Do
It is important to note the Internal Revenue Code that governs section 501(c)(3) organizations concerning elections. Under the Internal Revenue Code, such organizations are “absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. Any contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity.” In other words, 501(c)3 organizations cannot ask people to vote for specific candidates and they cannot donate funds to political candidates or political campaigns.
What a 501(c)3 Organization Can Do
However, 501(c)3 organizations can encourage people to participate in the election process, including voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives, in a non-partisan way and without bias towards a certain candidate(s) or political party. 501(c)3 organizations can contact candidates and parties in an election, both to seek their views on issues and to communicate the organization’s views. 501(c)3 organizations CAN also take public positions on local referenda, ballot initiatives, propositions, tax levies, etc., if they do not cross the line into party or candidate endorsement.
What Individuals Can Do
Individuals within 501(c)3organizations CAN get involved in elections, as American citizens, as much as they want. However, individuals are not allowed to associate themselves with their organization in any way in their political activities.
Click HERE for further information concerning allowable and prohibited activities during elections under the Internal Revenue Code that governs 501(c)(3) organizations. Click HERE for further information concerning lobbying activities under the Internal Revenue Code that governs 501(c)(3) organizations.
COVID19 ELECTION INFORMATION AND RESOURCES
It is important for voters to be safe if they decide to vote in person or deliver their ballots in person to their respective polling places. Please social distance (at least 6 feet), wear personal protective equipment, including masks and gloves, and wash your hands or use sanitizer immediately after voting to protect against the virus. Please note that states and local governments may have additional health and safety protocols for the November 2020 elections. Please check your state and local election office websites for further information.
The Centers for Disease Control issued guidance for election polling locations and for voters to consider if they will be heading to their polling places in person.
Additional federal COVID19 resources and information can be found at the U.S. Election Assistance Commission website.
Dance/USA encourages all who are supportive of the arts to vote, vote early, and to spread the word throughout the arts sector and in their local communities to vote to support the arts that strengthen schools, students, families, local communities, and the nation.
*** VOTER REGISTRATION DEADLINES
Every American citizen should be registered to vote as this is a civic responsibility. Below are the voter registration deadlines for voting in the federal election for each of the 50 states, Washington, DC and the U.S. territories. Click on the state to find out how to register and/or register with your secretary of state. State election websites also provide polling place locators and voter ID requirements (i.e. current driver’s license or state-issued ID).
Alabama – October 19, 2020
Alaska – October 19, 2020
Arizona – October 19, 2020
Arkansas – October 5, 2020
California – October 19, 2020
Colorado – November 3, 2020
Connecticut – October 27, 2020
District of Columbia – October 13, 2020
Delaware – October 10, 2020
Florida – October 5, 2020
Georgia – October 5, 2020
Hawaii – October 5, 2020
Idaho - October 6, 2020
Illinois - October 6, 2020
Indiana - October 5, 2020
Iowa - October 24, 2020
Kansas - October 13, 2020
Kentucky - October 5, 2020
Louisiana - October 5, 2020
Maine - October 13, 2020
Maryland - October 13, 2020
Massachusetts - October 24, 2020
Michigan - October 19, 2020
Minnesota - October 13, 2020
Mississippi - October 5, 2020
Missouri - October 7, 2020
Montana - October 5, 2020
Nebraska - October 16, 2020
Nevada - October 6, 2020
New Hampshire – November 3, 2020
New Jersey - October 13, 2020
New Mexico - October 6, 2020
New York - October 9, 2020
North Carolina - October 9, 2020
Ohio - October 5, 2020
Oklahoma - October 9, 2020
Oregon - October 13, 2020
Pennsylvania – October 19, 2020
Rhode Island – October 4, 2020
South Carolina – October 2, 2020
South Dakota – October 19, 2020
Tennessee – October 5, 2020
Texas - October 5, 2020
Utah – October 23, 2020
Vermont – November 3, 2020
Virginia - October 13, 2020
Washington – October 26, 2020
West Virginia - October 13, 2020
Wisconsin - October 14, 2020
Wyoming - October 19, 2020
American Samoa – October 5, 2020
Guam – October 23, 2020
Northern Marianas Islands – September 4, 2020
Puerto Rico – September 15, 2020
U.S Virgin Islands – October 23, 2020
*** Most of the Information is compiled from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), an independent, bipartisan commission established by the Help America Vote Act of 2002, that serves to be a national clearinghouse of information on election administration.
ABSENTEE VOTING/VOTE BY MAIL REQUEST INFORMATION
Due to the current pandemic, all states have established and implemented processes for their residents to request and mail in their voting ballots for the November 2020 elections either through absentee voting (AV) or by vote by mail (VBM). Please note the deadlines to submit AV or VBM applications in order to receive a mail-in ballot by mail below. Click on the link for your state to get specific instructions and guidance. Please note that the deadline to apply via mail for AV or VBM ballots may be different than the deadline to apply via in-person and/or online for your state. Moreover, Dance/USA encourages its voters to request and mail in their ballots as soon as possible to ensure they are received by the local election office in a timely manner and by November 3, if not earlier.
Alabama – AV - 5th calendar day prior to election day
Alaska – AV - 10 days prior to election day
Arizona – VBM - 10 days prior to election day
Arkansas – AV - 7 days prior to election day
California – VBM – Ballots will automatically be sent to all registered voters
Colorado – VBM – Ballots will automatically be sent to all registered voters; any address changes – 8 days prior to election day
Connecticut – AV - 7 days prior to election day
District of Columbia – VBM – Ballots will automatically be sent to all registered voters
Delaware – VBM - 4 days prior to election day
Florida – VBM - 10 days prior to election day
Georgia – AB - 4 days prior to election day
Hawaii – VBM – Ballots will automatically be sent to all registered voters
Idaho – AV – 11 days prior to election day
Illinois – VBM - October 6, 2020
Indiana – AV - October 22, 2020
Iowa – AV – 10 days prior to election day
Kansas – VBM - October 27, 2020
Kentucky – AV - October 9, 2020
Louisiana – AV - 4 days prior to election day
Maine – AV - October 29, 2020
Maryland – VBM October 20, 2020
Massachusetts – VBM - October 20, 2020
Michigan – AV - Friday before election day
Minnesota – VBM - before election day
Mississippi – AV - before election day
Missouri – VBM – 2nd Wed. prior to election day
Montana – AV - day before election day
Nebraska – AV - October 23, 2020
Nevada – AV - 14TH calendar day prior to election day
New Hampshire – AV – 7 days prior to election
New Jersey – VBM - 7 days prior to the election day
New Mexico – AV - October 20, 2020
New York – AV – 7 days prior to election day
North Carolina – AV - October 27, 2020
North Dakota –AV – 7 days prior to election day
Ohio – AV - 3 days prior to election day
Oklahoma – AV - 6 days prior to election day
Oregon – VBM – Ballots will automatically be sent to all registered voters; address change at least 5 days before Election Day
Pennsylvania – VBM – October 27, 2020
Rhode Island – VBM - October 13, 2020
South Carolina – AV – 4th day prior to election day
South Dakota – AV – Will automatically send AV applications to all registered voters
Tennessee – AV - October 27, 2020
Texas – VBM – 11th day prior to election day
Utah – VBM – Ballots will automatically be sent to all registered voters
Vermont – AV – 1 day prior to election day
Virginia – AV - 11th day prior to election day
Washington – Ballots will automatically be sent to all registered voters
West Virginia – AV - 6th day prior to election day
Wisconsin – AV - October 29, 2020
Wyoming – Before election day
American Samoa – AV – Before election day
Guam – AV - October 30, 2020
Northern Marianas Islands – AV - Before election day
Puerto Rico – AV - September 19, 2020
U.S Virgin Islands – AV - Before election day
*** EARLY IN-PERSON VOTING DATES
Please find below the dates for states when their residents are able to start voting early in-person. Dance/USA encourages voters to adhere to all federal, state, and local health and safety guidelines for dealing with the current pandemic, including wearing masks, social distancing, and washing hands after submitting their ballots at their voting precincts.
Alabama – none
Alaska - October 19, 2020
Arizona - October 8, 2020
Arkansas – October 19, 2020
California – October 5, 2020
Colorado – October 19, 2020
Connecticut - none
District of Columbia – Oct. 28 – Nov. 3, 2020
Delaware – none
Florida – October 24, 2020
Georgia - October 12, 2020
Hawaii - October 24, 2020
Idaho - October 19, 2020
Illinois – September 24 - October 19, 2020
Indiana – October 6 – November 2, 2020
Iowa - October 5 – November 2, 2020
Kansas - October 14, 2020
Kentucky - October 13, 2020
Louisiana - October 20-27, 2020
Maine - October 4-29, 2020
Maryland - October 26 – November 2, 2020
Massachusetts - October 17-30, 2020
Michigan - none
Minnesota – September 18, 2020
Mississippi - none
Missouri - none
Montana - October 4, 2020
Nebraska - October 5, 2020
Nevada - October 17-30, 2020
New Hampshire – none
New Jersey – September 19, 2020
New Mexico - October 17-31, 2020
New York - October 24 – November 3, 2020
North Carolina - October 15-31, 2020
North Dakota – October 19, 2020
Ohio - October 6 – November 2, 2020
Oklahoma - October 29, 2020
Oregon - none
Pennsylvania - none
Rhode Island – October 14, 2020
South Carolina – none
South Dakota – September 18, 2020
Tennessee – October 14-29, 2020
Texas - October 13, 2020
Utah – October 20, 2020
Vermont – September 19, 2020
Virginia – September 18, 2020
Washington – October 26, 2020
West Virginia - October 21-31, 2020
Wisconsin - October 20, 2020
Wyoming – September 18, 2020
*** Information compiled from When and How to Vote in all 50 States, Axios article (August 13)
ENGAGING CANDIDATES ON THE ISSUES
Besides voting and voting early, dance artists, dance professionals, and all who are supportive of the arts should engage candidates from all the political parties about various issues impacting the arts. There will be numerous opportunities this fall to engage in a variety of ways, including, but not limited to, candidate forums, debates, social media chats, and town halls. Nonprofit VOTE has great information about effectively engaging political candidates. Below are a listing of major issues impacting the dance community and the arts sector.
Candidates from all political candidates need to know how the pandemic has impacted your organization, individual artists, and the arts sector. It is important that they know how you, your organization, and the arts sector can be supported during the pandemic and beyond to thrive as the arts sector is a unique and major contributor to the state and local economy. Most state arts councils have economic data that you can share with political candidates about the arts sector’s economic contributions beyond the cultural and creative contributions.
Key Policy Issues
OTHER IMPORTANT RESOURCES
Below are additional resources to inform voters during the November 2020 elections at all levels. Please note that Dance/USA is a nonpartisan organization and does not endorse or oppose any political candidates or political parties. Please let Dance/USA know if there any additional resources that should be listed to ensure all who are supportive of the arts have the most accurate information heading into the November 2020 elections. Please contact Tony Shivers, Director of Government Affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org with any further resources or information.
Voter Resource Information
BallotReady– To find out what is on your ballot.
Can I Vote – An initiative developed by the National Association of Secretaries of State.
Polling Place Locator – Developed by Vote.org
Get to the Polls Initiative by Uber, the ride-sharing company
Language Access – U.S. Election Assistance Commission
National Disability Voter Registration Week – July 13-17, 2020 – American Association of People with Disabilities
Protecting the Rights of Voters with Disabilities – Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice
Ride to the Polls – Initiative by Lyft, the ride-sharing company
Sign Vote 2020 – Developed by Communication Service for the Deaf, a nonpartisan social impact organization.
Vote. It’s Your Right. – A guide to the voting rights of people with mental health disabilities produced by the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, Autistic Self Advocacy Network, National Disability Rights Network, and Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP.
Voter Resource Center – Developed by the American Association of People with Disabilities.
Voting, Accessibility, and the Law – Developed by the National Federation of the Blind.
Arts-Related Voter Engagement Resources
ArtsVote – Americans for the Arts Action Fund
Congressional Arts Handbook – Americans for the Arts
Headcount – Stages voter registration drives at concerts and runs programs that translate the power of music and culture into real action.
Other Get-Out-The-Vote Efforts
Dance the Vote – An initiative based in Missouri that uses dance, spoken word and song to raise public awareness about the importance of using your voice at the polls.
Dance the Vote – Social media challenge by National Water Dance during the week of September 21-26, 2020.
ElectionDay – An initiative by business leaders working to strengthen American democracy.
I AM A VOTER – A nonpartisan movement that aims to create a cultural shift around voting and civic engagement by unifying around a central truth: our democracy works best when we all participate.
National Voter Registration Day – September 22, 2020
Nonprofits and Elections – National Council of Nonprofits
Open Progress- A non-partisan initiative to reach voters under 30 years of age in Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and other communities of Color (BIPOC) communities.
RepresentUs– A nonpartisan election reform initiative to help voters get the information they need.
RocktheVote – A nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to building the political power of young people.
When We All Vote – A non-profit, nonpartisan organization whose mission is to increase participation in every election and close race and age voting gaps by changing the culture around voting, harnessing grassroots energy, and through strategic partnerships to reach every American.
Vote.org - The largest 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-partisan voting registration, and get out the vote (GOTV) technology platform in America.
Vote411 – Developed by the League of Women Voters Action Fund that provides voting resources and information for voters across the country. State and local affiliates host various candidate forums during the election season.
Voting and Civic Engagement – National Urban League
#VoteTogether – A nonpartisan initiative that is transforming the culture around voter participation from an isolated, unfamiliar activity to a celebratory event.
Voto Latino – A grassroots political organization focused on educating and empowering a new generation of Latinx voters, as well as creating a more robust and inclusive democracy.
Nonprofitvote.org - Provides resources to help nonprofit organizations integrate voter engagement into their ongoing activities and services.
U.S. 2020 Voting Information Center – Facebook
Election Candidate Information
Commitment to America – U.S. House Republican Policy Platform
LEVERAGING SOCIAL MEDIA AND EMAIL
Dance/USA encourages dance artists, dance professionals, and all who are supportive of the arts to vote, vote early, and spread the word to their families, colleagues, friends, and local communities. Social media and email are powerful, effective, and efficient ways to accomplish this objective. Below are sample social media posts, emails, and stickers that can be used.
Sample Social Media Posts
Below are suggested posts for Twitter, Facebook, and/or Instagram heading into the November 2020 elections and during Election Day. Once you have voted in person, submitted your vote in person, or submitted your vote by mail, please take a picture with your voting sticker or once you receive your sticker to highlight the importance of voting. Please also feel free to write your own posts. Be sure to use the hashtag #Dance2Vote so Dance/USA can track the number of impressions.
Please register to vote and vote early during the November 2020 elections. This is your civic responsibility. More info can be found at https://bit.ly/33AedKK. #Dance2Vote
Find out when you can vote early during the November 2020 elections in your state. Please do not wait until November 3 to vote. More info at https://bit.ly/33AedKK. #Dance2Vote
Need to figure out how to request and submit your absentee or mail-in ballot application? Do not wait. Request your ballot as early as possible. More info at https://bit.ly/33AedKK. #Dance2Vote
I voted during the November 2020 elections. Have you voted yet? Vote and vote early! More info at https://bit.ly/33AedKK. #Dance2Vote
Arts and culture are an important part of any local community. We need your support! First step is voting in the November 2020 elections! Vote and vote early! More info at https://bit.ly/33AedKK. #Dance2Vote
Need to find your polling place or need a ride to the polls? You can find that info in the Dance/USA election toolkit – https://bit.ly/33AedKK. #Dance2Vote
Dance/USA urges all who are supportive of the arts to vote and vote early! More info at https://bit.ly/33AedKK. #Dance2Vote
Sample General Email
Just a reminder that the November 3 elections at all levels are consequential elections for families, individuals, and the arts community. Please register to vote, vote early, and spread the word to your family members, friends, neighbors, and colleagues. Further information about voter registration, voting by mail or in-person, and being safe during the election season can be found at #Dance2Vote, which provides a variety of resources to ensure voters are informed heading into the polls.
Thank you in advance for your participation!
Sample Arts-Specific Email
Just a reminder that the November 3 elections at all levels are consequential elections for the arts. We need to ensure that the arts, arts professionals, and creative workers are supported during the pandemic and beyond as important contributors to the economy at all levels. Please register to vote, vote early, and spread the word to your family members, friends, neighbors, and colleagues. Further information about voter registration, voting by mail or in-person, and issues impacting the arts can be found at #Dance2Vote.
Thank you in advance for your participation!
Need a Voting Sticker?
For use with Avery Sticker Printer Paper
“I Work For A Nonprofit And I Vote” by Nonprofit Vote
questions or inquiries about the election toolkit, voting in the November 2020
elections, or issues impacting the arts sector, should be directed to Tony
Shivers, Director of Government Affairs at email@example.com. Please note that this webpage and the election toolkit will be updated on a regular basis with any new information as it becomes available. Updated October 7, 2020.
2020 ELECTION ANALYSIS
*** Updated December 11, 2020 at 2:00PM (EST) ***
NOVEMBER 2020 ELECTION – IMPACT ON THE DANCE COMMUNITY - QUICK LINKS
The November 3 election – like all elections at all levels of government – is consequential for the dance community as well as for the arts and nonprofit sectors as whole. It is important for all American citizens to do their civil responsibility every election cycle to register to vote and to vote. Moreover, it is important for artists and arts supporters to support candidates at all levels of government who support the arts and culture in their communities and vote for issues they are interested in that will impact their businesses, nonprofit organizations, states, local communities, and families.
This year’s election produced a record-level turnout nationally. Because of the current pandemic, most states increased their capacity for mail-in or absentee voting by their residents or implemented new procedures for mail-in or absentee voting to take place by their residents. Additionally, most states established early in-person voting to limit the amount of their residents voting on election day.
Former Vice President Joe Biden has been declared President-Elect and U.S. Senator Kamala Harris has been declared Vice President-Elect by winning the popular vote and the Electoral College (306 to 232 electoral votes) against incumbent President Donald Trump. The winner needed 270 out of 538 total electoral votes to win the Presidency. The projected outcome was based on five battleground states – Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. All states and the District of Columbia have certified their election results. Each state’s electors (nominated by local and state party conventions) for the Electoral College will meet on December 14 at their repective state capitals across the country to formally cast votes for President and Vice President. The U.S. Congress is scheduled to convene on January 6, 2021 to count the electoral votes received from the states and certify the winner of the election.
The U.S. Senate consists of 100 members. U.S. Senators serve six-year terms and every two years, one-third of the chamber is up for election. During this year’s election, 35 seats are contested. Prior to this year’s election, the Republican party held a 53-47 majority of the chamber (51 seats needed for majority).
The Republican party has 48 seats and the Democratic party has 50 seats. Two U.S. Senate races in Georgia remained uncalled. The Democratic party gained a Senate seat in Colorado and the Republican party gained a Senate seat in Alabama.
The 2 U.S. Senate races for Georgia will be decided in a runoff election on January 5, 2021, which will determine which political party controls the chamber for the two-year session of the 117th Congress (convening January 3, 2021 and adjourning January 3, 2023). Current Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (NY) will maintain their leadership roles regardless of which political party controls the chamber.
The U.S. House of Representatives consists of 435 members. U.S. Representatives serve two-year terms and every two years, the entire chamber is up for election. Prior to this year’s election, the Democratic party held a 232-197 majority of the chamber (218 seats needed for majority) with the Libertarian party holding a seat. There were also 5 seat vacancies prior to this year’s election.
Based on several various news organizations, as of 2:00PM (EST) December 11, several races remain uncalled; however, it is expected that the Democratic party will retain a slimmer majority of the chamber compared to pre-election. Current U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA) is expected to retain her leadership role for the next session of Congress. U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA) is expected to retain his role as leader of the House Republicans.
State and local elections are as important as federal elections to ensure continued support for arts and culture across the country. It is important for artists and arts supporters to be as engaged at the state and local levels as at the federal level in terms of voting and advocacy on important issues impacting the arts community.
According to the National Council of State Legislatures (NCSL), there were 5,786 state legislative seats up across the country in 44 states, representing 80 percent of the nation’s 7,383 seats and including 86 of the nation’s 99 legislative chambers. Heading into this year’s election, the Republican party controlled 3,820 state legislative seats (52 percent) compared to 3,436 seats (47 percent) by the Democratic party with 82 seats controlled by other political parties or independents. Forty-five seats were vacant pre-election. The Republican party controlled 59 of the nation’s 99 legislative chambers (60 percent) compared to 39 chambers (40 percent) by the Democratic party. The Republican party has held a majority of the state legislative chambers across the country since the 2010 election cycle. Moreover, the Republican party controlled the governorship and state legislature (both chambers) in 21 states compared to 15 by the Democratic party. In 13 states, control of the governorship and state legislature was split between the two major political parties. There were no state legislative races in four states – LA, MS, NJ, and VA – which holds elections in odd-numbered years.
As of November 11, according to the NCSL, not much has changed concerning party control of the state legislatures. So far, the Democratic party has lost control of the New Hampshire House and Senate to the Republican party.
Eleven governorships – DE, IN, MO, MT, NC, ND, NH, UT, VT, WA, WV - were up during this year’s election. As a result of this year’s election, all incumbents are expected to win another term except for Montana, which was an open seat with the Republican party candidate expected to win.
IMPACT ON THE DANCE COMMUNITY AND ARTS SECTOR
Regardless of which political party controls the White House, U.S. Senate, or the U.S. House, the top two priorities will be addressing the current pandemic and the economy. Dance/USA has been aggressively urging Congress, in partnership with its arts and nonprofit sector partners, to immediately act to provide more pandemic relief for businesses, nonprofit organizations, states, local governments, schools, families, and individuals, including individual dance artists, dance professionals, and other creative workers.
According to a March 2020 analysis by the Bureau of Economic Analysis within the U.S. Department of Commerce, the arts and culture workforce contributed $877.8 billion, or 4.5 percent, to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP). The arts and cultural sectors are an economic engine that employed, prior to the pandemic, more than 5 million workers. Unfortunately, due to the current pandemic, according to the Americans for the Arts, financial losses to nonprofit arts and cultural organizations, nationally, are an estimated $14.1 billion, to date. Ninety-six percent of non-profit and performing arts organizations have cancelled events—a loss of 478 million admissions and $15.1 billion in audience spending at local businesses (e.g., restaurants, lodging, retail, parking). The total economic impact of organizational and audience-spending losses is $4.9 billion in lost government revenue and 847,000 jobs no longer being supported. Approximately, 95 percent of artists and creative workers have lost income and 63 percent are fully unemployed.
Dance/USA’s continued message to the U.S. Congress and the White House is that investing in the creative economy and in creative workers will be important to help our nation recover economically from the current pandemic. Investing in the arts and culture will be important to help our nation recover emotionally and mentally from the current pandemic. It is crucial for dance artists, dance professionals, creative workers, and arts/culture supporters to engage their elected officials at all levels of government to emphasize those economic and creative contributions.
There are several important issues that Dance/USA continues to aggressively advocate for and will continue to do so through the end of 2020 (lame duck session) and during the next session of the U.S. Congress, including the following:
Dance/USA is also working with various partners across the arts and nonprofit sectors to ensure various policies of interest are priorities for the next Presidential administration and 117th Congress.
IMPORTANCE OF ADVOCACY
It is crucial for dance artists, dance professionals, creative workers, and arts/culture supporters to establish working relationships with their elected officials at all levels of government. Elected officials need to know what is happening in their states and local communities on a regular basis so they can make informed decisions and votes on issues and legislation being considered on Capitol Hill to support businesses, non-profit organizations, creative workers, and gig workers. Advocacy messaging should focus on the creative economy at all levels of government (i.e. economic contributions to the national, state, and local economies; current number of jobs and number of jobs lost due to the pandemic, etc.) State arts councils provide valuable economic data on the creative economy that is useful in advocacy communications.
Below are some practical strategies to be effective advocates for your businesses, nonprofit organizations, dance community, and the arts community.
· Connect on social media – Connect with your re-elected and newly-elected officials at all levels of government on social media. Most, if not all, have either a Facebook and/or Twitter account.
· Congratulate and thank them - If you have relationships with your re-elected and newly-elected officials, please immediately send them a note of congratulations, thank them for their leadership, and indicate that you will follow up to discuss specific policy priorities.
· Send an email - As soon as your re-elected and newly-elected officials receive their official email addresses, please communicate with them about your top specific issues of interest (2-3 issues) and indicate that you are available to meet with them to discuss further.
· Schedule a meeting – Schedule a meeting (virtual or in-person) with your elected officials to discuss your specific issues of interest, discuss how your business, nonprofit organization, and/or the arts community are dealing with the current pandemic, etc.
· Regularly Communicate – Continue to communicate with your elected officials on a regular basis about your specific issues of interest and how the current pandemic is impacting your business, nonprofit organization, and/or the arts community.
Dance/USA has a robust government affairs and advocacy operation to help its members with their advocacy efforts, including scheduling meetings, prepping members for their meetings, providing policy information and talking points. Various advocacy resources can be found on the Dance/USA website. Advocacy assistance and general inquires can be directed to Tony Shivers, Director of Government Affairs.
· U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account, U.S. and States 2017
· National Council of State Legislatures (NCSL), StateElections 2020
· Americans for the Arts, COVID-19’s Impact on The Arts Research Update: November 2, 2020
The Dance/USA Election 2020 Analysis can also be accessed with this word document for your review and use.