Focus on Advocacy
Through advocacy, we can accomplish more than through grants alone. At BCF, we define “advocacy” broadly, including not only lobbying for or against specific legislation or budget measures, but also building productive relationships with elected and appointed officials, convening stakeholders around a common purpose, leveraging our grants to secure public and private investments and informing and mobilizing our donors and other friends on issues of importance.
We advocate on issues that are aligned with our priorities in education and neighborhoods, and where BCF’s voice can make a difference. We invite you to join us.
2017 Maryland General Assembly Summary
During the 2017 Maryland General Assembly, BCF was an influential voice on issues that affect our work in neighborhoods, education and philanthropy. Here is a short summary of some of the legislation on which BCF took action:
House Bill 516 / Senate Bill 581 - BCF submitted supportive written testimony on this bill, which creates a task force to study universal prekindergarten for all Maryland children. The bill passed into law in 2017.
House Bill 562 - BCF submitted written testimony on this bill, which establishes the Baltimore City School Board Panel and provides for the purpose and composition of the panel. The bill passed into law in 2017.
Funding Baltimore City Schools - BCF took a number of actions advocating for lawmakers to fix a $130 million budget gap in the Baltimore City Schools budget. This included targeted letters to Governor Larry Hogan, an op-ed written by BCF's leaders urging the state and city to fix the budget gap and meetings with key leaders. Late in the legislative session, Governor Hogan introduced a supplemental budget that included $23 million for City Schools in accordance with a proposed joint city/state funding package of $180 million over three years.
Senate Bill 266 / House Bill 327 - BCF submitted supportive written and verbal testimony for this bill, which changes the way in which public universities award scholarships to prevent scholarship award displacement. This bill passed both houses of the assembly in 2017.
House Bill 271 / Senate Bill 484 - Repealing MTA's farebox recovery mandate. BCF joined the Central Maryland Transportation Alliance in advocating in support of this change. This legislation successfully passed and became law in 2017.
Senate Bill 641 / House Bill 1119 - Expanding the Endow Maryland tax credit from $250,000 to $1 million. BCF worked alongside many community foundations across Maryland to support this bill. It did not become law in 2017 but remains a focus of BCF's advocacy work in the future.