On Monday and Tuesday, June 13-14, 10 members of LSA-DN's Policy & Advocacy Team (PAT) held several meetings on Capitol Hill with key Congressional offices. PAT strategized with Karen Summar in Sen. Chuck Grassley's (R-IA) office on furthering the Transition to Independence Act to increase integrated employment for people with disabilities. We then met with David Hoppe, Chief of Staff for Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), and Ted McCann, Policy Advisor to the Speaker, on the recently released GOP Poverty Plan, its possible impact on people with disabilities, and future partnership opportunities with the network and the Speaker.
LSA Network at Work
Lutheran Services in America is pleased to welcome Natalie Goodnow to work with LSA's Member Engagement team. Natalie, who is pursuing a Master's in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, will focus on older youth and the importance of permanent adult relationships (either formal and informal) as at risk youth age out of the child welfare system.
Lutheran Services in America (LSA) expanded its partnership with the Provider Exchange® at its annual conference in Minneapolis. The Provider Exchange® expands the work begun last year to provide technical assistance to 12 LSA members by adding seven LSA members to a new cohort to identify and implement best practices for youth at risk of aging out of the child welfare system to achieve permanency, either with a permanent family (through reunification, adoption or guardianship) or through a lifelong connection to a committed, caring adult.
Lutheran Services in America, Incorporated (LSA) announces a partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that administers AmeriCorps VISTA, to participate in the Resilience AmeriCorps program. This new initiative helps communities plan and implement efforts necessary to become more resilient to extreme weather events and other impacts of climate change.
The theme of the LSA 2016 Annual Conference was "Coming Together: Building the Path, Shining the Light," and this sentiment was felt throughout the keynote speakers, the breakout sessions, the community of practice meetings, the worship and the opportunities for fellowship and friendship. We were blessed with the participation of close to 350 people, our largest gathering in three years, engaged in the work of Lutheran social ministry, called to serve and guided by our mission to lift up our communities and amplify our voices.
Do you know someone who is motivated by Christ and making a difference in lives and communities affected by poverty? Wheat Ridge, a member of the Lutheran Services in America network, is seeking submissions for the Richard E. Herman Emerging Leader Award. This award recognizes the commitment and service of a leader who is changing the systems that perpetuate poverty, whether through their professional work or as a volunteer. The focus of this award is driven by an understanding that Jesus' life, ministry and teachings involved deep engagement with and love for those on the margins of society.
Lutheran Services in America, Incorporated (LSA) has joined Grantmakers In Aging (GIA) as an associate member, aligning two national organizations dedicated to improving the lives of seniors in the U.S.
On April 2, the Institute for Leadership and Service at Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, IN, hosted its annual Bridge/Work Conference. This year's theme, "Send Money, Prayers & People" focused on the relationship between belief and action in humanitarian work. The conference also featured several connections in the Lutheran Services in America network.
On April 19, President Obama signed S. 192 into law, reauthorizing the Older Americans Act (OAA) through 2018. LSA has strongly supported S. 192 since it was introduced at the beginning of the 114th Congress. The new law, which protects core OAA programs and makes modest changes to the Act, is the culmination of over five years of legislative negotiations, bipartisan compromises, and stakeholder advocacy.
On March 21, the US House of Representatives voted to reauthorize the Older Americans Act (OAA). The legislation slightly amends the OAA reauthorization measure (S. 192) adopted by the Senate last July. The two chambers must now reconcile the discrepancies between their bills, which could be achieved by Senate endorsement of the House-passed version. As a result of ongoing bipartisan, bicameral negotiations, the Senate appears poised to do so as early as next month. LSA applauds the House’s approval of this critical legislation, and we look forward to working with the Senate to ensure the final bill is signed into law this year. Stay tuned to hear more about OAA reauthorization and LSA's position.