Public AdvocacyIn addition to field-building, GC plans on engaging in strategic policy work around specific legislation that will promote our mission and youth civic engagement. As a nonprofit organization, we are careful to ensure that we abide by all relevant laws when engaging in lobbying and policy work.
Specific policies we have pushed to date include:
New York State: Lowering the New York City Community Board participation age to 16
Each New York City district has community boards which make recommendations on local issues like zoning and public spaces. We successfully pushed for a state-bill to allow 16 and 17 year olds to serve on these community boards.
US Congress: Authorizing civics education funding in the federal government
As part of the newly passed Every Child Succeeds Act, GC successfully advocated for the authorization of funds for civics education programs. We are especially proud that members of the Rhode Island Congressional delegation, namely Congressman David Cicilline and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, led the charge for civics education funding.
Massachusetts: An Act to involve youth in civic engagement.
This bill would require the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to create “one or more model curriculum units” for civics education, which public schools would then implement. GC is helping to push this bill and has testified in hearings. The bill is still pending.