Call #1: Support AmeriCorps
The Literacy Council of Buncombe County has hosted four AmeriCorps members through the NC LiteracyCorps. These four members have:
- Contributed over 60,000 hours to the Literacy Council’s programs
- Tutored 11 ESOL, Adult Education, and Augustine Project students
- Oriented over 450 new volunteer tutors
- Updated our website (twice!)
- Managed our social media accounts
- Launched and managed Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
- Taught early literacy workshops for 75 families
We hope that anyone who appreciates this worthwhile program will contact Congress and ask them to protect the federal investment in our national service programs like AmeriCorps. This nonpartisan program means so much to our tutors, students and community. Call or contact your congressional representatives online. Click here for a resource to make it easy for you.
Call #2: Oppose the Repeal of the “Johnson Amendment”
The “Johnson Amendment,” in place since 1954, lays out the ground rules that help insulate 501(c)(3) organizations from partisan politics. The law provides that charitable nonprofits:
- can’t endorse or oppose candidates for office;
- can’t coordinate their activities with candidates, political parties, or PACs; and
- must refrain from making political campaign contributions.
“Eliminating the law would mean that individual 501(c)(3) nonprofits could come to be regarded as Democratic charities or Republican charities instead of the nonpartisan problem solvers they are,” said David Heinen from the NC Center for Nonprofits. “…this would diminish the public’s overall trust in the nonprofit sector and consequently would limit nonprofits’ effectiveness in carrying out their mission-related programs and activities. The law also ensures that donors’ charitable contributions are used for the charitable, religious, and educational purposes for which they are intended rather than being diverted to political parties or candidates.” Click here to read more from the NC Center for Nonprofits.
Please consider calling your congressional representatives and ask them to protect our nation’s nonprofits by preserving current federal tax law protections that prohibit 501(c)(3) organizations from endorsing, opposing, or contributing to political candidates.
Update 3/31/17: The Literacy Council of Buncombe County joined other nonprofits across the nation in signing on to a Community Letter in Support of Nonpartisanship. Read it by clicking here.