Post-Primary Work Ahead for Nonprofits
OpEd by Marnie Taylor, President and CEO
July 5, 2018
Tuesday’s primaries had excellent voter turnout, helped greatly by the number of nonprofits who helped promote voter registration and participation. I want to personally thank you for exercising our most important civic duty. I also encourage you to keep up that momentum, as Oklahoma will see a number of run-off elections on Aug. 28. The deadline for registration for the runoff is Aug. 3. Don’t be left out.
We have a lot of work to do in the next few months. Most importantly, let staff, board and constituents know dates for the upcoming elections along with registration deadlines. Additionally, continue getting out the vote by helping people register. While we are at it, this is an especially good time to start learning about where the candidates stand on issues of policy that affect our sector and each of our various sub-sectors. While nonprofits don’t endorse candidates, we should be educating the public about the issues closest to us.
Now is also an important time to meet with incumbents and candidates for office. Introduce yourselves and your missions. Let them know why you are such a critical program in your community. Find out their positions on your issues. Remember, we are their constituents and they need to hear from us.
Last week, I attended a policy discussion with a number of nonprofits and philanthropists. I told everyone in that room that we are all lobbyists. We have voices, and we can give voice to those without. During the election season, it is imperative we let our voices be heard with the candidates and our policy makers.
Of course, I would be remiss to not mention the passage of state question 788 on medical marijuana. This will have effects in our state, our communities and our nonprofits. I sit on the board of directors for the National Council of Nonprofits, and one state association in particular, Colorado, has tackled that issue and produced a number of good articles about how legal cannabis will affect the sector. We’ll be sharing those in the coming weeks, once we have more direction from the State Department of Health.
August 28 and November 6 are just around the corner. Let’s make sure as a sector we continue the drive to get out the vote and educate ourselves and our supporters about the issues that affect us most.