Displaying items by tag: election

Elections, Results, and Contentedness

Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:11-13 

by Jennifer Wright, Editor/WriterBullyBills
Heartbeat International

As election results are rolling in slowly and the votes are coming in close, I, like many of us, am on the edge of my seat. Whatever the outcome, we will experience significant impact. We know that pregnancy help, while not explicitly on the national ballot, has a vested interest in election results this year as in every year. Politics takes an interest in us, and as we’ve seen in places like California, Hawaii, and Illinois, that interest can cause a battle that can distract us from the work we do every day. It may take some time to find out how we will have to adapt for the next four years, but I have absolutely every confidence that this movement will continue to do what's needed for clients.

While we absolutely must be aware of the way politics may affect us and our work, I am reminded of Paul’s words in Philippians. “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances…”

Paul writes this letter to the Philippians from jail. That’s right, he tells the budding church in Philippi that he has “learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need” from his prison cell. If that doesn’t inspire them to live well whatever might happen, I can’t imagine what would. Of course, we know that Paul had discovered a secret and was sharing it. Christ is the reason he can live well in every circumstance.

But Paul’s words weren’t only for the Philippians. They are for us too. And this election season, I’ve really had to take them to heart.

Many have been sceptical of President Trump from the start, but the administration has undoubtably been friendly toward the pregnancy help movement. We at Heartbeat have had a couple of opportunities at Babies Go to Congress to share the stories of pregnancy center clients on a larger scale because of a friendly team in the White House. Biden and Harris on the other hand, may be particularly challenging for the pregnancy help movement. Harris in particular, has proven willing to force pregnancy centers to act against their core beliefs by providing resources for clients to access abortion. Fortunately, the Supreme Court halted that law in NIFLA v. Becerra, but our friends in California had almost 3 years of uncertainty surrounding that law and how to respond.

And yet, they continued serving. And so we will – regardless of the outcome of this election. Because we have learned in our five (plus) decades of service to live out our call whatever the circumstances just like Paul. We meet with women in crisis. We speak life into them and pray it bears fruit. We provide the love and support every mother needs to make a life-giving choice. We slowly, one heart at a time, renew our communities. And we do it in abundance or in suffering. So whether we end up with friendly or unfriendly occupants in the White House for the next four years, just like Paul, we can say “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Oh, and because we continue to share the good news of life, our clients can say the same.

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4 Myths about Voting this Election Season

We all know we should be voting, but is it really that important? After all, we’re not even picking the president this year. 

The United States has a surprisingly low turnout of voters, hovering between 55 and 60 percent in any given election. Why can’t we find it in ourselves to get out there and vote our values? Could it be that we believe one or more of these myths?

Myth #1: Midterm elections don’t matter anyway.

There’s a lot of hype for presidential elections, but for some reason, midterm elections don’t seem to matter as much. Nothing could be further from the truth. As powerful as the Presidential office is, he can—ideally—do almost nothing without the support of the Senate and the House. (We saw a government shut down just last year due to House and Senate disagreements on the federal budget.) Do you know who is running for the Senate or House positions open in your state and district? What about the Gubernatorial or Mayoral races? These matter!

Myth #2: There are no important races this year.

With all 435 voting seats in the House of Representatives and 33 of the 100 Senate seats up for a vote, no one can deny the importance of this year’s races. In addition, 36 of the 50 states are electing governors, and many U.S. cities are electing mayors. Do you know who’s running in your district? These are the people who make the decisions that keep our local, state, and national governments running. We need to make sure they are the people who are going to truly care for the people—both in the womb and out of the womb.

Myth #3: My vote doesn’t make a difference.

We’ve heard this one before. Every vote matters. Every single vote matters. Every life changes the world in an unrepeatable and irreplaceable way. And so does every vote. If we stay home on Election Day, our prolife candidates will have to stay home too! What we do and don’t do makes a difference, so let’s make it a positive one.

Myth #4: I can’t talk about political issues or encourage others to vote.

Untrue! While certain regulations may apply to what your pregnancy help organization can do, you are well within your rights as an individual citizen to encourage those within your sphere of influence to head to the polls. There is everything to gain, and nothing to lose when we encourage our staff, volunteers, partner churches and community supporters to vote their values.

Don’t believe these myths this season—vote your values instead. Generations yet to be born are counting on us!


by Jennifer Minor, Editor/Writer

 

 

How You Can Make the Biggest Impact this Election Season

Mid-term election season. The idea may strike more placid acceptance than the inspiring, engaging sense of civic involvement of a presidential election year.BGTC Email adSmall

But, as champions of life with our citizenship in two worlds, even a mid-term election should call us to attention, action, and mobilization on behalf of our fellow countrymen—both born and pre-born.

This is why we make it a priority to vote our beliefs, off-year or not. We realize lives, futures, and legacies are at stake in our communities, states, and nation. These elected officials represent not only you, but your organization's staff, volunteers, donors... and clients.

In addition to your vote, your elected representatives need to know the truth. Each of them needs to hear from you and your clients—their constituents—the truth that Pregnancy Help Organizations are Good for America.

[Click here for Top 5 Benefits of Babies Go to Congress]

When a pregnancy help organization succeeds, lives are saved. That's an undeniable reality. A beautiful reality. A miracle. Something your elected representative needs to know.

That's the goal of Heartbeat's Babies Go to Congress, taking place January 20-22, 2015. It's your opportunity to sit down with your elected officials and not only tell the story of your organization's life-saving work, but—side-by-side with a client and her baby—to show the story of rescue that happens every day in organizations like yours.

Since 2009, a total of 109 women and children from over 50 organizations in 22 states have visited 222 congressional offices.

The babies are at it again January 20-22, 2015. Click here to find out how you and your organization can get involved.

 

Do's and Don'ts of a Nonprofit in an Election Season

election ahead sign

As yet another controversal election draws ever nearer, it's time to refresh on what is—and isn't—allowed for your organization during the election season. Let's take a look at the key do's and don'ts as we come up to the 2020 presidential election.

The first platinum rule for you as a nonprofit and as representatives of the nonprofit is that you may not endorse, support or oppose any specific candidate or political party. Your activities must be nonpartisan. The second platinum rule is that you as an individual—regardless of what your job is—may personally endorse, support or oppose any candidate or political party. To state it again:

  • A 501(c)(3) is not permitted to endorse, support or oppose any candidate for public office or any political party. Period. That is the law.
  • Second, as individual citizens who happen to be employed by nonprofits, you are certainly able to exercise your rights as citizens as guaranteed under the Constitution.

Let’s talk about what a nonprofit CAN do:

  • A nonprofit can conduct a voter education forum in a nonpartisan manner…in other words it is not truly nonpartisan if a nonprofit only invites one candidate. The forum must be held for the purpose of educating and informing voters, which provides fair and impartial treatment of candidates, and which does not promote or advance one candidate over another.
  • A nonprofit can operate a voter registration booth with its name displayed on the booth.
  • A nonprofit can provide transportation to the polls as long as it does not drive only those who will vote for a favorite candidate.
  • A nonprofit can target turnout efforts to the people or areas they serve, or population groups, students, elderly, minority groups.
  • A nonprofit can continue to do normal lobbying on issues.
  • A nonprofit can work on behalf of a ballot measure.
  • A 501(c)(3) can rent or sell mailing lists to candidates at fair market value, as long as it is made available to all candidates.

Further, if a representative of a nonprofit is asked to speak publicly during an election cycle or specifically asked for opinions about candidates, representatives of a 501(c)(3) should:

  • Decide who will speak publicly on behalf of the 501(c)(3) organization, so that non-designated staff will not inadvertently say something inappropriate.
  • Script responses before talking to reporters.
  • Focus on what was said (the issue), not who said it (the candidate). Avoid talking about a candidate’s qualifications or whether someone is a good or bad candidate.
  • Avoid discussing a candidate’s record; commenting on a candidate’s record is very close to commenting on a candidate’s qualifications or whether he or she should be elected.
  • Avoid talking about voters and making references to the election. For example, instead of saying “Voters will not accept…” say, “Americans won’t accept...”
  • Avoid identifying the candidate by name. It is better to say: “During the recent Republican debate, statements were made about [topic]. We disagree…”
  • Be very cautious if a reporter asks about which candidate is better on the 501(c)(3)’s issues, or whether the 501(c)(3) agrees with a statement a candidate made. Issue the disclaimer: “Well, as you know, we are a nonprofit and are not permitted to endorse, support or oppose any candidate.” Then go back to scripted statements and rules above.
  • A 501(c)(3) organization may urge all candidates to take a stand or act on an issue, without commenting on specific candidate statements. For example, a 501(c)(3) organization may want to urge both major party candidates in a local, state, or federal race to take more forceful action on the issue of illegal guns and violence. A 501(c)(3) making this kind of communication should be careful to avoid criticizing any candidate, and should focus on the need for all candidates to take action.

What can a nonprofit NOT do:

  • A nonprofit cannot post anything on its website or in its office that favors or opposes a candidate for public office.
  • A nonprofit cannot distribute printed material that favors or opposes a particular candidate.
  • A nonprofit should monitor any content linked to its website.
  • A nonprofit cannot do political fundraising for any candidate.
  • Do not use the “magic words” vote for or vote against a particular candidate.
  • A nonprofit cannot contribute time, facilities or money to a candidate.
  • Do not coordinate activities with a candidate.
  • Do not publish anything in official newsletters, brochures or publications of any kind that favors or opposes a candidate.
  • Do not increase the organization’s level of criticism or praise of an official or devote a special issue of its publications to an incumbent’s favorable or unfavorable record.
  • Do not distribute more copies than usual of a regular publication during the campaign year.
  • Do not focus on the personal character or qualifications of an incumbent, or campaign contributions of the incumbent.
  • Do not connect the organization’s criticism of a voting record of an official to an election. For example, publicly remarking that an official is anti-immigrant and mentioning that people should register to vote.
  • Do not point out that a particular candidate’s actions (as opposed to official actions) or views are incorrect. For example, a 501(c)(3) should not urge the public to withhold campaign contributions for a Senator’s re-election if she votes for the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” or remark that one candidate would be better than another candidate at creating green jobs if elected than another candidate.

Resources:

Let’s talk about what a nonprofit CAN do:

·       A nonprofit can conduct a voter education forum in a non partisan manner…in other words it is not truly nonpartisan if a nonprofit only invites one candidate. The forum must be held for the purpose of educating and informing voters, which provides fair and impartial treatment of candidates, and which does not promote or advance one candidate over another

·       A nonprofit can operate a voter registration booth with its name displayed on the booth

·       A nonprofit can provide transportation issues to the polls as long as it does not drive only those who will vote for a favorite candidate;

·       A nonprofit can target turnout efforts to the people or areas they serve, or population groups, students, elderly, minority groups

·       A non profit can continue to do normal lobbying on issues;

·       Work on behalf of a ballot measure;

·       A 501 c3 can rent or sell mailing lists to candidates at fair market value, as long as it is made available to all candidates.

Further, if a representative of a nonprofit is asked to speak publicly during an election cycle or specifically asked for opinions about candidates, representatives of a 501(c)(3) should:

·        Decide who will speak publicly on behalf of the 501(c)(3) organization, so that non-designated staff will not inadvertently say something inappropriate.

·        Script responses before talking to reporters.

·        Focus on what was said (the issue), not who said it (the candidate). Avoid talking about a candidate’s qualifications or whether someone is a good or bad candidate.

·        Avoid discussing a candidate’s record; commenting on a candidate’s record is very close to commenting on a candidate’s qualifications or whether he or she should be elected.

·        Avoid talking about voters and making references to the election. For example, instead of saying “Voters will not accept…” say, “Americans won’t accept……”

·        Avoid identifying the candidate by name. It is better to say: “During the recent Republican debate, statements were made about X. We disagree…”

·        Be very cautious if a reporter asks about which candidate is better on the 501(c)(3)’s issues, or whether the 501(c)(3) agrees with a statement a candidate made. Issue the disclaimer: “well, as you know, we are a nonprofit and are not permitted to endorse, support or oppose any candidate.” Then go back to scripted statements and rules above.

·        A 501(c)(3) organization may urge all candidates to take a stand or act on an issue, without commenting on specific candidate statements. For example, a 501(c)(3) organization may want to urge both major party candidates in the presidential race to take more forceful action on the issue of illegal guns and violence. A 501(c)(3) making this kind of communication should be careful to avoid criticizing any candidate, and should focus on the need for all candidates to take action.

What can a nonprofit NOT do:

·       A nonprofit cannot post anything on its website or in its office  that favors or opposes a candidate for public office

·       A nonprofit cannot distribute printed material that favors or opposes a particular candidate

·       A nonprofit should monitor any content linked to its website

·       A nonprofit cannot do political fundraising for any candidate

·       Do not use the “magic words” vote for  vote against a particular candidate;

·       Contribute time, facilities or money to a candidate;

·       Do not coordinate activities with a candidate;

·       Do not publish anything in official newsletters, brochures or publications of any kind that favors or opposes a candidate;

·       Do not Increase the organization’s level of criticism or praise of an official or devote a special issue of its publications to an incumbent’s favorable or unfavorable record.

·       Distributing more copies than usual of the publication during the campaign year.

·       Focusing on the personal character or qualifications of an incumbent or campaign contributions of the incumbent.

·       Connect the organization’s criticism to voting in an election. For example, publicly remarking that an official is anti-immigrant and mentioning that people should register to vote.

·       Pointing out that a particular candidate’s actions (as opposed to official actions) or views are incorrect. For example, a 501(c)(3) should not urge the public to withhold campaign contributions for a Senator’s re-election if she votes for the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” or remark that one candidate would be better at creating green jobs if elected than another candidate.