Local Advocacy

The JCRC of Greater Washington's is the chief government advocate and community relations resource for our Jewish community. We partner with local and state organizations to reach out to government officials to advance the legislative agenda of our community in the Greater Washington area. 

What We Do

Advocate
The JCRC partners with local and state organization to reach out to government officials at the federal, state, and local levels to advance the Jewish community’s legislative priorities. We provide opportunities for community members to meet with and engage with elected officials. We assist local organizations, agencies, and synagogues in securing government funding.

Educate
The JCRC convenes programs on selected issues of concern to our community, including security briefings and candidate forums.

Activate
The JCRC convenes and mobilizes the Jewish community to make their voices heard on issues of importance to both the Jewish and broader community. We frequently lead and participate in rallies, demonstrations, and other actions to speak out on issues of critical importance. We mobilize synagogues, organizations, and community members to live out Jewish and American values through civic activism.

Communicate
The JCRC serves as the chief public face and voice of the organized Jewish community in our nation’s capital, articulating our collective policy priorities and values to government officials, coalition partners, and the media.


The 2021 Legislative Sessions are underway in both Maryland and Virginia. As part of this year’s virtual sessions, the JCRC is submitting testimony on a wide range of initiatives that support community priorities.

MD Testimony in SUPPORT of Senate Bill 154 – Landlord and Tenant - Eviction Action - Right to Counsel
2021 MD Testimony in SUPPORT of Senate Bill 154 – Landlord and Tenant - Eviction Action - Right to Counsel
MD Testimony in SUPPORT of Senate Bill 128 – Hate Crimes – Civil Remedy
2021 MD Testimony in SUPPORT of Senate Bill 128 – Hate Crimes – Civil Remedy
MD Testimony in SUPPORT of House Bill 15 – Governor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs
2021 MD Testimony in SUPPORT of House Bill 15 – Governor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs
VA House Bill 2121- Emergency Access to Covid-19 Treatment Regardless of Immigrant Status
2021 VA House Bill 2121- Emergency Access to Covid-19 Treatment Regardless of Immigrant Status
VA Letter to Northern Virginia Delegates and Senators with Support
2021 VA Letter to Northern Virginia Delegates and Senators with Support
VA 2021 Judiciary Committee - SB 1301
2021 VA 2021 Judiciary Committee - SB 1301
VA Testimony in Support of HJ 546 -Restoration of Voting Rights Constitutional Amendment
2021 VA Testimony in Support of HJ 546 -Restoration of Voting Rights Constitutional Amendment
MD Testimony in SUPPORT of House Bill – 423 Election Law – Voting Systems – Accessibility for Voters With Disabilities
2021 MD Testimony in SUPPORT of House Bill – 423 Election Law – Voting Systems – Accessibility for Voters With Disabilities
MD Testimony in SUPPORT of House Bill – 493 Election Law – Voting Locations – Accessibility by Public Transportation and Voters With Disabilities
2021 MD Testimony in SUPPORT of House Bill – 493 Election Law – Voting Locations – Accessibility by Public Transportation and Voters With Disabilities
MD Testimony in SUPPORT of House Bill 503 – Environment - Office on Climate Change - Establishment
2021 MD Testimony in SUPPOR of House Bill 503- Environment-Office on Climate Change
MD Testimony in Support of Senate Bill 29- Election Law-Voting-Elections by Mail, Polling Places, and Early Voting Centers
2021 MD Testimony in Support of Senate Bill 29- Election Law-Voting-Elections by Mail, Polling Places, and Early Voting Centers
MD Testimony in Support of Senate Bill 327-Civil Actions – Financial Exploitation of Vulnerable Adults (Maryland SAFE Act)
2021 MD Testimony in Support of Senate Bill 327-Civil Actions – Financial Exploitation of Vulnerable Adults (Maryland SAFE Act)
House Bill 786 – Department of Human Services, Maryland Department of Health, and Department of Education – Easing Access to Family Support Programs
2021 MD Testimony in SUPPORT of House Bill 786 – Department of Human Services, Maryland Department of Health, and Department of Education – Easing Access to Family Support Programs
House Bill 670 – Police Reform and  Accountability Act of 2021
2021 MD Testimony in SUPPORT of House Bill 670 – Police Reform and Accountability Act of 2021
House Bill 16 Correctional Services-Immigration Detention Prohibition
2021 MD Testimony in SUPPORT of House Bill 16 Correctional Services-Immigration Detention Prohibition

To kick off our 2021 advocacy in Maryland and Virginia, the JCRC is hosting a series of webinars, Legislatively Speaking in Maryland and 2021 Virginia Advocacy with the JCRC in Virginia. 

Thank you to the following generous sponsors for their support of Legislatively Speaking: Helane & Richard Goldstein, Jocelyn & Danny Krifcher, Hilary Smith Kapner & William Kapner, Jennifer Mizrahi, Bobbi & Larry Shulman, Stein Sperling, and Marilyn & Gary Wind. And to the following generous sponsors for their support of 2021 Virginia Advocacy with the JCRC: Ellen & Willard Blalock, Cookie Hymer Blitz & Nelson Blitz, and Sheila & Bob Budoff.

In case you missed the programs, watch recordings of the sessions below:


Local Advocacy News

Each year the JCRC advocates for and secures state and county funding to support Jewish social service and educational institutions that reach tens of thousands of Jews and non-Jews residing in our region.

This year, the Virginia General Assembly held an extensive Special Session to address the impact of the pandemic on the Commonwealth's budget, the impacts of the pandemic on the most vulnerable members of our community, as well as police and criminal justice reform. The session wrapped up late Friday, October 16, 2020. JCRC advocated for:

  • Continued funding for programs providing meals to impoverished Holocaust survivors
  • Assisted access to personal protective equipment and increased reimbursements for social service and health care providers, Mortgage, rent and utility relief
  • Increased accountability in policing through the creation of civilian review boards,
  • Granting authority to the Attorney General to pursue civil action against a law enforcement officer whose actions deprive individuals of their rights 
  • Ensuring that ICE Detention Centers in Virginia are included as part of the Commonwealth’s facilities inspection regime.

These and other measures have been approved by the Virginia General Assembly and are on their way to the Governor for final action. We will provide more detailed information as the legislation is signed and enacted.

Virginia Post-Session conference call


The Charlottesville Case

Thank you to the hundreds of people who joined us on August 10th, 2020—the eve of the third anniversary of the Charlottesville violence—for a discussion of Integrity First for America's groundbreaking lawsuit and the fight against white supremacy. Speakers included: ERIC WARD, Western States Center; ROBERTA KAPLAN, Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP; KAREN DUNN, Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP; and AMY SPITALNICK, Integrity First for America.

Thank you to the following organizations who sponsored the program: Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, ADL, Western States Center, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Southern Poverty Law Center, NAACP Fairfax, Bend the Arc, AJC, ADL Washington DC, Adas Israel Congregation, Agudas Achim Congregation, B’nai Israel Congregation, B’nai Shalom of Olney, Bender JCC of Greater Washington, Bethesda Jewish Congregation, Capital Jewish Museum, Congregation Har Shalom, Edlavitch JCC of Washington DC, Hill Havurah, The Interfaith Families Project of Washington DC, Interfaith Youth Core, Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, The Kemp Mill Synagogue, Kol Shalom, Pozez JCC of Northern Virginia, Sixth&I, Temple B’nai Shalom, Temple Beth Torah, Temple Rodef Shalom, Temple Shalom, Tifereth Israel, TzedekDC.


 

Legislative Wrap Ups