PAA and APC Sponsor First In-Person Advocacy Day Since 2019

By PAA Web posted 03-21-2023 16:00


Marcy Carlson, Mary Jo Hoeksema, Sara Curran inside the Senate Appropriations committee hearing room

On March 14, 2023, after two years of virtual advocacy day events, the Population Association of America (PAA), in collaboration with the Association of Population Centers (APC), sponsored its first in-person Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill. The return to in-person meetings with offices in the U.S. Congress was extremely successful! A delegation that included 10 PAA and APC officers, including Dr. Sonalde Desai, 2022 PAA President, and Dr. Sara Curran, 2022 APC President, and invited scientists from targeted states and congressional districts conducted almost 40 meetings with key staff representing members of Congress from 15 states.

The purpose of the meetings was to inform congressional offices about population research activities and advances that are directly and indirectly supported by federally funded scientific research and statistical agencies, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), Census Bureau, and National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). The meetings were conducted with key staff not only in personal offices, but also with committee staff members, including the Democratic and Republican clerks of the major Appropriations Subcommittees in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate responsible for funding key federal agencies. In addition, the PAA delegation met with staff on committees responsible for oversight of the NIH, NCHS, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and Census Bureau in both chambers of Congress. During the meetings, staff received PAA and APC’s Fiscal Year 2024 funding priorities and recommendations. The delegation also discussed a range of issues including the organizations’ views regarding the new Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), a proposed new National Longitudinal Study of Youth cohort, and leadership vacancies at the NIH and BLS.

GPAC Chair Vida Maralani presents award to Caitlin Peruccio, Senior Policy Advisor/Legislative Counsel, Rep. DeLauro

Sonalde Desai presents award to Jacqueline Collie, Legislative Assistant, Rep. Fitzpatrick

A highlight of the meetings was presentation of the 2023 Excellence in Public Service Award. This year’s recipients were Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Ms. Caitlin Peruccio, Senior Policy Advisor/Legislative Counsel for Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT). Congressman Fitzpatrick was chosen in recognition of his bipartisan leadership to encourage funding for agencies that support the population sciences, especially the NIH, NSF, and NCHS. Ms. Peruccio was chosen for her efforts over the years advising the PAA on its annual appropriations report submission and her work behind the scenes to help secure funding increases for agencies, including the NIH, NCHS, and BLS, that provide direct and indirect support for the field.

The annual PAA APC Advocacy Day is an excellent opportunity to inform congressional offices about the important contributions population scientists are making with support from a wide range of federal agencies and to urge continued robust funding for the agencies, surveys, and data that the field depends on to conduct its research and training activities.