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Population Scientists Take to Capitol Hill for 2024 Advocacy Day

By PAA Web posted 03-07-2024 12:31

  

Dr. VanLandingham meets with Speaker of the House Mike Johnson

On March 5, the Population Association of America (PAA), in collaboration with the Association of Population Centers (APC), sponsored its 2024 Advocacy Day in which population scientists from 12 states conducted almost 60 meetings with key congressional staff. The delegation included Dr. Lisa Berkman, 2023 PAA President, and Dr. Jennie Brand 2024 APC President, and invited scientists from targeted states and congressional districts, including Texas, California, Alabama, Wisconsin, Louisiana and New York. 

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. (Pictured right: Dr. Mark Vanlandingham with Speaker of the House Mike Johnson)

During the meetings, staff received PAA and APC’s Fiscal Year 2025 funding priorities and recommendations. The delegation also discussed a range of issues including the implications of cuts to large-scale surveys supported by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the adverse impact of long-term federal budget stalemates and government shutdowns on population scientists, and the organizations’ interests in potential legislation to reauthorize the National Institutes of Health. 

Rep. Meng accepting her award

The day concluded with Dr. Berkman presenting the 2024 Excellence in Public Service Award to the staff of this year’s congressional recipient, Representative Grace Meng (D-NY-6). (Pictured left.) Representative Meng was chosen in recognition of her leadership on the House Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee and her efforts to preserve and strengthen the integrity of census data and provide the Census Bureau with robust funding. In addition, she was selected because of her longstanding commitment to addressing the persistent undercount of young children in the decennial census as well as her recent efforts to strike language from the Fiscal Year 2024 House CJS Appropriations bill that would exclude undocumented individuals from the state population totals used for congressional apportionment.

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.

GPAC Chair Dr. Vida Maralani takes on a rainy Capitol Hill
Dr. Jonathan Daw and Dr. Jennie Brand pose by Rep Fitzpatrick's office
Dr. Michael Bader takes a break between meetings
Dr. Marcy Carlson, Dr. Lisa Berkman, and Dr. Sara Curran pose in front of the U.S. Capitol
PAA and APC advocates in the House Offices
Dr. Jessica Faul in front of the U.S. Capitol

 


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