In 2020, it’s easy to look around and wonder—is there anything good happening??
I’m thankful that the answer is YES, and you have been a part of making these good things happen!
Let me count some of the things we are grateful for at Family Policy Alliance, and I hope you will join us in praising God for this good news! And remember, these wins came about despite COVID-19 and all the challenges it brought right in the middle of when state legislatures were supposed to be busiest.
- First, do no harm.
When we elect lawmakers to represent us and our values, the first thing we hope and expect of them is that when they get to our capitols, they first “do no harm.” In other words, please don’t mess things up.We know that politicians can often mess things up, but this year many states were able to block a lot of bills that would deeply harm the lives of children and families—in large part because believers and pro-family voices joined together to push back against these bad bills.For example, New Mexico was poised to pass a bill proposed by their governor and pro-abortion legislators that would codify abortion up to the moment of birth in state law. Believers of all denominations joined together in opposition. The bill’s defeat is widely celebrated as the greatest victory for New Mexico’s pro-life movement in modern history.
In Georgia, the casino lobby spent major resources to lobby for unprecedented gambling expansion the Peach State, yet pro-family conservatives rallied enough opposition that the bill was pulled at the last minute.
And, in Colorado where far Left activists have been having a field day with passing laws that are increasingly harmful to families, the state was set to pass the latest bill that would redefine what it means to be a “parent.” The bill would have, among other consequences, divorced child birth from parentage making the family entirely a creature of state contract law and encouraged the use of Artificial Reproduction Technology – in which many extra embryos are created and, in most cases, eventually killed – thus adding to the loss of babies in our state. A coalition of conservatives and believers rallied, and the bill was stopped.
- Saving girls’ sports!
As you probably know, girls’ athletics are under attack by activists who would sacrifice girls’ athletic opportunities on the altar of a political agenda so that boys (who identify themselves as girls) can compete in girls’ divisions and steal girls’ scholarships. The state of Idaho had enough, and they became the first state in the country to pass a law protecting girls’ sports!Way to go Idaho! Their new law is under attack in court by the ACLU, so much work remains to be done to save that law so that other states can follow Idaho’s lead. Join the fight to Save Girls’ Sports if you haven’t already!The other good news on the girls’ sports front is that the Trump Administration has repeatedly clarified that to permit boys to steal girls’ athletic opportunities would be a violation of Title IX, the civil rights law that ensures girls equal access to academic and athletic opportunities with boys. And, the Trump Administration has also sided with Idaho in protecting its new law!
- Stopping Planned Parenthood & Nancy Pelosi, saving livesAs the COVID situation began to unfold, Nancy Pelosi’s COVID relief plan included a billion-dollar funding stream with a provision that would have excluded the Hyde Amendment — which has protected against taxpayer funding of abortions for decades. Thanks to tens of thousands of you raising your voice and to the White House, her plan was stopped.Then, while Planned Parenthood was seeking out masks and gloves in the thick of the crisis, they (and the broader abortion lobby) attempted to skirt regulations meant to protect women on the chemical abortion pill. With your support, Family Policy Alliance rallied a coalition of national and state-based allies to stop the effort in its tracks. Now that battle will continue to be fought in courts.
Laws to save lives were also being advanced! In the midst of COVID, Family Policy Alliance of Wyoming helped shepherd a bill to protect babies who survive botched abortions. The bill passed all the way through the Wyoming legislature, even though Wyoming’s governor ultimately vetoed it. This fight isn’t over!
- Education freedom for families
In America, our legal system is built upon recognizing certain God-given freedoms—including the right of parents to direct their children’s care and education. But sometimes, financial limitations prevent parents from being able to fully realize that right.Thankfully, in the midst of the COVID crisis, two major things happened to advance education freedom for families. First, President Trump’s Administration issued a rule to ensure that COVID relief funding would serve all students—those in public and private schools.Second, the Supreme Court struck down what’s called a “Blaine Amendment,” an antiquated law that has been used to prevent faith-based schools from being part of a school choice programs simply because they are faith-based. The ruling was a win for parents, for religious freedom, and most importantly—for children. We believe that children win when their parents can choose the best education for each child, and that no government should place limitations on a child’s future because of her zip code or her family’s income.
We hope this list of wins to be thankful for encourages you as it does us—and these were only a small sample of the good things happening across the country this year! Your voice makes a difference. Your vote can change lives. Your support is invaluable.
And certainly the fight isn’t over. Because of COVID, many state legislatures were cut short. This means that many, many good policies that protect lives and families were also not able to advance.
That’s why Family Policy Alliance is already gearing up for both the 2020 election and for January 2021 when most state legislatures get back to work. The 2020 election is critical to ensure that we have the right lawmakers representing us and our values in every state—so that we can advance those good, pro-family policies in 2021.
As you can see, the policies that are passed by good lawmakers can truly save lives and create a better country for our children.
No one’s claiming that any politician or law can be our country’s savior—only Jesus Christ can fill that role, and it’s clear today that we all need His saving grace. But we do claim that God has placed each of us in this country at this time to represent His truth in our system of government.
That is our calling and that is our unique form of ministry at Family Policy Alliance.
As we prepare for November 2020 and the life-saving policies we seek to pass into law in 2021, will you consider a gift to Family Policy Alliance?
For truth & for His calling,
Vice President, Strategy
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” -Hebrews 12:1
I want to thank all of you who responded to last week’s email with words of support and encouragement as we reflected on our “Top 3 Accomplishments of 2019.”
This week, I want to take a brief moment to let you know where we are headed and what you can expect from us as we begin 2020.
Our Top 3 Goals for 2020
#1—We will continue to be a Christian voice for you in Santa Fe during the 2020 Legislative Session!
In addition to providing policy support to our legislators, Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico®will work diligently to advance a legislative agenda that defends human life, strengthens families, and protects our First Amendment rights. We will be tracking legislation and we will keep you informed about specific bills we need to support or oppose. Further, we will be providing opportunities for you to engage directly with your elected officials, so please keep an eye out for our “Action Alerts.”
#2—We will work hard to elect pro-life, pro-family, and pro-religious freedom candidates during the 2020 Election!
Immediately following the 2018 Election, the far-left revealed their agenda for New Mexico. That agenda included codifying abortion up to the moment of birth; legalizing assisted suicide; legalizing recreational marijuana; and other efforts to infringe upon our Constitutional rights. One thing is clear—if we want change, we must elect change, and this year, we have that opportunity. As such, Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico will be tracking races, researching candidates, and scoring incumbent votes. In select races, we will also actively engage through official endorsements and/or voter guides, so voters can make informed decisions before heading to the polls.
#3—We will continue to grow our network of pastors and churches throughout the state.
Politics runs downstream from the culture, and the Church is responsible for helping shape our culture. Therefore, we want to continue to serve pastors and churches by being a dependable, honest resource to help keep them informed on current events and public policy issues impacting religious freedom, families, and life.
We have come a long way, but we still have much work to do. And together, with the good Lord’s blessing, I believe we will accomplish these things and so many more.
God bless you! Let’s get to work!
President and Executive Director
A new year is officially upon us and my hopes for making New Jersey a state where God is honored, religious liberty flourishes, families thrive and life is cherished could not be greater. After a tumultuous year of morally inept public policies emanating from Trenton, I firmly believe the best is yet to come!
I encourage you to reflect on what God has done through your tireless advocacy and engagement in 2019.
- Recreational marijuana failed to pass through the supermajority democratic legislature. We testified at committee hearings, visited the offices of nearly forty state lawmakers, distributed timely and targeted action alerts, and educated tens of thousands of New Jerseyeans on the negative impact this drug would have if further unleashed in our neighborhoods. Our coalition partners, such as NJ RAMP, have unmeasurably contributed and led this fight with us. Our gratitude to Senator Ron Rice and other Democratic leaders who held their position to protect their cities from corporate drug dealing.
- The Safe Haven Information Act passed and was signed into law by Governor Murphy. It requires all public schools to teach students in grades 9-12 on the existing Safe Haven Act. This law allows parents to drop off their unwanted and unharmed infants who are younger than 30 days old at police stations, emergency departments, first aid squads and fire stations with no questions asked and without fear of prosecution.
- LifeNet’s statewide prolife coalition continued to work in synergy this year. Over 130,000 postcards were sent to legislators to protect babies from the excruciating pain of abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. We traveled the state meeting with dozens of lawmakers to help educate them on New Jersey’s radical anti-human rights record of unrestrained unlimited abortion policies that have been rejected by 96% of nations.
- Our participation in the 2019 NJ state elections secured for us a major victory for the future of parental rights and religious liberty. Working with our political strategy team at our national headquarters, we targeted morally conservative homes to vote for District 1 senate candidate, Mike Testa, Assembly candidates Antwan McClellan and Erick Simonsen, and District 39 incumbent Assemblyman Robert Auth. We won all four races in both districts. Senator Testa quickly made an impact in Trenton by publicly denouncing the funding of Planned Parenthood in the Senate Appropriations Committee and staunchly protecting religious and parental rights concerning vaccinations in the Senate Health Committee. Assemblyman Robert Auth is a likeminded ally in protecting students from radical sexual indoctrination.
- Mayor Al Cirulli from Barnegat Township exposed the darkness of the contentious mandated LGBT curriculum being forced upon our students in public schools. We testified in support of his leadership, engaged our constituents to communicate their overwhelming endorsement of his position, and bestowed upon him our 2019 Guardian of the Family Elected Official award.
I urge you to remain diligent and determined to make NJ better in 2020.
The best is yet to come!
Director of Advocacy
Director of Alliances Northeast Region, Family Policy Alliance
Founder & Past President, New Jersey Family Policy Council
I get it… those New Year’s resolutions can be pesky. We do our best after the Christmas feast to lose weight, exercise, eat right, turn off the TV and read more books!
“We’re going to kick the old habits and start anew,” we say. Change doesn’t come easy.
Do you really want to get serious about restoring resolutions? Then, tell someone and give them permission to hold you accountable.
In that spirit, here are Family Policy Alliance’s resolutions for 2020. I ask you to keep us accountable throughout the year!
- Be Christ-centered in all we say and do.
- Identify Christian men and women who are called to serve in the mission field of American politics and commit to serving as Statesmen and Stateswomen—men and women committed to doing the right thing regardless of the personal consequences, knowing that God appoints people to places of authority (Rom. 13:1).
- Train these men and women in our week-long Statesmen training program—a program of our sister organization, Family Policy Foundation®—and throughout their careers in public service as Statesmen Alumni.
- As resources are provided, identify principled conservatives already in office—from school boards to Governors’ houses to Congress—and invest in their elections.
- Be a voice for the Church in our nation’s and states’ capitals. Speak into and equip the church to engage as biblical citizens. Mobilize these informed citizens to make their voices heard on issues that impact them, their families and the body of Christ.
- Serve an effective alliance of Statesmen, pastors, state policy and business leaders and biblical citizens who are all committed to standing firm and taking action (Dan. 11:32b).
- Be good stewards of the sacrificial resources our ministry partners provide, for which we are exceedingly grateful.
Here’s the kicker.
Transformation doesn’t come easy or in just one year. At Family Policy Alliance®, we are committed to these resolutions year over year until our nation is one where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive and life is cherished.
Once accomplished, we resolve to sustain it for all our future families. Thank you for making our work together possible.
Happy New Year to you and your family from all of us at Family Policy Alliance,
President & CEO