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Public Policy

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Philanthropy, Democracy, and Racial Equity

With much at stake in this upcoming election, Philanthropy has an opportunity to make a difference for our democracy. The final results of the November 2020 election, Census 2020, and redistricting will influence where our energies are needed in the years ahead. This is not just a presidential election, but also a key opportunity for several statewide ballot initiatives on racial equity and social justice. This November, it is especially important we remedy our democracy and ensure everyone, especially BIPOC communities, can safely cast their votes. It is also critical everyone is counted in the Census to ensure California's proportionate federal representation and fair share of resources. As witnessed during the COVID-19 pandemic and recent wildfires, these resources are put to use saving lives throughout California. 

But, the work does not stop there. California's redistricting process is reshaping voting blocks, determining how communities are represented within and outside our state borders. With the power of the redistricting process, comes the responsibility of ensuring the commission and voting blocks reflect the diversity of California. Philanthropy has an opportunity to take a long view even as we adjust to the immediate needs we face. Northern California Grantmakers invites you to join us in pursuing a better, more just California. 

2020 Ballot: Equity and Social Justice Slate--Where to Act

  1. Proposition 15: Schools and Communities First 2. Proposition 16: Repeal Proposition 209 Act 3. Proposition 17: Free the Vote Act

Philanthropy can make a difference to:

  • Protect democracy by preserving essential public services;
  • Support efforts to guarantee a full and accurate Census count;
  • Ensure every eligible Californian votes; 
  • Diversify representation among redistricting delegates; and,
  • Fund to win: plan for the long haul, and invest in partners who are breaking new ground for a stronger and more equitable California.


About NCG's Public Policy Work

Northern California Grantmakers members are grappling with complex issues in a diverse and rapidly-changing region. We recognize that policy is a powerful tool to advance significant and sustained change and improve outcomes. We believe we have a mandate to advocate for policy-based approaches to achieve shared goals.

NCG has appointed a Policy Committee (listed right) to advocate for smart, effective policies to advance shared impact goals. The committee will tap NCG staff, collaborators, and expert advisors to educate policy makers and thought leaders about the value of philanthropy, and catalyze engagement and collaboration between NCG members, public officials, foundations and community stakeholders to advance policy-based approaches to achieving the change we seek in the world.

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Upcoming Policy programming coming soon.


On March 19, 2020, Senate Majority Leader McConnell proposed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act. The United States Senate will likely consider voting on this bill in the next 24 hours, depending on negotiations with the House of Representatives and the President. NCG, in coordination with our Philanthropy California colleagues, sent letters to Senator Dianne Feinstein and Senator Kamala Harris to respectfully request that the CARES Act include support for the nonprofit sector.

On July 2, 2019, Philanthropy California submitted a public comment opposing the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s proposed rule to prohibit “mixed-status” families, or families who consist of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents who may have a member that is ineligible for housing assistance due to their immigration status, from accessing public or subsidized housing. 

On August 13, 2019, Philanthropy California submitted a public comment opposing the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ proposed rule to change the anti-discrimination provisions of Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This proposed rule would substantially limit federal protections against gender identity and sexual orientation discrimination in healthcare. Additionally, this proposed rule would weaken protections that provide access to language services for patients with limited English proficiency (LEP).  


Thursday, October 1, 2020

The places we call home, their streets, smells, sounds, and sights, shape our opportunity for a fair shot at a long and healthy life. I grew up in the shadows of greatness, in the city of pride and purpose, Richmond, California. During WWII, it was a busy port between San Francisco and Sacramento, home to the Kaiser shipyards. It was also home of Rosie the Riveter, the female empowerment icon.

Monday, July 27, 2020

In response to Trump Administration’s memorandum to remove undocumented immigrants from the 2020 Census apportionment count, Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR) and Philanthropy California issued the following statement.

Friday, July 17, 2020

This month marks a changing of the guard in NCG’s policy advocacy. NCG’s Cecilia Chen is stepping down to assume a central role in efforts to end the criminalization of Black youth and youth of color in Oakland at the Oakland-based Akonadi Foundation.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Philanthropy veteran Crispin Delgado is set to take the reins leading NCG’s public policy efforts. Crispin arrives with a vision for advancing equity and social justice through an exciting policy agenda.